Monday, October 31, 2005

Four Letter Words

Today tastes like carrot bread, with butter that's a bit too salty and wispy with garlic. So close. So far.

Hold Fast. Love Hate. Give Take. Hell Bent.

Knitting progress proceeds apace, but I didn't realize before that a half-hour knitting on the commute in does not equal a half-hour knitting in the lobby before heading to the office. Maybe it's the stoplight knitting on the way home--no, because I get forty-five minutes on the ride back. But you couldn't prove it by the current carry-me, the Ostrich Plumes blanket.

Knit Geek. Lost Soul. Evil Twin.

I'd get a full ball knit up in a week before. Now it looks like it will take three. Maybe I can get some done in and among the trick-or-treating this evening. We've decided that since First Consort Gareth will be barbequeing in the backyard, I'll be the lucky one answering the door. It's nice out, so I'll sit on the front porch with my easy knitting. Maybe I'll bring along a basket of yarn to hide the candy in, and first offer balls and hanks as treats.

Fabulist. Aesthete. Eloquent.

Maybe next year I'll get my act together and get an old-fashioned rocking chair, one that really rocks and terrifies the cats. (I want one anyway.) I'd wear my Doc Martens, prop a fake shotgun behind me, put on a bonnet, drop a shawl over my shoulders, and sit and knit and pass out treats. Maybe.

Autocrat. Demented. Seraphic.

I've determined that the next project for me will be a pair of lacy wool fingerless mitts. I have an acrylic pair, but the wind goes right through acrylic. My hands are really sensitive to the cold, and stiffen right up when I drive in to work with the top down. The wind just hits right on the steering wheel at ten and two.

Elvenite. Eligiast. Matadore.

And that will help. However, that's just a short-term fix. The project I have in mind after that will take substantially longer--but the results will be more satisfactory.

Modalist. Optimist. Pedantic.

I want a pair of fingerless Sanquahar gloves. And I want to work in knuckle tattoos across the backs of the fingers. Why? Because I can, that's why. And the juxtaposition of biker icon and handknit glove appeals to me somehow.

Depraved. Diabolic. Sylvatic.

Hence the collection of four and eight letter words. Because I have a feeling I'm going to be knitting and wearing fingerless gloves for some time to come, and I want my list right here where I can find it later.

Euphoria. Serenity. Ecstatic.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Month of Blogiversary Continues

Looking back over my first posts, I’m struck by how far I’ve wandered from the whole knitting theme. I thought it would be fun to have a place to track projects, but I note that several of the “first five” don’t even have a “finally finished” photo.

Part of it is working on five at once—your impact gets diluted. Knitting for an hour apiece on several projects is not the same as working five hours on one. And when you do three foot square (and larger) blankets, it can take a long time to show anything blogworthy. Five hours on one sweater can get you a sleeve (or significant portion thereof, depending on your gauge. Bulky wool on broomstick needles could conceivably get you an adult five-hour sweater!)

But what the hey—it’s well past time for an update.

This is a gift for a friend’s daughter who has been admiring the Linus blankets for years, and mournfully semi-requesting one in only the way a teenager can manage (“Y’know. . . it’d be okay if you knit ME a blanket one day . . .”) (Can’t actually ask for one, that’d mean you cared, and caring just isn’t cool.) When I graduated from high school, my grandmother presented me with a crocheted, cross stitched tour de force majeure that I had admired and lusted after since I was a tadlet. I still have that afghan, and pull it out and lay it across the bed sometimes. Since I am unlikely to have a granddaughter (gotta have kids first, I think) I’d like to do this for Mischief’s kid.

I have a couple of years yet. If not for high school graduation, then for Christmas during her eighteenth year. She’s nearly certain to have an eighteenth year. Good kid, but reminds me of me at the same age. Hopefully she’ll have an epiphany soon and realize all she’s doing is eliminating options.

This is one of the blankets for the Linus Project. Multiple strands held as one, and a dead simple lace pattern. I like the variegated effect without the color pooling—most of these are solids; I think there’s one pastel green and yellow variegated in the section on the needles.

I was at a Linus Project Blanket Bee when someone came in with easily three hundred pounds of yarn. Holy crap. Even my stash isn’t that big.

Everyone was digging for the big and bulky stuff--I grabbed as much laceweight as I could put hands to, and then a bunch of glum neutrals. I was planning on combining strands even then. The beige and gray and cream I picked up will go nicely with some chenille that’s been sitting and waiting to become for years now. Moral of the chenille—sometimes stuff’s on eBay for a reason.

This was another Linus find—nobody wanted sportweight. Their loss. This is a little more than half-done, and I’m hoping to have it finished by Christmas. Earlier this year I had FIVE blankets on the needles. Three are now cast off and living their lives elsewhere.

I’ve learned my lesson at last, I think. One for friends and family, one for charity, one for me and me alone, one for eventual publication, and one just because.

This one is for eventual publication once I finish the Boring Eternal Strap and sew a zipper in. I do the old yoga and the new yoga, so why not combine the two? The yarn’s cool—it’s dyed in long long lengths so it does that ombre thing as it rolls off the needles, and the colorways are soft and fade in and out nicely—no jarring stripes. Will keep you posted.

And this one is for me. It’s garter eyelet lace in laceweight, so it doesn’t look like much right now. It’s too big to spread on the needles, so you don’t see the designs. I think I’ve ripped this back more than I’ve ever ripped anything in my knitting life. I pulled out every trick in my lace arsenal to get it going—a lifeline at the point where the patterns change so I’ll have a place to pick up and start from, markers at every repeat, working from a chart so I don’t get lost in the verbiage, knitting only in a padded room with plenty of light . . . ok, haven’t tried the padded room yet. That would be next, however.

I’ve always said if you want it badly enough, you can knit it. I want this very badly. More than I thought I did when I cast on. Things are funny that way.

The yarn is a cashmere/nylon blend I found on eBay (curse you eBay! Curse you and your easily searched goodies!) I’m betting the spinner was disappointed in the color or the hand of the yarn—it’s a bit on the harsh side as a yarn. Knitted up, it’s not buttery soft, but it’s skin friendly. I’m betting it will bloom a little with washing and wearing, and plan to hasten that by overdying the rather blah grey with screaming bright primaries and secondaries once the garments I plan are completed. I don’t mind a heathery tone; it’s softly mottled as it is. The bright colors will be muted by the grey and should fall in the deep complex tertiaries I prefer. This one goes in the yellow dyepot, pictures to follow during blocking and post dyebath.

And the number for today—6. See you Monday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I Circle-Slash Heart Blogger

Put a post together, but it needs visuals. And guess who's not in the mood to upload? (Hint--not me. I wanted to have this all done before I went to bed tonight.)

Will have a real post with photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Happy New Year!!!!

Hanging around Pagan Place, you found out about all sorts of calendars. It seemed like the group couldn't even agre on what DAY it was, never mind anything of import. Come to think of it, that was the way the whole family disfunctioned. We got there eventually.

There were a few die hards who led their lives according to the Gregorian calendar, falling further and further behind. At least one fella followed the Aztec calendar--I wonder how he's coping now that the end of days has passed? I always liked the celtic tradition, where the year ends at the first full moon in Scorpio. Samhain.

So the new year is coming, and it's time to clear away and finish that which is hanging on from the old year. Time to lie fallow through the winter, wrapping up and getting ready for the spring and the bursting of life to follow.

So I'm trying to get some new habits going in preparation for a blossoming sroing and a fruitful summer to follow. For some time I've limited the number of projects going so as to avoid overload, and now I've started listing them on a database (with a note as to the size of the thing, having stuck myself with five huge AND complex projects at the same time this summer!!! A FO, a FO, my kingdom for a FO!)

And of course the muse has come out of summer's too hot estivation and is babbling in my ear about all the fun ideas she has . . . during a time whan all I want is to wind down. The holidays are manic enough without trying to begin a bazillion lace projects (and that's all that would satisfy her, too. I have a sportweight lacy blanket for Linus that I started around Christmas last year, a laceweight lace shawl for me me me {another lesson learned--I have to have something going for me, even if I don't work on it obsessively}and a moose lace blanket for Linus using multiple strands held as one.) Dicomultivocuus wants me to start working on the Arizona shawl I have promised Terpsichore (a laceweight soysilk confection) and to start working on a Russian lace shawl (also laceweight, preferably cashmere, oh, and while you're at it, it would be nice to whip up some knitted ATC's using the froghair cotton in stash.

Yes. Yes it would. No, it isn't going to happen.

Not yet, at any rate. Not until I get some of this off my plate.

Because I had promised myself a spanking new story for the winterfest this year, and I had meant to be a better blogger. I'm no Joe Ito, by any means, blogging what I had for lunch as I'm eating it (can you imagine dating someone like that? Wondering if he's really typing a message back to the office, or bragging about your imaginative skills with peanut butter? Ewwwww.) The paradox of creating is that the more you create, the more you create. The more you learn that everyone has 100 bad paintings inside them, and the sooner you crank the bad ones out, you can start getting to the good stuff. If you quit in the middle, well, there you'll be, in the middle of crappy work (or at least, work that dissatisfies you), whatever you had learned draining away so that slowly you trickle right back to your first bad work. ("Nice cat, honey. That really looks like Poofy." "It's a GIRAFFE, Daddy!")

So in order to keep the words moving and the ideas flowing, I started musing out loud. (At least this way I don't get stopped for walking down the street, mumbling and gesticulating to the voices in my head.) And then life crept up and got in the way of updating three times a week (and then once a week, and then once every two weeks . . .)

So I stole an idea from the gamer I used to be, and figured that if I rolled a six-sided die (a d6, in other words) and added 1 to the result, I'd be posting at least once a week, without feeling like I ought to wait for someting momentous to happen. (As Danny Gregory says, everydaymatters. Place the spaces where you will.)

So, new habit for the new year. Roll dem bones and keep on rolling. See you next Tuesday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Spike Needs to Post More Often . . .

. . . but right now, Spike is undergoing meltdown. (Today tastes like heavy water and chocolate.)

Too much life, not enough time.

Just realized my blogiversary was October 6. Ten days ago. If I send my blog roses, will it forgive me? Will it call my name in the midddle of the night? Will it put an arm around me during the long hazy grey lead days of winter to come?

Or will it sniff and tell me to find comfort among the postcards and knitted froghair lace?

Found a meme that looked like fun; results below. You go to Google, punch in "{your name here) needs" and then post the ten results to your blog/journal/external brain. I deleted the really gackin' Buffy references, cause, well, I can. If you've gotta see 'em, you have fingers, too.

1. Spike needs a scrub.
2. Spike needs volunteers.
3. Spike needs to go and resketch the entrance for Yancy #2, this can be done during the week.

4. Spike needs to move them to a earlier time,people are not gonna watch this at 11pm.

5. Spike needs to have something to aim for, to win the girl, lose the girl, something like that.

6. Spike needs to figure out who he is.
7. Spike needs to freely make that decision.
8. Spike needs a hit original show.
9. Spike needs a home where someone is home a lot during the day.
10. Spike needs to be able to mark events as "consumed."

Ok, memes are one short step up the evolutionary ladder from Quizilla posts, but every babystep counts. See ya in 1d6 + 1.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Back Down From the Mountain

Woof. Why does sitting still for hours and hours make you tired??

We went up to Greer, First Consort Gareth, Lynchpin, Hub, Mischief, RagDoll, and I; for to prepare the cabin for the annual storyfest that serves as an antidote to the saccharine goo of Xcessmass.

We chopped a metric boatload of wood, spandified the place, prepared and served a four-course dinner Saturday with paired wines, and then got snowed on while we re-packed the cars and headed downhill.

I finally found a subject worthy of spending the last gasp of my cellphone's batteries on--

--an elk skull FC Gareth's Uncle D found in the woods. Clearly the elk had dropped of natural causes, so Uncle D cleaned the skull, and arranged it here, on the back porch under the upper deck by the door of the Tunnel to Everything.

Prayers and good wished for Uncle D please--he's having some serious health issues. In my family, we'd cite the punchline to an old joke, and say, "He's on the roof."* Thanks.

*Guy comes back from vacation, asks his brother/roommate what happened while he was away. B/R replies, "Oh, the cat died." Guy is crestfallen. Tells B/R that when there's bad news to share, you break it gently. "Se, you should have told me that the cat was on the roof. Then a couple days later, mention you hadn't seen her for a while and you were getting worried, a little. Then tell me, oh, you found the cat, and she had died. Get it?"

B/R is nodding his head all through this diatribe. "I got it." he says.

"So how's Mom?"

"Uhhhhhhmmmmmm . . . she's on the roof?"

(rim shot--ba-dum-bum-CHING!)