Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Scarves, mittens, memes, and the YNBA

On Scarves
I started another project over the weekend.

Start of a scarf for Mom. Crochet, my design, using Colinette Chenille DK.

I hate hate HATE knitting with chenille. But, crochet: no nasty "snakes" from my somewhat haphazard gauge, no achey-breaky fingers, no wrist cramps... Hallelujah!

Plus, lacy crochet solves the problem I often have with space-dyed yarns. (Most recently it was with the Schaefer Esperanza). It is exactly the opposite of Stephanie's problem. I like the way the colors look distinct in the hank, but am often disappointed when I ball them up and the color gets all muddled up. In this open crochet pattern, I can maintain the separate puddles and pools and the lovely transitions between them.

This colorway is so my Mom, and this is about all the scarf one needs in Phoenix, AZ. I hope she digs it. I will post the pattern if anyone is interested.

On Mittens
Speaking of Stephanie, have you seen her mittens? So amazing! Steph, you definitely contribute to my "ODKSD" (obsessive-delusional knitting speed disorder), wherein I think I can knit as fast as those around me. Luckily, I have not purchased the Folk Mittens book (even though I have seriously considered it, twice). And as will be noted below, I will not be until early spring.

I will, however, be starting my thrumms soon... I would have started already, but there's a small problem. Since I cannot knit mittens as quickly as I think I can, and since I have been working really hard to be acceptant and present with that knowledge, I have become paralyzed by too many options. I mean, the thrummed mittens need to be the coolest mittens EVER. Come on, fleece-lined knit mittens?!

First, I got some lovely grey wool and some vibrant blue roving at Rhinebeck. I love grey and blue. But I also got some really soft green wool... And I thought, well if the thrumms are on the inside, why should I use a really amazing roving? Why not just white? To go with the beautiful green wool. Then (when my spinning skills automagically become both efficient and startlingly advanced) I could spin the measly two ounces of blue and ply it with some of the nice white merino I got. (You see how the ODKSD insidiously manifests? I go from being aware of one shortcoming to being completely whacked-out blind to another.) Anyway, so now I am turned off of using the blue roving.

I would have already started the green mittens, but the wool is so soft. It is mostly merino with a bit of corriedale and just a smidge of mohair. Wouldn't the two greens (yes, I got two greens: moss and sage) make the best two-tone hat from Weekend Knitting? You know, the brioche one? Since, as I said—it is pretty soft wool and I would love to try that brioche business. So, the green wool will have to wait. You know, until I can knock out knitting projects like an army drill team (rather than like Lucy on a chocolate assembly line).

Right. But what about the damn mittens?! Luckily, on my last day of crazymadyarnbuying before the YNBA (see below) I scored what will likely (at least as of -right- -now-) become the thrummed mittens. Picture red and white. More info in the Stony-Mountain-Fibers-Post-To-Be.

On Memes
Love this one. Thanks to both Susan and Karen for passing it on.

(A) First, recommend to me:

1. A movie:
2. A book:
3. A musical artist, song, or album:

(B) I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want.

(C) Then, go to your blog or journal and copy and paste this, allowing your friends to ask you anything

It's fun to stay at the YNBA
Check out Monica and Lynette's fantastic idea, and thanks to Margene for getting the word out. I, too, have declared a Yarn Non-Buying Agreement with myself. It is not a diet. Diets are all about restriction. This is an agreement to make a wise decision every day to appreciate the stash I have.

My personal YNBA: Nov 20 - Feb 20.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Thursdays are for candlelight...

...Especially when one has no power.

I woke up nice and late—around 11:30—on Thanksgiving (this is one of the benefits of buying your dinner already made... reheating doesn't start at zero-dark thirty like cooking does).

And 15 minutes later the power went out.

The power stayed out until 10 something that night. My stove is gas, but the starters are all electric. I don't mind manually lighting the burners, but the oven?? In a dark kitchen?!? No way. So, I read and knit until it was too dark, then I napped. We held out hope all day. I programmed the freakin' electric company into the phone so I could check the automated message every hour or so. Finally, around 7-ish we decided to venture forth to hunt down an open restaurant.

I never thought I would say "Thank God for Bennigans!" (But since the only other place open in our lil' suburban neck of the woods was Hooters, thank God, indeed!)

While I am being thankful for the not-too-bad-but-still-pretty-cheesy chain restaurant dinner, I would like to give equal time to a few other equally wonderful things.

  • I am thankful that I didn't have a house-full of relatives.

  • I am thankful that I am a candle hoarder.

  • I am thankful that telephones work even when the power is out. (Hi, Mom!)

We ended up having a lovely dinner Friday evening.


I did manage to get a bit of knitting done over the last few days.

A 60" scarf for a friend, using Crystal Palace Fizz and Squiggle-one skein each.

AND (drumroll please), I finished up "Boogie."

Click for a close up

Pattern: Boogie, Amy King (available at www.knitty.com, Spring '04 issue)
Yarn: GGH Aspen in Bronze (I made the XL size and used 6.5 skeins I think)
Needles: US#9 addi natura circs
Mods:I modified the beejezus out of Boogie.

First, don't hate me because I'm stupid. But, I didn't realize that Boogie wasn't a V-neck until after I finished the back. I know, I know. There is even a schematic. But the picture makes it look like a V-neck. Doesn't it? Help me out here... Bueller? Bueller?

Anyway, since I am compulsively attached to V-necks, step one was to start neck shaping on the same row that the split happens. I decreased on each RS until I had the correct number of shoulder stitches. (I used SSKs and K2Togs on the right and left sides of the neck split, respectively.)

Then, as I mentioned in my last post, I finished up the knitting, seamed the shoulders and tried it on... and the shoulders were a bit too linebacker-ish. This is possibly due to pulling the neck apart? Anyway. I ripped back to the last armscye shaping and bound off an extra 4 stitches on each side (as 2, 1, 1 stitches). I finished the neck and armscyes with single crochet, as written.

I am still not totally in love with the shoulder/armscyce combo, but I don't have any idea how to fix them, so I am living with them. She's blocking now, so my fingers are crossed that that helps a bit. I have also signed up for a finishing class at my favorite LYS. My seaming is good, but that crochet edge took several tries to get even presentable.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Catching up

Last night, FMF and I picked up our Thanksgiving dinner at our fave market. I have tried to cook turkeys and geese for Thanksgiving, but I just don't enjoy it. Yet, when I try to skip the dinner all together, I get despondent over missing the tradition.

Enter the catering department:

  • Two-plus pounds of herbed turkey breast
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Cranberry-pecan cornbread stuffing
  • Plain ole' cornbread for the picky eater
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Green beans and corn

And all I have to do is heat it up! That's the life... What are you having for dinner?

I have been scrambling all week. I don't seem to have time for half the things I need to get done. Including write interesting posts. As a matter of fact, all sorts of great things have been happening that I haven't posted about.

For example, last Wednesday was Knitting Meetup! We got to ogle Michelle's amazing glove, Sarah K's beautiful slip-stitch sweater, and Crafty Sarah's goonchy slip-stitch bag. Paula #1 was working with some lovely hand-dyed wool, while Paula #2 made all kinds of progress on her raglan sweater. Lara worked on her cute Debbie Bliss bunny and the not-so-bitter-but-oh-so-sweet socks. Fantastic knitting, ladies! (K8 and Sondra... You were missed!)

My rejuvenating trip to Charlottesville seemed like it was going to end up being fiber-free. (The horror!! Can you imagine?) Luckily, an old friend and I crashed Stony Mountain Fibers on Sunday afternoon. That is a story in and of itself, so I will tell it when I post the pictures.

When I arrived home, I had not one—but two!!!—RAOKs waiting for me~Woo! Alison sent me a cute shopping list pad (right in the nick of time, my little notebook that I used for shopping lists had just run out) and a great card. And Anne sent me the Knitter's Magazine Shawls and Scarves book (from my wishlist!!) and some fantastic hand salve. Thank you both very much... After the bus ride from hell (don't even get me started on the bus, let's just say: mystery liquids all over the floor, DEA agents, and a not-so delightful bouquet all conspired to make for very LONG three hours), your gifts closed the weekend out on a VERY GOOD note!

Boogie was almost done last night. I heavily modified the pattern to make it a V-neck, but when I tried it on with the crochet border, it was clear that the shoulders were about 4 stitches too wide. Can you say "80s shoulder pads"? Ugh. Rip, rip rip. I only went as far as the last armhole decrease, and am adding a few more. Stay tuned.

Thank you all for your kind words on my Quit. I never ever EVER thought I could quit smoking. I am the most addictive personality I know. But once I was ready, it just happened. It wasn't always easy, but it was always doable. If you want help or encouragement in starting your own Quit, or helping a loved one, gimme a holler.

Don't forget to vote on your favorite Fall Foliage, over at IndigoMuse's. (Even if you don't pick mine!)

SPIII, fear not! Your last package is boxed up and merely awaiting postage.... Oh, for just two more hours in the day and three more (non-working) days in the week!

Monday, November 22, 2004

22 months

...smoke free.

I couldn't'a done it without my Q-buddies, my Funk Master Flash, and my unwaivering sense of stubborness.

QuitNet.com: Quit All Together

If you smoke, please quit. Or someone you love is a smoker, tell them you love them and want to help them quit. Here are some scary and awesome resources to help you or a loved one get on the road to a beautiful Quit:

Quitster Library of Links

And lastly, on this triumphant day, my favorite quit post ever.
(This can be found in the library above, and was posted many times on the Quitnet forums back when I was a regular, I don't know the author.):

A time comes in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks, and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter), and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you; and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are ... and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.)

And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself; and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval. You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you; and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own, and to take care of yourself; and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers ... and you begin to accept people as they are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties; and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all that you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, and how much you should weigh; what you should wear and where you should shop, and what you should drive; how and where you should live, and what you should do for a living; who you should sleep with, who you should marry, and what you should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with; and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing; and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world ... and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries, and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love...and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms ... just to make you happy.

And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10, and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK.... And that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect; and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his/her touch ... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect. And you learn that your body really is your temple, and you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise.

You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve ... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to giveaway the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve; and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you, and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself; and to make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand; you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

-Author Unknown

Thursday, November 18, 2004

FMF's socks

Henceforth, Sweet Baboo would prefer to be known as Funk Master Flash. "Sweet Baboo" just doesn't capture his retro, wild-thang-shakin' side enough.

I should be asleep. I leave in the morning for an overnight trip to Charlottesville, VA (doesn't that sound like a lace knitter's kinda town?) for a little work and a little socializing with an old friend and his family. I am thinking: WOO! I could so use some decompression. Fortunately, I will be traveling by bus (short version of the long story: I don't drive) so Boogie will get a bit of attention.

Oh wait, don't I normally knit socks on business trips?

I would but I don't have any on the needles [insert happy FO dance music here]:

There was no official pattern, but they are based loosely on the stats in the Plain and Fancy book. Made with Plymouth Encore and Wool-Ease on two size 5 circs.

I am such a goob that I had to come blog about them being done as soon as they were. Isn't it weird how the socks don't look too long when he wears them?

See y'all Monday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Currently (and a dirty little secret)

The Gallery of snow geese is coming along, but in the meantime, here is one of their dramatic "take offs":


Beaded crochet that I am working on:

acrylic and glass beads
(From "Scarf Style" which I finally caved into and bought. Yes, I do love it.)

Sweet Baboo's socks are coming along:

one down, one to go
(Size 14 feet... The instep is truly meditative.)

Last, the dirty secret:

this is only a little bit of it
(I can't stop.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Monday was over too fast

... Where did Monday go? Into a pile of beaded crochet, actually. I will try to get a picture up tomorrow.

First things first, thank you all who left nice compliments on the haircut. I have my like-the-haircut days and my not-like days. There are some weird layers that I need to come to terms with... But all that hair-love really helped!

As for the weekend, there were some Snow Geese at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. (Have you visited your NWR lately? I would higly recommend it.) Pics of course to follow.

Then, because I did take at least one picture that is on my server, I finished an xmas present for my lil sister:

It is a garter stitch scarf on size 11s with a 20-something cast on. I used two skeins of "Sparkle" from Kiparoo farms (purchased at MDS&W). The yarn is made of three strands: two of cotton wrapped in rayon threads—hand-dyed in purples—and one "strand" of this sparkly plasticy stuff that stretched at a different rate than the cotton so there was always more of it than there should have been. Does that make sense? It "bunched" up. I would not work with this stuff again, unless it was the Survivor challenge that would win me all the money.

But it produced a very slinky, drapey, sparkley purple scarf, which is just up my sis' alley.

I have another book to de-stash. (Most are still available from last Monday's post.)

Great Knitting in Vogue, Christina Probert. Hardback edition. I couldn't find a cover picture, but here are two shots of the patterns I wanted to make:

This book is full of patterns from the 30s to "today" reworked with more "modern" lines (the book was published in 1987, so there are lots of shaker sweater-type lines and men in pale yellow and pink).

This one is $6.00 plus actual shipping (since it's a larger book, and I don't know where you live). I prefer PayPal, but we can easily work something else out.

Friday, November 12, 2004

I was going to be all full of ideas...

But I was just too. Tired. This morning.

This is for Ann:

The haircut

On Wednesday, I had a great sit n knit session with Lara at the seemingly MOST crowded bookstore in Maryland. Those socks are even sassier in person. I made great progress on some mittlettes. Such great progress that they are now FOs...

These were not on any to-do list, but I needed them:

Pattern - Loosely based on the wrister-half of the convertible gloves in Amy's Knit Wit.
Yarn - Fantasy Yarn's Cashmere Luxury Chunky (available only from A.C. Moore stores, so far as I can find, and presumably a Cashmerino knockoff)
Gauge - 4 ½ st/in on size 8 circular needles (ribbing was done on 4s, and just to be difficult, the thumbs were done on size 6dpns).

I knit and reknit the first one three times starting on the way to Rhinebeck. The second one I only knit twice. Don't ask why they took so many tries, they just aren't that complex. But in this case I was knitting for product, not process. This is (for me) usually a mistake.

Despite Norma's and Margene's reminders, I often forget the process, and worry too much about how fast fast fast my knitting is or should be. Then the knitting karma-fairy doinks me on the head with a forgotten decrease, or a weird increase and I tink tink tink to fix it.

I am going to make a pre-New Year's resolution to knit more slowly, and not worry about Christmas gifts. If I get it done, right on. If not, there are Plenty of other gifts in the world that can be given. Then again, if I drop Boogie so I can knit 7 scarves and nothing else, I will be ok with that too, as long as it is fun knitting.

And now for something completely different, I don't think I ever posted a picture of the completed SP/RAOK scarf, so here it is:

It is the goonchiest and softest scarf ever. I can't wait for the temp to drop a couple more degrees!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

How to avoid Second-Sock Syndrome

1. Buy two skeins of whatever fiber you will be using. Even if you don't need two. If you really don't want to buy extra yarn (hello? what kind of knitter are you?), wind a separate skein with half of the fiber.*

You can use the extra yarn for cool mittens or to make a self-patterning scrap hat, or as heel-and-toe yarn for two more pairs of socks.

2. Start Sock #1. However you like. If you are going toe up, knit til you would begin the heel. Cuff-down? Knit until you have finished the heel and done a row or two of full rounds. (While you are pondering the many wonderful ways to knit socks, go check out Lara's supa-shmoove figure 8 toe. I have got to try this one next.)

3. Put Sock #1 on needle holders (these are my favorites, because you can knit on or off of them) —unless you are on a plane and cannot get to your stitch holders because you stupidly packed them with the darning needle in your checked bag, in which case you can knit an extra inch or so until you can get to another WIP out of the overhead compartment.

Otherwise, resist the urge to keep knitting #1 because you are "on a roll," you will need that momentum in the next step.

4. Grab that second ball of yarn and start Sock #2. Here's where you can burn off that momentum. Go ahead, knit like crazy... Tear that sock up! Knit to the end and then finish it! Voila: Sock!

5. Now, when you would normally be all flush with pride and admiration, while simultaneously bored with the pattern that seemed so engaging when you started but now seems kind of monotonous, look into your basket.

There's sock #1 and it's half-way done already!

I did a couple more inches on sock #1 (bottom) than usual because of the aforementioned lack of stitch holders. Sock #2 (top) has just rounded Heel Horn and is in the Straits of Instep.

You can tough out just half a sock, right? Which brings us to the last step:

6. Finish sock #1. Feel all warm and good about your perseverance and follow-through.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of Sweet Baboo's socks, which we at small hands hope happens later this week.

* I use a cheap little kitchen scale that has grams and ounces for this. As I wind, I get to where it seems close, then I start weighing every few turns. Works like a dream.

Monday, November 08, 2004

In keeping with a wonderful tradition of sweater letters:

Dear Oversweater,
I know we had a great time together last week. We watched Cold Mountain together, and you soothed me after that killer hike in Catoctin...

Those were good times, and nothing can change that. But, I want you to know—before you hear it from someone else—I have been seeing a new sweater.

Face it, O, you are all about winter. You are going to keep me warm against icy winds and protect my butt from falls in the snow. You are very, very woolly.

It's just, Boogie is, well... More Autumnal. From the loftiness of the GGH Aspen, to the butterscotchiness of the discontinued color "Bronze," this sweater is all about cool but not freezing. I can wear her now.

I know you are all about quick knitting, and I admire that. But Boogie's being done on size 11s as well, and she has no sleeves. Remember all the trouble I have had in the past with full sweaters? Remember Salt Peanuts? Eyelet? I was hurt, and it makes me a little nervous about committing. I know this may seem unfair, but please, try to understand. Let me have this one vest, and then you will be right back in the front of the line, I promise. Well, maybe the vest and a quick cabled pullover, but let's not be too particular...


About that hike
Awesome. The day was beautiful, the views breathtaking, the company enchanting, and my butt was kicked. What more could I ask for?

I have added a "Rose River" gallery of Saturday's pics. I have also FINALLY finished the Rhinebeck gallery. Check them out and let me know which one you love.

I need to destash a bit, some novels, some knit books, and yes, even some fiber. Today, it is all about some books. I will try to post new stuff each Monday. If you are interested, email me at kali {type at} bgb {now type dot} cc

I would prefer to swap these books for books on my wishlist (see the bottom, left sidebar). I am even open to swapping on your recommendations: if you have something that fits in with my wishlist stuff but isn't on it, drop me a line. If you would like to pay cash-money instead, I have included a $ cost (this price includes shipping). I can take paypal or check payments, just give me a holler.

Wicked, G. Maguire ($9) GONE!
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, M. Haddon ($8)
Trash, D. Allison (author of Bastard out of Carolina) ($5)

Jaeger #12 (Celeste, ribbon)
Jaeger #11 (Albany, cotton tape)
Jaeger #7 (Aqua, cotton dk)
Jaeger #3 (Silk & Siena)
All four for $18, or $5 each.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Friday is for Outdoors-y Ideas

Now that Fall is in full swing (for me, its the first Fall in almost 5 years) I am trying to get out and about whenever possible. As you can see in my sidebar, that has included a nature-excursion and a mountain hike. The next two weeks should be more of the same. (Woo!)

I don't drive, and I know very few people, so I had to look a little for these opportunities. I let my mouse do the walking and tracked down all kinds of stuff. Here are some ideas for searches on Google or your favorite search page:

There is no excuse! A brisk (or exhausting) day trip makes curling up under an afghan with some of La's pumpkin spice tea ten times as good as just curling up there all day.

The haircut? I am not liking it today at all. No one is helping, in that no one has said "Cute hair-cut." In fact, the only person who seems to have noticed, did so with a "Well, your hair is really short." So no pics.

I do have pics of my two most recent WIPs, but I am a space-case and forgot to put them on the host server. Soon, I promise.

A huge shout out to Heidi for hostessing Secret Pal II. Not only was she an attentive and responsive hostess, but a generous one, too! I stepped in to be an "SP angel" for someone who's original SP had flaked out and as a thank you, Heidi sent me some beautiful stitch markers and some autumn-leaf shaped chocolates. How awesome is that?! Thanks, Heidi!!

In RAOK news, I received a lovely Autumnal note from Beth at Diamonds & Purls via snail mail. It was a great pick-me-up in this dreariest of weeks, and just goes to show that an AOK doesn't have to cost more than a stamp to make a big difference in one's day. Thanks, Beth!!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Rainy days and Thursdays

...always get me down? (No. Not really.)

Today, I am getting my first haircut in like, a year. Please cross your fingers for me that it all turns out ok.

In my self-absorbed melancholy yesterday, I forgot to mention the great comments left the other day by Jen and Sharon. I had asked how folks manage stash and WIPs in the face of so many amazing projects going on in the various knit-rings.

Jen will be starting a huge long-term project to get over the need for FOs. This is very Tao of her, and I love the idea. Maybe it is time to start Lotus shawl with the intention of finishing by Spring.

Sharon takes a more Zen approach, and says "I just keep casting on, knitting one stitch after another, and eventually, a FO rolls off the needles." This, too, is a great sentiment, and bears repeating.

In the meantime, I am practicing some acceptance where possible: I am enjoying the rain by thinking about how it makes curling up under a blanket feel so much better. (I think there is a poem there... Anyone want to take a stab at it?)

Pictures and RAOKs tomorrow... Have a great Thursday, everyone.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Bleak Wednesday

Warning! Political Content ahead. If you want, skip down to the Blue Wave header.
I am so confused by this election and what it seems to say about my fellow Americans. The nation voted with fear instead of compassion last night. How could we do that? I don't really think there would have been a huge difference no matter who we went with, but I imagine there would have been a lot of small ones. I am just. Lost feeling. And deeply sad. I can't say for certain that the likely outcome of the election has made me that way, but it sure has helped.

Blue Wave
Kate and Julia, can you believe it? My entry in the lace-along is finally done. It was a pinch hitter for my first choice, which is still in the line-up, but will probably have to wait til closer to spring.

Here are the pics of the scarf:

This is more garish than real life, but it is so dark here by the time I get home I have to rely on the flash. Picture a more muted colorway.

The YO pattern. And a little closer to true color.

This backlit image shows the pattern off very well. I already did detailed stats for this project. In brief, I used Tess' Designer Mohair/merino blend and Heartstrings Fiberarts free pattern (with minor mods). It took for freakin' ever, but it is a beautiful FO.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Tuesdays: not so great as Mondays

The blue wave scarf, and also my entry in the Lace-Along, is done. It looks great! If you would like to see a picture of it, however, you will have to check back tomorrow. Many tangible and intangible obstacles this morning prevented me from getting the pics up before I had to leave for work.

The Catoctin hike gallery is up. I am going to try to get to Shenandoah National Park this weekend. Fall is for hiking!

* * * *

I attempted to clean up my yarn a bit, last night and it is ridiculous. There is way too much. Way way way too much. I need to learn to knit faster.

I am convinced that blogging makes me think that I can knit more things in my allotted time than I can. Does anyone else experience this? There are so many WIPs and FOs every day in the blog-o-sphere, that I get the impression that I too can start new projects and finish old ones every day. Empirical evidence seems to be to the contrary.

Anyone have any good techniques for keeping their cool when reading other knitblogs? How do you keep yourself from starting every beautiful thing that anyone else is making? How do you manage your stash?

Remember: Today, nothing is more important than excerising your right to elect your leader. Vote early and vote often!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Fantastic Monday

I know, how often is it fantastic—Monday, I mean?

Today is a little cool and breezy. The air is dry so the leaves are rustling around all Autumnally. And when I rode into the parking lot this morning the sun was shining on the fall colors all dramatically and there were deer (three of 'em!) at the little pond in the parking lot. (Since today is so great, we will not be referring to it as "the cesspool" as we normally do.)

Could it be any better? Maybe if I wasn't at work... But I'll let that one go today.

You will notice (or not) that there are not two new travelogues yet. Between resizing, renaming, and transferring, image maintenance is a time consuming process. I did get them moved over to my image host, though. More than half-way there.

For a preview, here are a couple of my favorite shots:

The fog was incredibly persistent for most of the hike. It made for a very surreal experience. One of the hikers, Chittra, kept saying how amazing it was to hike through fog and mist all day—sadly, she was outnumbered by the naysayers who were sad to be missing all the vista views. The last picture, the road through the maples, is what we would have seen from Thurmont Vista (in the non-existent view image). I think it was just as beautiful from the road!

Way to get those UFOs done, C!
The blue wave scarf is blocking. I decided to test the cashmere washing instructions on the earwarmer before dunking the whole scarf. It is still drying, but I think we have a winner. I also got a couple of inches done on the Sans Souci. More news at eleven. Or later this week anyway.

Please, if you haven't already, go vote tomorrow.
I failed to follow through on my registration (which was filled out, but then "lost" or "incomplete in 'some way'") so in this most important of elections, I cannot vote. I know, I know. Please, no comments on how or why or why not. I should have followed through, and didn't. I will not let it ruin this lovely Monday morning, though it ruined Friday's (when I found out) and it may very well ruin Wednesday's.