Archive for November, 2006

Up to here

I am upset.
I am just about ready to scream highly offensive things at inappropriate times.
I am close to saying Just Fuck Away Off You Damned Inconsiderate Bastard to several people (or groups of people) (or my own body).
I can’t do this because these are people (or groups of people) (or body parts) with whom I must share some part of my life or space or time, and can’t afford to anger them in the way that would please me most.
The weather (grey and dreary and unseasonal) isn’t helping.

Dare I knit? It soothes the savage beast, but will the savage beast scare the stitches into tiny shrunken unusable versions of themselves?

And of course this whole rant was just made to sound WAY more pathetic and whiney by a co-worker who dealt with four very pleasant people at the Reference Desk just now, and whose mood was vastly improved because of it. Dammit.

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This post is essentially a “homage” (a better word than “rip-off” I feel) to Femiknitter‘s most recent post, because it’s Sunday and what the hell — I’m going to say some of the same things, so why not acknowledge the similarity (or “rip-off”) and just go with it? Why not indeed.

My Thanksgivings (one on Thursday, one on Friday) were good, overall. The one on Thursday was laid-back, calm, and had an 11-month-old baby to entertain the family. The one on Friday was, um, not as laid-back or calm, was running late on everything which contributed to my bread not rising, and didn’t have a cute baby to entertain us all. Although my grandmother did keep touching my stomach and hinting that I should be pregnant, a joke that was kept up all day despite my many glasses of wine. Obviously, I ought to be knocked up after only four months of marriage. Delightful! I love my family!!

But everything was easier to deal with when I thought of the totally awesome package sent to me by none other than Femiknitter, which arrived on Wednesday. (click to bigginate)

(everyone tries to lick their elbow. I did. So did Femiknitter. In the store.)

She sent me Vesper sock yarn in Tartan! I’ve been looking at Vesper and wanting to try it out, and she totally read my mind. I love the Tartan colors, very winter-cozy-by-the-fire.

Of course, it remains to be seen how fast this yarn becomes socks. Have you seen a completed sock on this blog? Or on hers? No, you haven’t because there are none. Maybe this is the push I need to stop hoarding sock yarn and make some damn socks, already. Maybe.

The last time we hung out, Femiknitter told me about this musician and this CD, with music all about the great and mispronounced state of Illinois. And now I have my own copy.

And this was a complete surprise — she loaned me The West Wing! I have never seen this show, and now I can watch enough to get myself completely hooked and desperate for more. Yes!

Hooray for happy packages that lighten the holiday mood!

And because she did it, I’m doing it too:

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Knitting content should grace the pixels of this blog soon. I’m making good progress on the Margaret Scarf, I think. And I’m considering casting on for something for me. And there is wee knitting to show off, and additional wee knitting to consider casting on.

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First, thank you to everyone who thought about Nick and I (whether you commented on the post or not) over the weekend. We both read the comments and felt warm fuzzies in the form of knitterly support. Thank you.

ETA: to answer Pica’s question about the deer — yes, it is totally dead. Our car is still in the hands of the body shop, and we haven’t heard from them yet. And I get to take Nick’s sutures out tomorrow morning. (!!!)

Second, due to the impending holiday my knitting is taking a backseat to the madness of preparation and logistic impossibilities that come up when two people are suddenly thrust into one-car-having when they are accustomed to two-car-having. I have today off work and would love to say that I’ll be spending it knitting away at some lovely thing while listening to the mellifluous tones of Jim Dale reading Harry Potter. But alas. I have to pre-prepare our Thanksgiving meal, organize my errands to take place in very close proximity to one another, and bake some bread.

I’m actually pretty excited about the bread — I bought a bread cookbook (a bakebook?) a few months ago and it’s got all these recipes from around the world, and it’s very very cool. When I brought it home and showed it to Nick, he mentioned a bread he knew from childhood that was the epitome of breads, the best of breads, and it was called Olive Oil Bread. The other day I flipped the pages of my new bakebook and came across Olive Oil Bread. I’m going to make it for him (and share it with the rest of the family, of course) and I’m totally excited about it. Whee!

Third, nature photos.

And that is all, for I am tired and must away. Tune in next time, when we hope to bring you more knitting content, of the no-reason-to-panic variety.

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Yesterday was the first day of firearm deer hunting season in this part of Illinois (possibly for the whole state. I don’t know.). It is also mating season for the deer. This combination of sexy hormones and un-sexy fear makes the deer go completely batshit crazy.

Just how batshit crazy do they go?

Well, one went so batshit crazy that it attempted to LEAP OVER MY HUSBAND’S CAR while he was driving 65 miles per hour. And missed.

The car caught the buck in the ribs, its head caved in the windshield (but did not go through), its hind end hit the driver’s side window and shattered that entire thing, and rolled up over the roof.

Nick is fine. He has a lot of superficial cuts on his face, but he’s fine. The car is less fine, but is getting taken care of (hello insurance! I love you!).

He called me just after 11:00am yesterday, while I was on my break at work and (oddly) in the middle of writing another blog post. An ambulance came out (really, he’s fine — it’s just procedure) and took him to the closest hospital and I left work as soon as I found out where he was going.

Have any of you (my three readers) had to do something like this — drive somewhere unfamiliar in a stressful situation? I had no idea where I was, but I was watching for those blue “H” signs that directed me to the hospital. I had no idea where I parked, or how I got in the door. My mind wasn’t really on those unimportant details.

When I got there and saw him kind of bloody (superficial cuts to the head generally bleed more than you think possible — think professional wrestling), I lost my cool for a moment and cried, but recovered because really, he was fine and he was hugging me and it was all okay. Then I helped him get the glass off his head and clothes, and kept wanting to hug him every 30 seconds. We waited a long time for the doctor (another, more urgent case was helicoptered in) and I knit on the only thing I had in my bag, the candy striped sock, to keep myself from flipping out (because even though I knew everything was okay, and he was okay, and I could see him in front of me being very visibly okay, I was still dealing with the adrenalin and what-could-have-happened. Fun!!).

Of course, for the life of me I couldn’t remember how to make the pattern when I pulled out the sock. It just went completely out of my head. What was I going to do, not knit? I just knit plain around, because I think I forgot how to purl as well.

Everything is okay. Nick is okay (two stitches, which I watched with much fascination and enthusiasm, for which I felt only slightly guilty), the car is being taken care of, and I have my husband (of three months) home with me and I can hug him whenever I want. So it’s all okay.

And that, my friends, is why I hate the deer.

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I try to find balance when I complain about crappy things by thinking of an equal number of happy things. Sometimes the happy things distract me from the crappy things. Try it. It may improve your mood. Maybe.

And the number seven came out of nowhere, except that was the number of things I was bitching about the first time I tried this. And it’s four today, because I am tired. See #1 immediately below.

I Can Certainly Live Without These Things
1. This chest cold. I started to type out a description of my experience with this cold, but even I got grossed out. So, I have this chest cold and it completely sucks.

2. This grey, gloomy weather. The lighting is no good for taking yarn pictures.

3. The fact that — after 26 years of working as a team — my left eye is now worse than my right eye, lens-prescription-wise. When I got glasses for the first time back in 6th grade, my eyes were the same prescription. They’ve continued working well together (and saving me money, because when I lost one contact lens, I could just use one from another set and not have to worry about which eye it belonged to) for 14 years, until last week. Then the left one went all wonky. The sinister bastard.

4. My apartment … well, I suppose I need it for the shelter and all, but damn is it feeling small right now. And dirty (not its fault — I’ve been sick and Nick and I have both been busy). And annoying (I challenge you to get anything out of my microwave or nearby cupboards without hitting your head on the stove hood). And small. Quite, quite small. Not designed to hold all our stuff. Sigh.

I Cannot Live Without These Things
1. Wendy Bernard‘s new pattern Sahara (over at StitchDiva). I am more than a bit smitten with this sweater. I’m ignoring the fact that the blurb says it’s an intermediate project, because in my brain I *am* an intermediate knitter, not a mere new-to-sweaters, can’t-finish-anything kinda knitter. I will make this sweater, as [insert deity here] is my witness!

Seriously, this thing is beeeyoooteeful and it calls to me with a sweet, sweet voice made of silk and candy. Because I have a hundred other projects on the needles/hooks (in various stages of construction) I’ll have to wait on this one, but that just gives me time to dream and lose weight. Perfect!!

2. Classic Elite’s Tweed Four (booklet 9078). I have an unhealthy need to make the cover sweater (the brown one with cabley goodness on the chest above the boobal area), possibly in a pretty, deep red. I showed the pattern to Nick and he made the “ehhn” face and said “I don’t like the twisty things.” You mean the cables? The beautiful cables? The design feature to which I have pledged my very life? “Um, yes?” No, silly beloved man, no. You may not dislike those cables, for they are the essence of all that is good upon this earth.

3. Myrna by White Lies Designs. This is another perfect sweater, although I see a stripe-free and longer sleeve on this sweater in my future. The sweater is great, but I think the stripes create a bit of a target, look-RIGHT-here effect and that’s something I can really do without, to be honest. We don’t need to draw attention that much. The design is beautiful, and simple, and tres 1940s, and oh yes it is also MADE WITH RIBBING. We have discovered the true root of my obsession.

4. Lizard Ridge by Laura Aylor in the last Knitty. My first thought when I saw this pattern was, for some reason, “ehhn.” Probably because it’s an afghan and knitting something as large as an afghan intimidates the bejeezus right out of me. But as I kept looking at it (because I return to websites that haven’t changed to stare at the pretty pictures. What?), it grew on me like … something growy that isn’t disgusting (I’ll think of something in a minute). I love the bright colors and how they go together, I love the wavy stitch pattern, I love the fact that it’s made of blocks and therefore (a) is portable and (b) can be worked over a long time. Because the thought of going out and purchasing 21 balls of Noro Kureyon right now makes me break out in hives. But I can do one at a time, and perhaps convince my Mom &/or Nick that Noro makes a great stocking-stuffer.

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One of Four

I have finished one of the four promised bridesmaid gifts. This one is Maribeth’s scarf, finished posthaste after a pointed observation about the growing chill in the air.

It’s the FO I mentioned before, and here it is all pinned out for her block party. Heh.

Left = before; right = during. I love how the ribs have opened up.

Here it is all foldy. I’m totally impressed with blocking. It makes the scarf look fantastic and semi-professional. (I’m tooting the horn of Blocking, not my own. My stitches looked fairly squashy and uneven before the voodoo that is Blocking.)

Even the edge stitches look better. Does everyone know about this? I have the urge to become a blocking evangelist and travel the world telling every knitter about this fabulious (that’s right, I’m keeping that word) technique and how it can save humanity by stunning us with its transformative power and making us speak softly and offer tea and cookies to one another.

Except I’m probably the last knitter on earth to have found out about the magic of Blocking (I think it deserves to be capitalized, don’t you?). Ah well. I’ll keep my eyes open for the tea and cookies then, shall I?

And here it is, all wrapped up and on its way to my sister. Hooray!

Pattern: None, just 3×3 rib over … um… 30 stitches, I think.
Yarn: Catalina Chunky 100% baby alpaca (109 yds per skank) 2 skanks
Needles: US 10 (6.0 mm) aluminum circulars, inherited, unknown origin.
What I Learned: How to wash and block a finished object, which I had never done before.
Thoughts: I love the softness, but hated the bloomy-ness of this yarn. I kept sneezing all the time, and didn’t like that my shirt fronts looked like I’d been wrestling cats after a knitting session. The yarn was splitty and loosely plied, too, which slowed me down a bit. But the color (natural – 101) is beautiful and will go well with Maribeth’s winter coat (and I have some more natural colored alpaca — Classic Elite — which may be a hat to match later on).

One down, three to go.

Oh, and did you remember today?

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What kind, indeed?

Overheard tonight Chez HookOn:

[Nick prepares to leave for the game store (the “dork forest” as a friend of ours calls it) for to play Magic:The Gathering]

Me: “Ooh, look out! Don’t step on the [finished object to be announced later] on the floor. I’m blocking it.”
Nick: “You’re blocking it?”
Me: “Yes, that’s when you soak the [finished object] and then pin it–“
Nick: “I know what blocking is.”
Me: “You do?” [amazed that some of my knitting babble actually stuck]
Nick: “Of course I do. What kind of knitter’s husband would I be if I didn’t know what blocking meant?”

I love this man.

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