Friday, June 30, 2006

not much of a joiner

I'm not so much a joiner of online knitting activity. I tend to cultivate my own agenda, usually about a year later than everyone else (see Clapotis, and my current lust for the Lady Eleanor stole, which is so very 2005) and pretty influenced by my pocketbook and my skill level. Or lack thereof.

Still, I am amused and intrigued by Project Spectrum which has been all over the internets for some months now. And July is Purple Month, and I'm all enamoured of purple. I've got some purple-y, midnight-y, bluish Koigu that is stomping its foot and shouting at me to stop hoarding it. I tend to hoard Koigu, being not much of a sock knitter, either, but being very much a Koigu buyer. I daresay, it's my favorite yarn, though to my credit, I only have 4 skeins of it on my person now, that's 2 pairs of socks! Being not much of a sock knitter, I don't let myself scarf up too much fingering weight anything. I figure it's like candy, a bit here, a bit there, you don't notice it, and suddenly, you've gained 10 lbs, or your stash is overflowing with stuff you don't even want to knit up!

I digress. July. Socks. Koigu. Purple. Look, it's a hat already! And the yardbird's lunch.

I'm feeling more chipper. It still hurts to breathe a little. I slept badly, but my Day of the Vapors seemed to help move me along the road to health. Koigu cures all.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

the vapors

Sicker. Rather, I'm sick of this half-sick business and am committing to a full fledged invalid state. The drinking of tea. The taking of various herbal tinctures in little half-glasses of warm water. Picking up and putting down of Hourglass, interspersed with naps. I'm afraid of not making my silly June 30 deadline, unless there's a more serious effort launched here.

Marie and I shipped Lia's dogs last night. It took HOURS at the airport, filling out paperwork, only to have the cargo people somehow lose it on the computer. Take two. She called this morning though, to say she'd received the beasts, in good health. I do have to say, driving around with her dogs in my car last night, I have a new appreciation for how well-behaved my own dogs are in the car. Even Cricket, who started out with me as a jumping, barking fool in the wayback of the CRV has learned to get in, lay down and shut up so the mistress can drive him to his generally pleasant destination. This was more due to my shouting at him than any whispering that might have gone on. "NOOOOOO!" "DON'T!" and "OFF!" and sometimes even just "AAAAAGGGGGHHHH!" were words in heavy rotation his first few car trips with me. Now I'd take him anywhere. Sometimes he lays so still and quiet that I can't see him, and I wonder if he's managed to jump out a window, so I call him to make sure he's still there. Sure enough, the head pops up.

Again, no photographed knitting content, but a shot of yesterday's gourmet lunch of a tuna melt. More melt than tuna, from the pic, but the tuna was there. Note my pink countertop. The kitchen to this house is done in pinkish and grey, if you can imagine such an unappealing combo. Oh it's fine for clothing, but I think the previous owner was on a diet and wanted to prepare her food in an atmosphere that wasn't conducive to ravenous eating. I don't think it's bad enough to re-do, given my general laziness, and appreciation of the rest of the house's paint job. Still, you see that the kitchen colors have not affected my appetite one bit.

Here's an example of how the two canine members of the household amuse themselves when the mistress has the vapors and can't take them driving around town:I think this is the part where they yell curses in each others' faces til one gets tired. Ella is demonstrating how big her teeth are, and Cricket is showing how very tall he is. Note Hourglass in the background, on the couch. So close, now.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


For the first time since I moved here (a little less than 10 months ago) I am getting sick. Swollen throat, icky post-nasal drip, cough. Ugh. Needless to say, the ac stays on, even though I suspect it irritates the throat while it cools the fevered brow. Our house is air-conditioned in a split system, wall units in the office, koa room and one little very hot corner bedroom supposedly cool the entire house. They do not, but the office unit is really the only one we use with any regularity, as it is adjacent to our bedroom. For the most part, it is breezy and nice enough that ac is not needed, but recently, it's been heavy and still. There's actually a breeze blowing now, but it's humid and warm. I'm hoping for rain. I may try to experiment with Reya's technique for getting a good rain in, by putting a wineglass of water on the windowsill as an invitation.

I help Marie ship Lia's dogs out to the East Coast today. This will involve hours and hours at the airport, and wrestling not-necessarily-crate-trained dogs into their shipping crates. I feel a tear coming on, just thinking about it. Maybe it's a tear of self pity, though, as it cuts into my knitting time with Hourglass, too. Too hot at the airport to touch that fuzzy Sisik.

Yesterday Leisha called me out of the blue, for delicious conversational rambling. Leisha was my co-worker of last year, a funny, dry Singaporean woman, who described her style of classroom management as "draconian" (this word spoken in a beautiful English/Indian accent accompanied by a wry smirk) and shared my love of after-school cocktails and Bailey's Crossroads' plethora of ethnic restaurants. She had a baby after I left, a surprise pregnancy, but she's adjusting well to motherhood, and is even taking a year off to enjoy the little sprout. I am trying to lure her out here for a visit, as she is no stranger to Hawaii, and even is familiar with Nuuanu and Queen Emma's Palace.

On to self-medication and working up my courage to go to Salvation Army, to donate my beat-up chairs that Goodwill doesn't want...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

sound the snail alarm

In lieu of any knitting content, I present to you the portrait of one of the denizens of Chez Nuuanu Estate:
Yep, that's one big snail. Imported African snails, snuck in to eradicate or decorate something or other, back in less informed times, they've been fruitful, multiplied and stomped out all the other native snails around here. They are very large, as my foot will demonstrate.
Note the attractive pedicure, Elizabeth Arden's "Red Pearl" on the toes. It is attractive no more, as in reality, this shot was a couple of days ago. Still, this morning, I heard Ella barking furiously at something in the yard, and went out to check what she was all riled up about. 3 snails hanging out together in a shady spot, which I presume, was a place she wanted to put herself, but didn't quite have the nerve to go. Sigh. This is a full grown dog, quite large, at 40 lbs, sounding the alarm over snails.

Work on Hourglass continues, in a rather uninspired way. We have turned on the ac, so I can knit w/o too much complaining. I'm up to the raglan decreases, and am regretting the June 30 deadline for her, as I'd like nothing more than to switch and work on something else (kitchenering the remaining Jaywalker sock? a dishrag? Mirkwood Kiri?) but I'm gonna stay the course, as our illustrious (ahem!) head of state (according to NPR, though of course, in my world, Aragorn is still King, and now Jimmy Smits is President) would say. I'm having the usual fears of "she won't fit me" and "my gauge is fucked up" and last night, the much-admired Denise needle cable connector popped apart; I must've twisted it the wrong way as I was scooting stitches down the cable and the bloody sweater slid off the needles. The ensuing scene, involving waste yarn, a tapestry needle, much cursing and gnashing of teeth as I repaired the badly behaved needle with appropriately sized (larger) cables, and saved the day, was NOT pretty. I now understand about why most knitting should come accompanied by a medium sized alcoholic beverage, as per the Yarn Harlot's advice.

Of course now I'm treating the Denises with kid gloves. I shouldn't fear them. What's that my dog trainer says about "assuming the position of leadership and confidence?" Even Cesar would advise me to take those needles firmly, yet lovingly in hand and knit on.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


This is for DJ, if she stops by here; a shot taken yesterday, of my rapidly growing puppy. Handsome, no? Cricket was described as "exceptionally compliant" this morning in puppy class. Hmmmm...they haven't seen him at home.


Hot. Too hot to think. Let alone do anything constructive. Not that I would, if it were cool, but you excuse. I think I've just been finding ways to spend time in hot places; walking with Marie at Makapuu Flats, instead of the much cooler local walks we could be taking, sitting in Patrice's jacuzzi yesterday, hanging out on the sunny side of my house, training Cricket in a sunny yard this morning...let's exercise some common sense, here!

Today, I picked up Hourglass (why oh why isn't she finished?!) and was struck by how damn hot that Sisik felt to touch. Was there a time when I felt cold enough to wear wool in Hawaii? Various Aloha Knitters may recall I was sporting Lia's gift of the Goodwill cashmere sweater last week, in Mocha Java, but that's water under the bridge. Cooler water, I might add.

In honor of all this heat, or perhaps to fight all this heat, I am saddling up my horse and riding down to the Safeway to buy some salad fixin's for lunch. Along the salad fixin' theme, comes my new favorite word, taught, I think, by Acornbud, "cutiecumber". A great summer favorite of this household. Hawaii has fabuolous cutiecumbers, it turns out. Japanese cutiecumbers, that are crunchy and delicate and tender. I crave cutiecumber sandwich. Thin-sliced ham, cutiecumbers, butter and brown bread. Salt and pepper. Off to buy now.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

this and that

I walk this trail almost every day. It is an 8 minute drive from my house to the trailhead. I could walk to the trailhead, I guess, but it'd be an unpleasant, highway trafficked trudge, with dogs. So I drive it. I never thought I'd be a person who drove my dogs somewhere to exercise them, but here I am. Running the 3/4 mile trail, up and down, through Cook's Island Pine, bamboo, jungly plants, crossing the stream and scrambling over roots and rocks. If I'm feeling ambitious, I do it twice. Probably I should just get in the habit of doing it twice, but once around takes the edge off the dogs, and gives me a little high.

No knitting to speak of was done today. I worked on the little room off our kitchen, cleaning it, scrubbing and rearranging the ill-fitting furniture in it. I moved Rainbo's cage into that room, and a comfy deck chair from the bedroom, to make it useable. Rainbo doesn't need to be in the koa room; he hurls seed hulls all over the floor and it's a little too hot in there, anyway. This new place puts him more in the center of the house, where the action's at, and is a bit cooler, as well as a reasonable distance from the front door, where we can carry his cage out for some air.

Later, after my Judd trail run, I went out to Hiroshi with Patrice. I've always joked with friends about wanting a bar where the bartender knew my name, and what I drank. I think we've found it at Hiroshi, where the barkeep is spectacular and personable. He expects us coming, and remembers not only what we drink, but what bar food we're partial to, as well. It was nice to hang with Patrice for awhile. We were discussing my bad movie habits, and then we got onto Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer...Patrice is a great devotee of Animal Planet, and also of Cesar. I've just recently started watching him, I'm fascinated by the problemsolving that must be done in dog training, and while I don't always agree with Cesar, he is a blast to watch. While I don't have huge dog problems, my own two are not without their quirks; Cricket is developing quite a bark, at every little thing, and Ella trots out the passive defiance now and then. I'm doing my own whispering, more often than not.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

what a feeling...

Tonight's mindless film to facilitate knitting was "Flashdance."

I'd have preferred "Fame" but here in slum-tv land, we take what we can get.

Feeling utterly despondent, and suspecting 80% of that feeling had to do with my body, I went to yoga tonight, which did me a world of good, in the opening up the chakra department. I have grown very lazy, the past couple of months, moving only as much as I have to, and not making any effort to exercise, watch what I eat, or drink enough water. As a result, my skin looks blotchy, I'm carrying 5 pounds that didn't used to live around my middle, and I'm just stuck. Believing that everything's connected, I am looking for the one little piece to chip away at, to motivate myself to give a flying damn again. My life is weird right now, and I'm swimming around in a free-floating depression. You know when I'm eating Vietnamese food, knitting wool and watching "Flashdance" in mid-June, in freakin' Hawaii that there's some serious need for balancing, grounding and realignment.

Enter Litha, the summer solstice. Tomorrow. Which I plan to celebrate in fine fashion, with a swim in the ocean at dawn. Things will get better, I know.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

in a galaxy far away...

Some days later, I finally get back to you with the promised evidence that I do indeed knit a bit. I present to you, the loveliness of the Dale Sisik, a now-discontinued yarn, in some mystery cranberry red. Note the tweedy flecks in the yarn. These are not attached to the yarn with any security, and so constantly shed and flake off onto my clothes. I predict that this sweater will pill and shed like the dickens, but the Sisik is nice to knit, I like red clothing, and the pattern zips right along, once I get settled.

And a shot of what all this zipping along hath wrought:
Note the Denise needles in action. See the sharp pointy points? One cannot see the Hourglass shape that is described as "subtle shaping" and that I so hope will give me an hourglass figure. One sleeve attached and one on the way. I finally found some 12-inch #7 circs in my collection of needles, they actually fit the sleeve, and so I haven't monkeyed with dpns to make the sleeve. I kinda think I was knitting faster with the dpns, but the circs are less hassle.

I'm feeling less than 100% today, possibly due to my stubborn insistence that Taco Bell be dinner, a real binge, given that the makings for Potato-Kale soup were in the house. I will cook today. To go with the junk food binge I had a Star Wars binge, watching on cable "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith". Or was it "Return of the Sith?" "Revolt of the Sith" it shoulda been, given the trashy non-content and the accompanying foodstuffs. ugh. Hayden Christiansen is so bland, so blah. I do think he was cast simply because he can roll his eyes up into his head and give the demented sith lord-to-be expression that is so needed for theis picture to work. The film does feature my men Yoda, Obi-Wan and Mace Windu, though they are sadly driven off and diminished temporarily, as we know that good will triumph in the end. I'm not even gonna go into how Natalie Portman should be ashamed, as this movie seems to feature her wooden, less-than-luminous acting talents, as well. I generally like her, but this segue into teen angst, galaxy-style is so wrong. The hair and the ghastly plastic? metal? hair ornamentation was wrong, too. Ahhh, well, for Monday night knitting, Mexican Pizza and channel surfing, I can't ask for much more...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

the crack of dawn

Okay, it looks like I am not going to tracking...I got up, and just don't feel the call to go. I've been the only person out there, of late, and while that's great for being able to use the whole field, I feel like I need for the instructor to be there, to help me get moving onto more difficult tracks. I may take Ella to a schoolyard later this week and try to lay a track with a turn for her.

Meanwhile the dogs are in some sort of crazy wrestling scuffle (it's 6:30am) that involves trash being flung from the office trash can and a purple stuffed teddy bear being used by Ella as a weapon; she's beating Cricket with it. This is typically Ella's approach to combat, to somehow work a toy into the battle, and to use it to bludegeon her opponent. Cricket is all for it, and since he is absolutely impervious to pain (as proven by our having stepped on him with no reaction on his part) the teddy bear could just as well have been a hatchet, with similar results. He uses his sheer bulk to throw himself around and to slam into Ella, who is far more agile and coordinated. tracking for me today. I doubt it will be much of a setback.

I am determined to spend my entire day awake, to reset my sleep cycle, and to avoid the unpleasantness of the lengthy afternoon nap. I'm also worried about going into one of my summer funks; the one in which I start sleeping/waking at odd hours, and spend waaay too much time vegging on the couch. Now you non-teacher types can send me all the hate mail you want, but the reality is, we NEED the time to recharge our batteries for the coming school year. But I don't need to spend the time doing nothing. It starts with sleep, I think, and keeping myself on a schedule, so that school doesn't hit me like a train, the coming year. I have pre-determined that I will probably have a bitch of a commute, wherever I end up working, which will necessitate early rising and a certain amount of organization. Therefore, it would make sense to have that pattern already established.

Trying not to stress about employment. After all, when have I not been able to get a job? The job of my dreams is another story, but right now, I'm trying to stay open-minded. I don't know why I have low expectations for employment in my life...perhaps because it isn't a priority? Money and benefits, I need, the hassles of career? Those days are over, my friends. Still, the right job could be the one that set me back on the career path. It could, really.

I am reading a book which surprises me, in that I am enjoying the hell out of it: "Jarhead" by Anthony Swofford. I did not see the movie when it came out last fall. It looked great, but somewhere along the line, I decided I'd read the book first; in part because Swofford was a Northern Californian, and had gone to American River College and UC Davis, and there are other writers out of those schools whose work I admire. So I picked it up in December, but have just now gotten around to cracking it open. Swofford's story of ennui and disenchantment with the Marines, and his examination of the indoctrination of a soldier are fascinating. He tells his tale well, and it continues to surprise me, that I, the Peace Corps Volunteer pacifist, like this book with its analysis of weaponry and platoon politics. But what I like is Swofford's voice, it is as much a young man's story as "Independance Day" (the Richard Ford one, not the story of asteroids and aliens or comets or whatever) is a middle-aged man's story. So maybe it's the chance to see in the head of the other sex is what I'm relishing.

P is in Sheptown for a week. I envy his time on the East Coast, even as I enjoy my days here, of a sudden. I think I am falling, finally, into Hawaii's peaceful healing rhythm. Or maybe it's just the joys of summer.

Today there will be the cleaning of my desk, some laundry and dog bathing. There will be no daytime sleeping. I will finish sleeve #1 of Hourglass, and start sleeve #2, because I want that sweater OFF THE NEEDLES, I tell you! I'm trying to get geared up to finish a few things; Mirkwood Kiri being the next candidate for completion, mostly because it is not difficult; I have just fallen out of love with the sheddy, furry mohair and have avoided picking up the project. I have the aran cardigan waiting in the wings, with entirely too much cabling and seed stitch and attention to detail, and do not want to begin this until other, easier distractions are taken care of.

I will post pictures later today, if I can find my camera cable. It's always something.


A busy day, more or less, if you count the fact that I slept 3 hours, mid-afternoon, and I do. I took Cricket over the Pali to Puppy Kindergarten, had some Jamba and a delicious green tea flavored Beard Papa's Cream Puff. My new dog trainer is uber-cool, in that he provides hot coffee, decadent sweets and baked goods to us, as well as dog training treats for class. I'm lovin' it! After pup class, I puttered around the house, knit on Hourglass's sleeve, which I WILL finish tonight, and then went out to lunch with P, before I took him to the airport. After the airport, I came home, knit again for about 1/2 an hour, fed Cricket lunch, and then took to my bed to sleep. Hard. The kind of sleep wherein I had all sorts of paralytic seizure type dream action, and panicky awakenings, only to fall back into the hard arms of morpheus again. Awoke at 5-ish, more knitting, laundry, and am now, due to my rested (as unlikely as that seems!) state, am contemplating more housework, or else finishing the damn sleeve, which is the fastest knitting I've done, ever.

So again, this isn't much of an entry, not of the things I really want to write about, anyway. I find myself swinging back and forth between loving reading crafting and knitting blogs, and feeling like they totally hijack my own creative time and agenda. I went through this same phase, reading olj's, a couple of years ago, and again, reading other folks' fanfics, as I was writing my own, and don't really have an answer for it. Most likely, it signals a need to concentrate on my own voice, and my own output for awhile, but also want to write for an audience, which necessitates reading my audience, right?

Voice, my own, and strengthening it, has always been such an issue for me. With family, lovers, teachers, friends, employers...wish I had another one of those Beard Papas...

Friday, June 16, 2006


So I made the quiche. Chelsea asked in comments if I had a good recipe. Um...not really. I took frozen spinach and thawed it and squeezed the excess moisture out, chopped 8 mushrooms, 4 scallions and 8 leftover pieces of steamed asparagus and mixed them up. I added a good 2 handfuls of grated parmesan cheese (let's say a cup) for filling. I browned a Mrs. Smith's deep dish piecrust at 400 degrees. I laid all the veggie filling into the crust, then mixed 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup half and half, and 4 eggs and slowly poured it over the pie. I baked it for an hour at 350 degrees.

I did learn that one can make a crustless quiche, as I had too much filling left over. I buttered some mini-souffle cups, and put the filling into them and baked them a little less time; they were delicious, too.

My quiches vary, according to whatever I have laying around. I really like broccoli and bacon and smoked cheddar for a quiche. Yesterday's was an effort to get rid of the asparagus and mushrooms, both of which were about to turn.

I'm off to the shower and then on to the post office and to walk at Makapuu Flats with Marie. I'll try for a coherent post later on; there's a lot I want to write about, it's just taking time to do it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

hangover and a sleeve

Some coffee, some puttering...yesterday was an utter waste. I think the previous night's over indulgence of a martini, plus wine with dinner left me with a bit of a hangover. Sad commentary on middle age, no? When one martini + a glass of pinot noir can leave you sluggish and unmotivated the next day.

So to catch up, Lia's now living on the mainland for 4 months. Her last day here was so reminiscent of my last summer's efforts to complete my move here. The meltdowns, the endless to-do list, the things that never got done, and simply had to be handed off to friends at the very end. Marie is keeping her dogs til she gets settled, then she and I will ship them in a couple of weeks. I wonder how it will be, shipping someone elses dogs? Last year, at SFO, I was crying so hard I couldn't see, as I removed Ella's collar and led her into the crate to ship her here. I cried from San Francisco to Vacaville, through a carwash and through a drive-through window at Burger King. I was a hazard on the highway. Even with Cricket being shipped by someone else (and Susie admits to sobbing at the airport in Sydney, as well) it was a harrowing process. I was up every couple of hours, the night of his flight, tracking his progress on Qantas' cargo tracker online.

In knitting news, I finished the lower body of Hourglass. I divided for the yoke, and started a sleeve. "Last Minute Knitted Gifts" recommends a 12-inch circular needle for the sleeves, but my Denise interchangeable needle did not work as such, it felt cramped and the actual needle parts were too long to get a good circular movement going. The 16-inch option was too big. So reluctantly, I turned to my antique earthenware pitcher full of knitting needles, and found some #7 dpns to do the sleeve. I don't mind dpns, really, it's just awkward to get started, especially with a stitch marker, but I'm now a couple of inches into sleeve #1, and so it's just a matter of cranking it out. I've decided I'm going to finish this damn sweater by June 30. 2 months is long enough to spend on an easy sweater. Other projects are calling me, and I need to move on. I need to finish something!It's a tall order, though, and I need to buckle down and get these sleeves done. I think the part where you attach the sleeves and do the raglan shaping on the yoke will be really fun, and will go faster, though.

Anyway, yesterday was devoted solely to fiddling with Hourglass and moping around the house. At 5:30, I decided what I needed was exercise, and so packed up the dogs and went for a trail run of about 2 miles at St. Louis Heights, for the sunset. Nice. I felt better than I had all day, sweaty and strong, and suspect that if I'd gone for the run at 10am instead of making more coffee, I'd have gotten more done. Or at least felt friskier. Ahhh, well.

Today, I am making quiche from scratch. Well, not the crust. But I have the eggs, spinach, mushrooms, ham, cream and cheese all waiting for me in the fridge. I was gonna do it yesterday,(see hangover) but had hot dogs for dinner instead, to P's great delight. One person's failure is another person's joy, I guess.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

linkety link

Eating vanilla lite ice cream, with powdered instant coffee on it, and playing with this template. I'm going to devote a few entries to links, and pimping the pages of blogs and diaries I like, as I add them.

First up, Chelsea, who writes and knits and paganizes and comments on her comments. Go give her some love! She is the source of the aforementioned green cotton angora yarn that's laying around waiting for me to slog through some of my other UFO's...

Another site I read regularly, is Yarnstorm. This writer lives in England, and creates absolutely beautiful things, thus adding to my long-held and probably waay misconceived belief that Life is Better in Britain. Still, I'm there, every day, and I'm loving her pix, her writing and her inspirations.

My absolute favorite online journal (as opposed to knitblog or any kind of blog) is that of Melissa Ray Davis, Awakened. She writes so eloquently of her life and beliefs that she is an inspiration to me, both in writing and in her efforts to live simply, stepping apart from this culture. She does not update as often as I'd like, but her entries are well worth the wait, and she has a notify list.

I just nearly lost this post, bouncing around from window to window on this laptop, which closes Firefox w/o warning at times, so I'm gonna quit whilst ahead. I'll add these links and talk some more about reads tomorrow! Meanwhile, enjoy!

Monday, June 12, 2006

a puppy and a peek at my yarn stash

Do not let this face fool you. This is the face of trouble. This face is just looking for something inappropriate to get into, destroy, investigate, shred or simply eat, whether it is edible or not.Last night, Crickie caught a gecko and bit its tail off. He also has discovered the pleasures of cat chasing, and barking at the neighbors. I think Ella's been teaching him her evil ways. Nevertheless, from my sample size of two, he remains the easiest dog I've ever reared. He is willing, somewhat eager to please, and lower energy than was "Ms. I'm In Business For Myself."

Since this is called The Knitted Brow, I'm gonna share a shred of stash with you, for your viewing pleasure. It's by no means the complete stash, but it is a peek. I keep my knittng yarn stash in a 3-drawer dresser, where it fits snugly. this is one such drawer. So now for some highlights... At the top of the pix, you see a bag of Paton's Classic Merino, destined to be the Must-Have aran cardigan. In the middle is some sock yarn, green Koigu, purple Koigu, as well as some Lion Brand Imagine, in that heavenly blue mix. Some black Lion Brand Cotton-ease off to the left, and the vareigated browns/blues/greens of the Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Merino, which is part of Mirkwood Kiri, on the needles. The red is Dale Sisik, which is being made up into the Hourglass sweater, even as we speak. In the mix, you also see some Lily Sugar n' Cream, which is already a dishcloth, courtesy of my need to have a FO this week, and some blue ribbon yarn, which I am loathe to knit. There is also the red Lorna's Shepard Sock yarn, which I am loathe to knit, as well, because it will surely require a teeny tiny needle size, and I just can't bring myself to buy anything smaller than a #2 for knitting. There's also a skein of yellowish green cashmere mix in there. Not enough to do much with, but maybe a hat?

I have been very good, recently, about not buying yarn. That's not to say that I haven't added to my stash, as the lovely and generous Chelsea sent me 3 skeins of dark green Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora, which is destined to become Aibhlinn, which I have wanted to knit for a long time. The yarn is next-to-skin soft, and in an alluring pine green, so I'm putting that in the pipeline, too. Sorry no photos of it. It's in the next drawer down, in the dresser, and its time will come.

Today I am concentrating on the floors in my house, vacuuming, mopping and picking up. Cricket has a rash; we think it's puppy impetigo, but I'm thinking my grungy floors can't be helping him. Of course he is the king tracker of debris into the house, but lacking opposable thumbs, he can't run the vacuum, and so it falls upon me to help him out.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


The tendinitis in my left hand and arm is almost overwhelming. It's been building slowly, the past few days, a result of doing lots of little things with my hands; dog grooming and clipping, knitting, gardening and typing. Not to mention leash corrections, and chop-chop-choppety-chopping in the kitchen. I'm in pain, woke up to pain, and am just about to take some...what? aspirin? muscle relaxant? I rarely medicate it, have occasional flare-ups, and usually deal by putting the wrist in a brace, and laying off the knitting for a couple days. But dammit, I don't want to stop doing anything ('cept maybe giving Cricket leash corrections - the dog NEEDS to learn to walk on a loose leash!) and this pain is worse than it's ever been before. It's not debilitating by any means, but it's demoralizing.

Today is Worldwide Knit in Public Day, with a big knitting meet-up in Kapiolani Park, right after the Kamehameha day parade, which should have Waikiki all tied up, trafficwise. So I'll be going, but wonder if I should take the bus? I'm told it takes 2 hours to get to Waikiki from Nuuanu, which might be great knitting time, or it might suck royally, if I have to pee or something. I think I'm gonna suck it up and just head down there by car. Get together with my knitters...what's this Knit In Public thing anyway? Is it any big deal? I knit in public when I can, and welcome the opportunity to do so, but apparently some are so self-conscious about it that they need to stage a knit-in to make a statement? Hmmmmm...knitting as social statement. Methinks it's one of those self-referential social phenomenae that is just another way to garner attention for knitting and knitters, but nevertheless, I'm in. Still, it does have me thinking about a time, oh, a hundred and fifty years ago, when most women knit, knitted from necessity and there were no self-referential celebrations to point out that it was a Growing and Wonderful Thing. Were those days better? I think not. No Noro, and probably far too many socks to be knitted for my tastes. But sometimes, in our attempts to define ourselves, we can seem a little bit ridiculous. Fear not, though, Hourglass Sweater and I will be making our appearance, to do the Knit Thing.

Funny thing. As I type, my hand feels a wee bit better. Maybe I should go out and dig a ditch or something?

My friend Lia is moving, for 4 months, to the mainland. I am sad, as it takes a dramatic toll on my social outlets. Since the days a couple of months ago, when we toiled in the big rains, walking Marie's dogs, we've bonded, and it was nice to have a friend here, to meet for coffee, to go thrift shopping, to hike with. There's Marie, of course, but she has kids, and her dog training business, and I would never compare my friends to each other, but Lia's departure leaves a hole. There's the annual threat, according to Marie, as well, that Lia's going to move back to the mainland for good.

Training and civilizing Cricket continues apace. He is nearly 4 months old, and is moving out of the fragile puppy stage and into something quite a bit bolder. He's a very different animal than was Ella, whose defiance was so much more pronounced, and who seemed to believe that everything was a big joke. Corrections rolled off her curly grey back like water. Cricket is more malleable, but he dreams big, too, in a way that Ella never did. He attempts to take things off the dining room table, he went running and crashed right through the screen door, yesterday, taking it off its hinges, he has shredded 2 dog beds to date. Housebreaking goes slowly, but we're in a rhythm, now, anyway. It's the little victories, with a puppy, I guess. I was thinking that you can't look at the 2 years it takes, it will make you crazy. You've gotta think about this one night slept through, this one chair leg that he stopped chewing when you said "off!" this one crisis averted. It makes it easier.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


P and I got up early this morning, grabbed the dogs and headed over the Pali to Kailua, for a walk on the beach. In spite of the heavy cloud cover on the Pali, it was brilliantly sunny in K-town, and the beach was impossibly nice, warm blue water and very few people at 7am.
Since our torrential rains, sewage spills and flooding of March, I hadn't really been to the beach, fearing bacteria, fish kills, and generally cool water, for Oahu. So it was spectacularly nice this morning, and reminded me that the beach and I have a lot of catching up to do. Dogs played enthusiastically, and Cricket was particularly joyous, having gotten his first real glimpse of the ocean. He swam, splashed around in the surf, and drank enough salt water to cause a mighty purge from both ends, mercifully taking place BEFORE we put him back in the car to bring him home. He's sleeping it off in his crate at the moment.

Today is all about trying to get done the things I didn't do yesterday, mostly due to email, web surfing and goofing around. The heat was also a factor, but today is also cooler, with a stiff breeze blowing, so hopefully, my enthusiasm for housecleaning will stay strong.

Monday, June 05, 2006


The breeze is blowing. The koa room ceiling fan is working, which is not always a given. Dogs are out in the yard, chewing on pig necks. All dog poop is in the trash can under the deck. Nag Champa incense is burning and I'm on the second cuppa and showered and clean. Ooooooohhhh, summer...

My mom broke her hip on Saturday. She was handing out kool-aid and sandwiches at our Olde Country's local mental hospital (a place that was excoriated in the 30's for involuntarily sterilizing mental patients) and she tripped on a chair and took a tumble. It was cracked, and repairable by pins, and it seems, that after a week or so of physical therapy and bedrest, she'll be released to come home with a walker. But it's worrisome, nevertheless. Anytime a 70 year old woman breaks a bone, it is cause for concern, methinks. She's active, she drives a stickshift pickup truck, she has a house with dad, at 78, still barbers in our nearby town. It's times like these that have me wishing I'd never moved to the islands, leaving my sister to deal with the whole mess of aging parents, up close and personal. It was their spryness that was a factor in my move. But 70 and 78 are facts of life, in spite of the barbershop, the veggie canning, the running around the county doing good deeds to those less fortunate.

So I spoke with her today, and she insisted I not come home to visit, to wait til she was ambulatory and we could run around together. I'm going to agree to that, as I kinda need to be looking for a job this summer, anyway, and I have, in my possession, an as yet unhousebroken puppy. Mercifully, my parents are independant sorts, who would rather not have me or my sis poking around in their business, if they can avoid it.

Back to my domestic goddess pursuits. Think I'll put on the White Stripes, for the little musical energy boost.


It’s summer. Rather, my teaching gig has ended. I have about a month and a half to live the other half of my life, at least that part which is not compromised by obsessing over future employment. Which is a factor in my potential enjoyment of summer. I play a little game, in my mind, called “If I had a job for this fall, I would…” Right now, I’d buy some black capri pants, board my dogs with Marie and buy a plane ticket to the mainland, to the East Coast, to visit my Olde Country. The black capris have nothing to do with the trip, indeed, it’s too damn hot and humid in Virginia to want to be trapped in black pants of any kind, but I’m charmed by them, and the potential for Audrey Hepburn fashion, nevertheless.

In lieu of future employment, and the security to enjoy travel that it would provide, I will immerse myself in domestic pursuits. First, some concentrated housecleaning, as well as a continued clutter purge. Bathing and grooming of the truly filthy dogs, and finally beginning the little kitchen garden I’ve been fantasizing about for months. Some more sewing, a thorough wash of Rainbo’s cage, as well as a re-arrangement of living room/koa room furniture.

Oh, and lest you think it’s all drudgery and grind here at The Knitted Brow, Erin gave me, as my going-away present from work, a $30 gift certificate at Blockbuster. DVD’s to be rented to ensure some concentrated knitting of the boring parts of my Hourglass Sweater, I’m thinking the sleeves will need some media feed to get me through that stretch of dullsville stockinette in the round.

Our Plumeria tree, which I thought was dead, has re-leafed, and started up an enthusiastic, fragrant bloom that does my heart good.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


On Sunday mornings, at dawn, I go to Tripler Army Hospital, to train my dog Ella in the sport of tracking. Tripler is surrounded by huge fields; an unusual phenomenon on this island where open land is at a premium. It's a great place to track, especially in the early morning, while it's cool, the grass is damp with dew, and no one's out but the birds.

Tracking is an unusual dog sport, in that it's entirely dog-directed; that is, the handler can't give the dog any instruction or directions during the process. It's not a test of obedience, rather it's a test of the dog's innate ability to find hidden objects using its nose. We lay a track by walking and marking a path in the field, and by marking the path, or key locations (beginning, end, any turns you make) with flags. An object is hidden at the end of the track, which the dog is rewarded for finding. At this point, I'm a relative beginner, and my tracks are still pretty short, about 100 yards, pretty straight, and with food rewards placed along the track, to keep Ella motivated. It helps that she's a sniffy dog, who likes food and enjoys finding things, I just hang onto the line and praise her for being on line, and give an occasional tug and "get on track" when she goes way off line.

It's a new sport for us.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

By way of welcome

I have been bouncing around the internets like a lost tennis ball, since the crash of Diary-X, the one that lost 6 years' worth of my writing; some of it to-do lists and crap, but some of it, nice essays on daily life and huge events in my own journey. Essentially, the 5 years I lived in Arlington were lost, since I didn't really keep a paper journal during that time. Ahh, well, spilled milk under the bridge, as they say. I am not one to wax sentimental over words missing, and like to imagine my snippets, documented adventures, wonderings and articles floating around in space, occasionally viewed by some search engine, marked by a "file not found" page, occasionally.

I have had this account for some time, here, because my girlfriend Lucy and I wanted, at one time, to start a knitting blog. But neither of us could get it together to post in it, and so it lay fallow. I am feeling the need to make something of it, these days, both to record my life's events again, as they pass by, and to be a little bit more creative, to place a tiny little toe into that great flowing river of knitting and crafting evolution that's going on in our culture, these days.

A little of who I am, for readers not following me from Oneiric and my transitory Livejournal account...I am a 45 year old woman, living in Hawaii, in a big, rambling house that's hidden from passers by, on a dead-end street. I am an elementary teacher by profession, a housewife at the moment, one who sews, trains dogs, knits, cooks, writes, and makes desultory stabs at cleaning and maintaining the household. I am prone to depression, homesickness for my native Virginia, bouts of creativity followed by the endless spinning of my wheels with little to show for it. I am pagan, by spiritual definition; I find god in nature and mark the passing seasons with ritual. I read tarot, grow herbs for ritual purposes, and generally believe in my own ability to ever so slightly influence minor turns of events. Some may call it prayer, I'd liken it more to pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. I am optimistic, whimsical and admire cottage industry.

So, welcome! Pull up an overstuffed chair, pour a cup of tea and stay awhile!