••• Friday, August 29, 2003
I have some GGH Samoa left over from an unfinished Rebecca sweater I started several years back. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was quite intrigued (disbelieving?) with my claim that I knew how to knit, because I met him during my crafty hiatus. I started the sweater (a cropped v-neck cable pullover), and shortly after we became engaged (coincidence? I don't think so).
With only a few months to sell a house, prepare to move and plan a wedding, the sweater was stashed away. In the meantime, I gained 10 pounds. No way this sweater will fit me now, so I abandoned it.
Anyhoo. I have this lovely yarn and a lovely pattern (called Nantucket Brocade) from the Knitting the New Classics anthology (Nicholas) and I'm fixin' to finish it this weekend to wear to work next week. Really.
Hopefully, this project will be a feather in my cap. If not, I like the literary potential of nasty thoughts that rhyme with Nantucket.
••• Tuesday, August 26, 2003
For the record, I think it's just wrong that summer keeps marching on (albeit to a slower step) after school resumes. If not snowing, it should at least be frosting or something.
As is typically my style, I waited until the last minute to cram a few summer "to-do" items into the last weekend of summer. One of those items was getting my daughter to the zoo.
Picture Narrative: Cakers not happy to hear that summer is over but Mama so brave to hide pain behind denture-style smile. Readers wonder, what zoo? Try scratch n sniff monitor to fully appreciate experience of nearby island of monkeys with nasty things hanging from nasty places. note:High resolution monitor and two shots of tequila required for this function.
The Suki bag is stalled. The strap didn't felt proper and it's way too long. And I can't make another because I'm out of that color of dyed yarn, and besides, who's to say that I wouldn't just mess it up again, anyway?
In consideration of my recent string of fiber failures, I have come to the conclusion that I have turned into The Hapless Knitter or is it.....The Most Unfortunate Knitter...?
I've got it. I'm Deputy Knitter Barney Fife. I'm the wink-wink nudge dufus of Knitblog RFD.
I may look, walk and talk the knitter, but truth be, the Sheriff keeps all my knitting tools locked in safe down at the station. I'm only allowed to use them under dy-reckt supervision.
Further Barney Theory Substantiation: I initially read Chicknits as Chick Nits, as in lice eggs on baby hens. I figured it musta been a big-city, inside joke thangy.
So there you have it. Having made this confession, I somehow feel emancipated from something ugly and oppressive. I feel free and oddly refreshed.
No more ruse of competency. The jig is up.
Welcome to my Fifedom.
••• Sunday, August 24, 2003
Me: No, why?
Husband: What's that noise?
Me: It sounds like a neurotic labrador with poor impulse control and even poorer outcome prediction skills has chewed his way through the bottom of a large Chinese take-out bag and is trying to get free before he gets his garbage-grubbin'-poop-eatin' ass in a heap-o-trouble. But I could be wrong.
At this writing, Cheddar the Dog maintains he is innocent of all allegations.
And taking Dummern a Baguvfur to new heights
••• Friday, August 22, 2003
La Bouche Bag tells me to think outside the sack.
Following are what I consider the three most feasible outcome options for this project:
2. Saddlebag Suki (evidently with no flash and that's the ruffle of my jammies)
3. Psycho Psuki
I guess the status quo doesn't look so bad in the photo but it's very wide around. I'm thinking to go with option 2.
The Missing Link
My husband read my last post and commented that it was disappointingly dull. In fact, he didn't really "get it" and what's up with those weird words he'd never heard of?
I admitted to it not being my best work, but hey, I clocked 12 hours of work this week.
"Did you check out the links?"
••• Thursday, August 21, 2003
That word up there, by the way, is one of my favorites. I have a kind of quirky habit of perusing dictionaries and thesaurii for no apparent reason. From reading hard copy dictionaries I have moved on to Yahoo's online American Heritage Dictionary where you can elect to hear the pronunciation of the selected word.
Sometimes at work I get a little distracted and wander off into my audio-fantasy world of diction. If my volume is on high (unbeknownst) I might startle a nearby co-worker or client. Lucky for me, I don't work with a bunch of pettifoggers who might take issue with the perceived misuse of company keyboard.
Dummern a Baguvfur
My Suki has taken a turn for the sucky. It's my fault, and I'm willing to carry that baggage. That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed. The top came out way too wide, because I doubled the fur yarn. I wasn't really thinking (duh-viously) about the full impact on the felting process but was only wanting my Suki to be the most furtabulous it could be. I've felted two times. It fits over the hood of a Weber Grill. No pictures yet. I'm going to wait until I get a good handle (or two) on it.
Daddy Delivery Service just showed up with an adorable toddler-size package. I gotta get some a dat.
Labels: I Work Too
••• Monday, August 18, 2003
And please, I'm not asking for sympathy or pity. Neither am I complaining...really, I'm not. But there's something about the close of this annual 10 week indulgence that makes me feel like a spoiled brat and totally unappreciative of what I have been bestowed. I always want more. More! More! More!
I know how lucky I am. I used to work in the "real world," sort of. I worked for 13 years in a residential facility for adolescents. My job details included expected (or hoped for) after work-hours availability, for consultation as needed. If I didn't get at least one call a night, it would be unusual. One weekend a month, I had to carry an on-call pager to be available for consultation on all the clients (about 40 kids).
Working with this caliber of client, in this particular setting, there was hardly ever a dull moment. But neither was there any getting away from it. The agency provided four weeks of paid vacation (to counter the sucky pay and high stress levels) but I never dared take a two week block at any time because:
1) if you didn't leave town, they'd call ya anyway.
2) Two weeks away would usually mean four weeks of cleaning up upon return.
3) No matter how long the vacation, or how far away...my mind never left the place for long.
And there was never a definitive feeling of being "done." The day after a student was discharged, another was placed. When school was out for the summer, the kids came "home" to us. They were our responsibility every hour of every day for 10 weeks.
But working in a school system, every June my job comes to an end, followed by a splendid hiatus. It always comes to and end, mind you. I couldn't stop it if I wanted to (as if). No matter how bad a year, no matter how stressful or how many stupid things I did, we all get to leave in June.
Truly, I am very, very appreciative of this perk. Therefore I am always surprised and appalled at the butt-kicking, breath-stealing resentment I experience when the "Hope You had a Restful Summer But Now it's Time to Get Your Slackin' Asses Back to Work" memos begin arriving in the mail, mid-August.
Resentment aside, these memos are a good idea for easing the vacationer back into more grueling climes. Like the snooze function on the alarm clock.
First Alarm: An envelope arrives in the mail, with my employer's return address.
I don't open it. ::hit snooze::
Second Alarm: Three days later, a second envelope from my department supervisor arrives. I open it because it might contain some interesting personnel/policy scoops. Enclosed is an agenda for our first day back. On the 21st. The 21st? We have to go back on the 21st? I'll bet that first alarm letter mentioned that. I should open that....some time.
I don't open it again. ::hit snooze second time::
Third Alarm: I am reminded that my daycare provider takes a vacation that first week I'm back to work. I probably need to make alternate daycare arrangements. I'll bet the alternate arrangee needs some information...dates, times, etc.
::okay, I'm up::
So now I'm awake, but I'm not happy. They expect me to come back to work..already? And they're probably going to want something from me, like a thought or an idea.
Once I get through this week (or two) of grieving the loss of projects unknit, beaches unvisited and Blogs unwritten, I really will be happy to get back to the grind. I miss the rapport and banter of cohorts. I miss the kids and their sweet, adolescent goofs.
And truth be, I'm not cut out to be a stay at home human. I'm disorganized, I procrastinate and am easily distracted. I don't supervise myself very well and neither do I readily accept supervision. I'm the only person I know who can make a mess while cleaning. If I spend the morning spinning my tires, I'll likely spend the afternoon contemplating the resulting tread marks. And then there's the toilet paper factor. I've made the discovery that the more time people spend in the home, the more toilet paper they use. I'm tired of the changing rolls.
And I really love my job. I just want one more week.
Bagging it Up
I started the Suki-like bag. It's going pretty fast and is lots of fun. I took some artistic license with the design. Mostly in using only two colors. I didn't really like the pink with the other two.
I also added a row each to the color blocks. I would like to say that this decision was based on some kind of artistic vision in relation to going from three colors to two. I would like to say that, but I can't. It's because on the first color pattern series, I counted two rows, when there really three. I didn't catch it until I realized that the larger block was a row longer than I thought as well. Odd, I've always been able to count rows pretty well...maybe it's a circular thing.
You might be wondering about the interesting, perhaps even pleasantly surprising color choice for the eyelash. I'd like to say I had an artistically surprising vision of something unpredictable, yet effective. I'd like to say that, but I can't. Truth be, I was hot to trot to start this project and the only readily available yarn source was Michael's. This Lion's eyelash color was the only one that had a hint of either color in it. A hint of lemon-lime green is evident.... in a certain light.
My Mission Falls Turtleneck kit arrived. My stash is increasing much faster than I am able to put it away, let alone knit it. Unfortunately, this item will probably be topping my projects to consider list next summer...so far away. ::sigh:: But the colors are pretty and its very soft.
I really need to get going. I have about 10 weeks worth of laundry awaiting perusal in the basement. You think I'm kidding.....
edited 8-19-03 12:10 am
••• Friday, August 15, 2003
One of my goals for the summer was to try my hand at dying yarn. The Kool-Aid method seemed to me the best choice for a dyeing maiden voyage.
But for some reason, this task grew monumental in my head. Even though I really wanted to do it, I put it off, week after week. ::Well, I think I have an idea why I put off this experiment some days. It required a clean kitchen.::
With today being the last day of my last full week of summer break, I thought it a good day to dye.
Oh Man, did I have fun....
I done dyed and gone to heaven.
I tried the stovetop method and the microwave. The first time I used stovetop method (as described in article) the dye was absorbed inconsistently and I had significant splotches on one hank, which left the other hank a little light in luminosity. A clear example of the "haves" vs. "have nots."
I solved that problem in the next batch by having nearly all the water in the pot before adding the yarn, which is different from the directions, which direct to add most of the water after yarn is in the pot. The second batch turned out much better, but there was still some mild unevenness in color. I think the yarn closest to the heat source absorbed the dye faster.
The microwave method seemed to be the cleanest and results were more consistent.
And may I present to you.....The Misses Lemon Lime, Blue Raspberry Lemonade and Strawberry Kiwi something.
I hung them to dry from a little tree in the front yard. Cotton candy hobgoblins, wilting in the hot mug.
Today's candilicious product will be crafted into the illustrious Suki. I am so stoked to get going on this, I had to distract my brain from fanticizing methods for fast drying wool.
Sukisukisukisukisukisukisuki Suuuu! That's from a song from back in the day. I always hear it when I see name "Suki." I can't for the life of me remember who sang it or even what song it was from. I do remember drunk people liking to sing it real loud at parties.
On Wednesday, my stash delish arrived from the Threadbear Fiber Arts Studio This is Cascade Indulgence in Kiwi.
I'm thinking a simple, elegant turtle something for the Indulgence. I've sent for the Classic Elite pattern on the back of recent VK, for consideration anyway. I also like the Bohemian turtle in VK Fall, but I'd have to mess with the gauge a bit. I like to mess around, but I don't necessarily like to mess.
Dying takes alot out of a person.
••• Wednesday, August 13, 2003
Yes, I've started anew, after a string of failed hygienic relationships.
For I am a dentist ho.
I've a reputation for swishing around.
I'm a strumpet for uncharted sterile venues and cutting edge lectures on flossing.
I've even opened wider for two dentists in the same building (Not on the same day. I have standards.).
Recently I decided that it's time to settle down so, along with my husband, have committed allegiance to a Dr. Bristle.
But I'm having second thoughts. I'm thinking that maybe we all should've dated awhile before making any promises.
There's something weird about this place. I've come to the conclusion that all the employees have had their brains sucked out (probably via the suction hose...I'm sure they've sucked some brain matter through my sinus cavities) and replaced with a software from which is elicited only proper dental care etiquette, rhetoric and propaganda.
I've joined the Stepford Wives Dental Practice of Oral Purity.
Yesterday I was fitted for a crown. They did about three impressions. Each time she removed the gunk, the Assistant said "Super job, Marcia. Thank you!" Thank you? For what? For not swallowing the two inch globular of silly putty? For making a good impression?
I once tested my Stepford hypothesis by blurting out "my dog eats poop" in the middle of the hygienist's speech on gum disease. It took a few seconds (and I swear I heard the hard drive chuggin') before she came back with "Eating poop can lead to bad breath and irreparable tooth discoloration."
I think the office manager has an upgraded system which includes proper verbage for selling advanced restorative services and filling empty appointment pages. She commits to memory every patient's insurance allowance, deductibles and renewal dates.
Strange as this bunch is, I'm thinking that I might hang around awhile. Maybe I'm finding comfort in the benign predictability of scripted relationships. Maybe I appreciate that they've reprogrammed everyone to laugh at my cornball comments.
Or maybe I heard a rumor that they've hired a new girl with Cyber Cafe and ATM capabilities.
By the Skein of my Teeth
Today (Wednesday) I'm expecting delivery of a package of yarn. Six skeins of Indulgence. I call it Limy Green, they call it something like "Get- Another- Hook -in- her- Before -Totally -Reeling -her- in- Green." "They" is the Teddies at Threadbear Fiber Arts Studio. The Indulgence is a steal....at half off.
I remember my momma telling me to beware of strangers. And if a stranger in the park offers you a bag, she implored, just turn and run. Run Away. Momma knew her stuff.
••• Saturday, August 09, 2003
I've been making nice.
I've been making mice.
So far I've stuffed four and have two drying (I'm giving them a hot rinse and a brisk hand job for some fur fluffin' effect).
::I hope my husband doesn't read this. I still owe him an anniversary kiss::
Of course these mice will be contributions to Wendy's Charity Mouse-a-thon.
The first mouse I made, I gave to my cat Bella, or Bella Booksy, or The Boosky. And on a particularly musical kind of day, Boosky Patoosky, Sweet as Fluffin' Pie.
That first mouse was the standard pattern provided at Wendy's site. But I'm not sure if I made it right, as it looks kind of like a flying squirrel, or Darth Vader, or maybe a stealth bomber. On that last one I wouldn't know that fur sure, 'cause how stealth could a bomber be if I was ever able to see it?
I haven't seen a clear picture of a catnip mouse prototype, so I took some liberties.
Bob the Game Show Host: In the Great Mousathon of 2003, how did Marcy improve her Mousy?
Game Show Contestant: That would have to be in the butt Bob. She gave him a tuck in the butt.
Well, here's to getting a little behind and otherwise happy endings.
••• Friday, August 08, 2003
And her taste in blog templates? Like buttah!
••• Thursday, August 07, 2003
Before finding Sasha, we looked at several daycare providers. The place my husband has dubbed "Children of the Corn" Daycare was the worst. 'Nuff said.
Another place was well-reputed (YMCA) but huge. While waiting to begin the tour/interview, I saw two child care workers pushing a tiered, twelve unit condominium stroller down the hallway. It was packed and stacked with babies. I started crying and continued so through the interview and tour. Not only embarrassing, it's hard to ask the tough questions while stifling a snot blob.
So, we are really lucky to have Sasha, who has raised several children of her own and has run a day care out of her home for the past 12 years. She and her husband are immigrants from Eastern Europe. She holds a degree in Child Development and was a pre-school teacher in the "old country." All meals served to the children are from scratch and kosher. The weekly menu includes salmon, mac n cheese, cabbage rolls, stews and soups. The Friday before Father's Day, she sent home "take-out" orders of cabbage rolls for all the dads. She's truly a care provider.
When we interviewed with Sasha, she warned that the children in her care get so accustomed to
her great cooking, they may not eat well at home. I remember at the time thinking "We'll see." I fancy myself as a damn good cook.
Well, fancy this. My daughter won't eat anything I put in front of her except for cereal ("yeeyoo"), peanut butter toast, and any bread item with melted cheese.
This week at daycare Ana reportedly ate two helpings of Sasha's beef stew. She ate meat? I asked. Well yes! Doesn't she eat meat for you? No. Chicken? No.
She picks it, flicks it, and adds an "ocky" for good measure.
Says Sasha, She always eat so good for me. But I cook meat very tender.
I really do love Sasha. But a comment like this rouses my inner Aunt Bea, whose meat is always cooked to perfection and tender as a mother's heart on payday. You might remember that Aunt Bea also had a competitive streak when it came to issues of domestic prowess.
I want my daughter to eat my cooking. I want her to love to eat my cooking. Evidently Ana's not interested in playing the prescribed role in my vision. I have to respect that and follow her pace.
So yesterday I decided to make my culinary contribution through a bit of whimsy. One big fat blueberry, smack dab in the middle of her yeeyoo.
She's never had a blueberry before. She giggled. She poked. She rolled it on the table. She called it "ball" ::redflag:: I went away for a minute and when I returned, the berry was gone. I looked on the floor, in the bowl and in her seat. I felt kind of disappointed that I missed her response to the taste (probably an Mmmmm). But I was satisfied it was gone. Aunt Bea smiled smuggly, and sat on the couch to knit.
An hour later I'm walking in the hallway outside of the "gated community" where Ana resides. It's her favorite place to throw balls over the gate, then scream for retrieval. On the floor are two quarter-sized dark red splats on our light beige carpet. It was the big fat blueberry, eviscerated.
I hadn't asked or hoped for much. I just wanted to provide her with a novel, enjoyable eating experience. And a good enough feeling for myself. And...there...right there....in a couple of two-bit blobs, my hope lies bleeding on the floor.
Sasha would say Don't give blueberry to baby.
Aunt Bea would wring a towel and say, Oh Opy!
I say Thank God for OxyClean.
I'm making catnip mice for Wendy's charity event. I partially felted a few of them because the seed stitch seemed holey. The felting made for lovely fur and I like the look better than the non-felted. So far the mice have used up one skein out of 90 (yes, 9-0) of some ancient dk tweed wool I bought on ebay a while back (for less than a buck a skein). Other plans for this yarn include a felt bag, felt slippers, and a tent.
The mice knit up easily, so I was able to crank out three in short order. They are kind of strange looking, pre-stuffing. Bulbous in a triangularly phallic kind of way.
And on that ribald note, my tail is done.
Labels: From My Loins
••• Tuesday, August 05, 2003
I think I got it.
Ana Cakes...about 4 months old. Fresh outta the tub. Not bad for ol' Raisin Eggs. eh?
Husband went to Indiana to see Bob Dylan and the Gratefully Remaining Dead. He planned on meeting a friend from Moberly, Missouri, but was stood up at the last minute. He went alone...wearing his "Tangled up in Blue" baseball cap and totally preppy shorts and shirt. I hope Bob appreciates the devotion.
Nothing much to report. I have about 6 inches on the Noro scarf. My right hand is kind of tight from my continental play yesterday.
Speaking of fans, I've had some complaints regarding my plans to shorten posts. I appreciate the support and not to worry. I'm pretty sure I couldn't do it anyway, not without losing whatever it is I get out of doing this.
Today's post is short...because it is.
Labels: From My Loins
••• Monday, August 04, 2003
A special thanks to Tracy at SweaterGirl for pulling the Picknit together and for being the first to try my pie. I was also very excited to meet fellow Knit Bloggers Sarah (Handknitter),Lynne (Colorjoy!), Daphne (Serial Knitter) and Debbi (Trixie Chick) as well as knitters Tony, Judith, Anne, Jessie and Rachel.
I appreciate the warm welcome from all. And at the risk of sounding cliche or trite, I immediately felt at home with these fine folk. For those interested, Picknit pictures can be found at Colorjoy! and Handknitter.
Later in the day, a surprise visit from Threadbear Fiber Arts Studio proprietors Rob and Matt (respective blogs: BlackDog, Crowing Ram) appeared to be a crowd pleaser, particuarly with the group's veteran members.
You don't have to be around Knitting Blogville long to appreciate Rob and Matt's fibrous reputation 'round these parts. Doubly exciting was the generous Grab-bag they offered to every Picknitter. I'm happy to say that I ended up with the Bag Coup de Jour having garnered two skeins of "Cascade Indulgence" and a felted glove pattern by Nancy Lindberg.
Knitting has always been a lone sport for me. Even though knitting groups have been around forever, I never chose to involve myself with any. So attending this event was a red-letter-shave-both-legs-and-all-three-big-toes kinda day for me.
I think that knitting all these years in solitude made it easier for me to become complacent about my skill development. Maybe it's easier to wallow in the comfort zone when there is no one to encourage or tease you out. Casein point: Yesterday I was kind of nervous with the idea of knitting and felting gloves out of the glorious Indulgence. When Tracy helped me carry stuff to my car, I shared with her my trepidation. Her quick encouragement and assurances that I could do it immediately lead to me thinking "hell yeah, I can do this. Pour me another tequila, Sheila. " ( I don't know where that last thing came from, as I hadn't had any tequila, although I smelt some).
And I came up with an improved skill development plan for making the gloves. Per Tracy's suggestion, I'm going to knit some mittens for warm up. Then I'm going to make my husband some felted gloves out of this old wool I bought for the sole purpose of learning how to felt. I have 90 skeins, plenty of room for Fullagains.
Tracy also took a second and showed me the continental method, and recommended that I try it out on an all garter pattern for starters. Today, already, I knit two rows in continental on my scarf. I must admit that it was slow going (remember Marilyn on Northern Exposure? think slower). I abandoned it because the Noro yarn is too goofy for developing a new left-handed yarn grip. But I have a plan to practice garter stitch doll blanket for my daughter. Poor thing's been wrapping baby in a towel.
Other Highlights of the Day
Entering a new social situation can be a bit unnerving. Therefore I was highly appreciative of Matt's dog getting a leg up on setting a newbie gaffe standard I could never achieve.
My Kutie Kia zipped nicely along the highway. On the ride home I was able to try out some bells and whistles as we went through a mini-monsoon. This baby picks up speed very quickly. I was worried about being pulled over for speeding then getting a second citation for suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with an animal fiber. I'm tellin' ya, that Indulgence makes me think things.
I'd recently resolved to make my blog posts shorter.
I'll try that approach next time.
••• Saturday, August 02, 2003
It happened after the official papers were signed, when the pencil neckster was trying to sell me some extras. I don't mind the premise of the sales pitch for extended warrantees and disability insurance. I understand the guy's trying to make a living. It was during the chat about "gap" insurance when I started to get nervous.
Gap insurance covers the "gap" between the car's Blue Book value and what you owe, in the event the car is totalled in a collision. The pitch was mostly blah blah yadda blah until the anal looked me straight in the eye and said "Kias depreciate faster than most makes. In fact, when you pull out of this parking lot today, whether you go right or left, your car will immediately depreciate in value." Choke.
And he wasn't done there. He went on to tell how he recently saw a three-year-old Kia for sale by owner, $2500. It's frightening, he said.
So I quickly agreed to the"gap" insurance, even though my husband shook his head. But I wasn't thinking of the out-of-pocket risks. I was thinking only of the quickest way out of there. I was in a hurry to drive my car while she was still in her prime (a time frame I now believed to be about the next 45 minutes). I saw myself running stoplights and racing trains to maximize what remained of our "valuable" time together. I signed the papers because a potentially wonderful relationship was depreciating faster than the ink was drying.
I'm feeling better now. I had an epiphany.
My husband is four years younger than I am, and never before married. After we were engaged, I often asked him if he knew what he was doing, hitching himself to a middle-aged woman. I'd been around the block. My eggs were rotting in the pod. I was depreciating.
But he didn't care about that. And before God, family and friends, he made all the promises. Afterwards he signed all the papers. And he waived the gap insurance.
As far as I'm concerned, depreciation doesn't get any better than that.
Labels: Kia Mia