Sunday, October 28, 2007
Had to work a lot this week/weekend and thus will not report on knitting but I did create two pumpkins. Both are 360 degree since they sit on a window ledge and I wanted to enjoy them, not just have the outside world catch a glance. In carving them, a sample of five determined that three people had grown up in families in which there was just a "family" pumpkin; the other two had each had a pumpkin to carve. What about the rest of you?
In a more ghoulish picture, here are Curtis's stitches from his Friday operation to remove what I hope will be a simple mole. He's being good, but he'll have to wear the "Elizabethan collar" tomorrow while I work
Fall is here in DC -- and I am pleased about that. Now if I can just get through 4 days of intense work, then I am off to Maine to be with family.
Am I destined to knit every damn thing I make twice?
Never mind, the beautiful Silkroad DK is so pleasing to knit, I love the fabric, the squooshiness of it all, and want the cardigan badly, so I had to rip and re-knit.
I'm becoming better about these setbacks. Must be the St. John's Wort, finally kicking in, after 2 weeks of religious application of my favorite mood-altering seasonal drug. It IS fall, here, with lots of clouds, rain and wind, and cooler nights. I put Aunt Cora's afghan on my bed, and snuggle down in it. P thinks I'm crazy, as he is unphased by Hawaii's "winter".
A long walk with BadBoy Cricket tonight. We walked through some cemetaries, stopped for some off-leash fun in a park down in Nuuanu's urban gritty area, admired some botanical gardens and practiced behaving around other dogs; ie, watching them without the usual firestorm of barking and jumping around. He is really very good, these days, with only the reactivity around other dogs, to worry about. Most of the leash pulling has worked itself out, and I'm trying to phase out the Gentle Leader, and work more on the flat collar again, on the waist leash. He is really very strong, weighing in at about 75 lbs, now, at his full growth. I am enjoying him, at the moment.
Joy abounds, as I own a plane ticket to Portland, Oregon, for a getaway with P! I am looking forward to being off the rock, eating local salmon, drinking microbrews, and wandering new neighborhoods. Portland has always been my hypothetical "someday I'll live there" city, so it will be fun to visit it, finally. Any readers with ideas about where to go, what to do, please weigh in here.
Due to my ripety-rip escapade the other night, Marilyn's, once the sweater I was going to WEAR to Portland, will be the knitting project for the journey. Ahhh, well, I can do this.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Here is the knitting I've done lately here in the District. It isn't a great picture, but the pattern is pretty (Agatha from Lavold). As K-Brow knows I've been pretty down and not inclined to wh-log (whine-blog).
But in response to her implication, I do have to say that just because I have a house cleaner every two weeks, my house is also a mess as this picture will show:
The Memorial Service for my great aunt is November 3, I'm dithering about travel plans, but my mother announced that there is a great yarn store in Bath where we'll be staying:
http://www.halcyonyarn.com/ So if anyone needs something, let me know! I think I'll buy a skein of something marvelous for each of Kristi's daughters and daughter-in-law since we are all knitters.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
My sister...if I were a faster knitter who actually finished more things, I'd knit more for her...she deserves it for putting up with the way I roar into her life once a year, forcing her to eat pizza with anchovies, take midnight walks, and give up the free haircuts. As it stands, she has to knit for herself, or wait in anticipation for the ill-fitting or unloved FO. Silly, since she's a perfectly competent knitter, now.
So I've just been doing what I do, the wee bit o' spinning, which is amassing quite a collection of white corriedale singles, (to ply or not to play? to dye or not to dye?) and making me happy. Changing my altar to reflect the season, complete with a pomegranate and a mini-pumpkin. Getting in touch with old friends, incredible after so long; Miss Nora, Cloud, and Lauriedarling - all nears and dears, who've been out of touch (through our mutual moves and busyness) and who, suddenly, in the last 2 weeks, have re-surfaced. Miss Nora and I are getting together for coffee and no doubt, some knitting, as she passes through Oahu in a week, Lauriedarling has a new Aussie puppy and Cloud emailed P asking after me. Goddess, ease my tendancy to burn bridges and lose myself in myself, as so often has been the custom.
Dog training goes enjoyably. Cricket's hijinks continue, but I have developed a sense of humor about him, and it goes better that way. I am teaching him pre-agility behaviors, not because I ever believe he will be under control enough to do agility or any off-lead sport in the presence of other dogs, but because I think those foundation behaviors of hand-touch, targetting, body placement, eye contact and being able to be sent to another location are the key to managing his yahoorahrah in the public sector. Besides it gets him clicks and treats and access to the yellow squeaky toy, which is EVERYTHING in Cricket's world, right now.
But my house is a sty, due to my excessive obsession with that Battlestar Galactica and ignoring the mail and laundry and dustbunnies everywhere. In this condition, I have to salute my co-blogger (mysteriously silent, except for a text message last week) who has the good sense to get a housekeeper. She is way more realistic on the domestic front than I am.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
It's been a week of pretty spectacular weather around here. Being on the mainland, or off-island, in any way, always does me good. Even this week, as I nursed an airline-induced headcold, I was in a decidedly serendipitous state. The sunsets echoed my mood, all golden and vastly improved.
Knitting on Marilyn's Not-So-Shrunken Cardi continues, with slow, DK progress. Now it really makes me appreciate worsted weight yarn. But I think I have Blogless Michelle knitting along on this, now, so maybe she'll cheer me on. She was wondering what to start knitting for a long trip out of town, and I found Marilyns' soothing stockinette to be just the way to whittle away thehours on the road.
I've been trying to spin a little each day, in an effort to improve my technique and use up all that white Corriedale I bought last year at the FiberFest. I brought back some beautiful purple colonial roving this year, but want to be a slightly better spindler than I am before I take it on. This shot shows the spindle on the ironing board, but I've moved it to a more fitting place on my altar for the lunar cycle. It's just that the light was better in the studio/ironing room.
I took the day off today in a great bout of malingering. I was feeling crappy; stressed, jet-lagged and croupy yesterday morning, and called a sub for today. Needless to say, the minute I got the sub commitment, my condition improved, and today was positively lovely.
I spent quality time with the dogs, taking Cricket for a long walk, upon which he tugged, barked and generally made ass, thus forcing me to take Ella for a jaunt in the park, to erase the jangled nerves of dealing with Cricket. Had a long talk with our old trainer, Doug, who suggested I try a 4 month, full-court press of starting obedience from scratch with Cricket, working on the flat collar, taking him out in the world, in the presence of other dogs, no matter how aversive he finds it, and just socializing the hell out of him again. He said he'd done this with his old dog, also a reactive beast, and found that it took about that much time before he saw real profound change. Fuck. He is so much work! I love him dearly, but he is so much work. Doug is right, though, and so I gear up for the slog.
I got a new tarot deck last night. The Druidcraft deck. I'd seen it online some weeks ago, and loved the illustrations, and the idea of a pagan themed deck out there besides Robin Wood (which I don't really like) and I had some Borders bucks, and a 30% off coupon, so this deck and its corresponding book were practically free. I've been playing with it a little, and was pleased to find that the card I drew today was the 8 of Pentacles, which speaks of steady effort and focus on the day-to-day work, not losing oneself in over-obsession with the grand goals. I think this is a good thing to keep in mind with my work with Cricket, the spinning, the house, and everything going on in my life right now.
Knit night last night was entertaining, and I feel the need to go more often, in light of my recent absence from the group. At the end of the eve, the Blogless One showed off the new car, a foxy sporty coupe, which merited a delightful spin around the Ward Center parking lot, a tiny taste of its power and speed. I'm no car geek, but this thing is the bomb.
And now, I am going to make a salmon pattie and some broccoli, take a bath in some Lushness and curl up with a dvd and Marilyn's for the eve.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
My great aunt Kristi died on Tuesday. She became a grandmother to me after my dad's mother died when I was 7. My mother confessed she used to fantasize about how her life would have been if Kristi had been her mother. Kristi and my mom did the above afghan for me. Kristi had done 1/2 the squares and was frustrated she had not finished; my mom did the other half. I don't know who's half is whose. I actually taught my mother to crochet and some of our first projects were granny square afghans. Kristi was a great knitter and she and I used to talk about knitting and books and other things. She was an activist of the 1930s and forged her own way through motherhood and womanhood. She was also a librarian and a few years ago, a lot of us family folks contributed to a children's fund at the Brewster's Ladies Library on Cape Cod ((http://www.brewsterladieslibrary.org/ ) She's was one of those women that helped me understand you live your life and that doesn't always fit into neat boxes. She and my grandmother grew up only a few blocks from where I live now, so she's been in my thoughts since I moved her in January 2006. She loved roosters, her dogs, and her books. Without knowing her, I hope you will all honor her long life. I'm not very cheerful but her death has been part of events that has helped me looked around me with new eyes.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
My vacation had some central themes going on, which have continued to haunt me back into Hawaii. Some were happy themes, like the very fiber-centricity of it all. Yarn, knitting, spinning, hanging with friends who knit, visiting my sis's knit night and meeting all these delightful folk:
including this lady, whom I've been looking forward to getting together with for a long time.
She generously furthered my nascent spinning career by donating me her spare niddy-noddy. Who'd have thought anyone would ever have an extra niddy-noddy laying around the house?!
Crafty Bastards and the Virginia Fall Fiber Festival in Montpelier yielded up a whole lot of inspiration and the wee bit o' stash addition, which I'll share in due time, as my camera batteries are quite dead at the moment.
Another central theme was the meeting of bloggers; namely Reya, Ms Pam and Knit Nana. This was a huge thrill, and makes the miles of disconnectedness in my life right now feel like a smaller thing, somehow. Along the same lines, getting my dearest DisKnit to co-author this blog with me was just terrific, as it ensures our ongoing wacky dialogue, which never seems to miss a beat, anyway, despite the miles and months between us. Still, more DisKnit = much more goofy fun in my life, and that's a good thing.
Darker themes for the trip included the lives of nearly all my friends being in some sort of chaotic mid-life crises. Is it normal, this awful upheaval of the mid-to-late forties, in women's (but even in my men friends, too) lives? I find myself being sad-then-joyous-then-weeping-then-laughing in a gruesome rollercoaster that absolutely wears me out. I found it reflected in the stories of 5 different friends, all roughly my age. Such shared personal drama allowed for lots of tarot reading, and heart-to-heart discussions lasting hours into the night, on several nights (and one morning, too) but we've had happier meetings of the mind, goddess knows.
And of course there's the family drama. My parents aging, my mother's impending visit, in January, which will be fun, but not without its stress. My dad, having the "this is how we want our inevitable deaths to be handled" talk with the sis and I, which actually resulted in good sharing about our whole family's desire for cremation or green burial, and felt like a meeting on common ground; not a oft-occuring event in my family life, where we usually freely and vociferously disagree on a wide variety of topics.
I returned to blogland to discover that many writers are making 31-day projects of self-improvement; journaling, exercise, spiritual practice...since I am late to the party, I will merely make the effort, from tomorrow's new moon to the new moon after Samhain, to try to do some spinning each day. The Fall Fiber Festival aftermath finds me with a surfeit of spinning fiber, and I need to do something about it. Maybe if I spin it all up, my sis will knit it all up?
Monday, October 08, 2007
The sweater I've embarked on is:
I'm using a dark red apalca yarn from KnitPicks which I hope I have enough of. I have naturally converted it to the round since the shaping is identical. Are any of you out there as committed to knitting in the round as I am?
This long weekend has been pretty slow for me -- my social circle in Washington DC is very small -- but I did go bike riding up Rock Creek to Maryland -- the first time I've ridden my fancy road bike in DC. A couple of riders checked the bike out, which is always satisfying.
Today, Columbus Day, the intrepid CurtEye (Curtis in latinate) and I went to the Vet. Shocking bill since it was guilt trip so I bought all the frontline and heartworm medicine from them. I always feel on a first visit to a vet I must buy stuff from them before I go off to other cheaper sources. In Sacramento, the prices weren't that different than the discount stores, but clearly NW DC vets need to charge a lot more to afford their prices. Let's not even talk about how much the mole removal is going to cost, and the fact that I have to do it on the day after Turkey Day. But at least the guilty conscience about neglecting the dog is over. It just means that there will be no clothes buying or yarn buying for me.
Reading report: Finished Miles and Me by Quincy Troupe. Good, but I didn't learn as much about Jazz as I wanted. I think I need to read Miles: An Autobiography by Troupe instead. Last night I started a book on Beethoven. I'm obviously on a learn some more about music kick. I have no musical training and a poor voice, but I'm intrigued by the process and the social construction of it all. But I'm obviously going to have to go to the library tomorrow and return my current books and get something else. Suggestions welcome?
Cooking report: nothing to speak of, though I bought some nice apples at the farmer's market on Saturday as well as asparagus from Chile or somewhere. Gym Report: have to go see the foolish trainer tonight and say she's not much use. Self-discipline is going to be the rule.
K should be recovering from jetlag and capable of posting soon, she'll have to provide the amusement since I don't think I've managed much of it today.
L from DC
Friday, October 05, 2007
Other than that, I've enjoyed my time away, here in the land of little internet access and almost no cellphone service. Checking my email, I see I have no email, which isn't surprising, as all who'd write me are here with me, in one way or another --- except for P. who is getting by with text messaging and quick calls whenever I get in range with the cell.
It is autumn, in some strange Indian Summer sense of the word here in Virginia. Dry and warm, and utterly fragrant, but the air seems pregnant with unshed rain, and absolutely no real weather on the horizon. LOTS of emotional "stuff" with family and friends going on, so the feeling of being very full is amplified and echoed by the weather.
In DC, I had a thoroughly satisfying visit with Lucy, who cheerfully threw her hat into the blogging ring and become the co-author of this space, (give her love, people!)as well as loaned me her dog to snuggle with on certain groggy mornings. I also met up with and lunched with the completely delightful blog kin,Reya, whom I felt as if I already knew. Later, big epiphanies about my life in Northern VA, now run its course. Tarot, red wine, red meat, and a long heart-to-heart talking with my friend T, and old next door neighbor Tina, too. The drive down to my parents' place, and hours of "Dallas" reruns with my dad, my mom's excellent fried chicken, and hours to roam the highways and byways of my youth.
I found myself laying flat on my back in deep grass and purple vetch in a field, watching bees sample goldenrod above me. I love this place I've come home to, but I am growing ready to step back into the flow of my day-to-day life again.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Lucy back with some pictures: Here is the sister-in-law's Kristin's belated shawl supposed to have been part of possible options on the festivities on 7/7/7, but not finished until -- oh, yeah, still not finished, but bound off and just a few ends to be sewn in and then blocked. It is pretty fabulous, if in fact filled with mistakes. The pattern came from Knitpicks "Rectangular Cover Shawl" (http://www.knitpicks.com/Rectangular+Cover+Shawl_PD50473220.html ). And the yarn was also knitpicks: Merino Wool in lace weight - "jewels" color since she said something about lilacs and I thought about the "color blue" myth: http://www.knitpicks.com/Shadow_YD5420127.html
Maybe because knitting this sweater haunted me through the spring and summer (and another relationship break up), I've portrayed it as ghost here. It also matches this pretty japanese wood block from my grandfather.
And then here is the baby sweater, but without baby. It was actually begun for another friend, but has now been received in Duluth to be worn by Sky Johnson, son of Kirsten Aune and Chad Johnson and baby brother to Forestasia Aune -- it apparently fits, though I've used a chapstick to show you how tiny the thing was:
Also from knitpicks sock yarn and a knitpick pattern, but I converted it to the round, and I don't remember much else about it. The buttons came from the button box. Yeah.
I love the blog already because Chelsea has already followed up about my missing pattern. Hope everyone is happy.
p.s. here is Kim and Curtis in my guest bed:
[Kim appears to think the picture is unflattering and it may be deleted if she protests enough]
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Kim recently flew into what she calls the "old country" and convinced me to join the festivities on Knitted Brow. It is somewhat appropriate since I think my ex-boyfriend came up with the name for the blog before it existed. So here, I am, Lucy of the District of Columbia, where we don't have the vote (call your senator and representatives and suggest it would make me happier if I might have one since I have to live with all of them).
Like Kim, I have a dog. Indeed Ella probably met my dog Curtis before I met Kim, but they became fast friends and so did we. That was back in the glory days of Sacramento -- but now we and the dogs are about as far away as we can be. A picture should appear somewhere of Curtis in front of the marine memorial. Unlike Kim and Ella, Curtis and I rarely compete except over couch space. He did come in third place for cutest senior dog this spring.
As to knitting, I tend to knit in the round (I hate seaming) and I buy yarn on sale whenever possible. My knitting gure is Jaqueline Fee and her sweater workshop book (http://www.amazon.com/Sweater-Workshop-Jacqueline-Fee/dp/0892725338) Apparently it just got mentioned in a podcast, because all these people are joining the related yahoo group about it. The group is not that interesting if you don't have the book, so buy first and then join.
I just finished gifts: a little baby sweater made from Knitpicks sock yarn that is cute (and done in the round despite the free pattern). If pictures of baby arrive, I shall post. I also finished a lace shawl for my new sister-in-law. It was supposed to be for the wedding on 7/7/7, but it took a bit longer. Her birthday is Friday, so I can quick sew in the ends and block it and pretend it is her gift. Hurrah. Now I need to get back to the aran sweater for my father, but I've lost the pattern which I copy out of Knits for Men and then converted to the round. Anyone have that book and want to copy the pattern for an aran which has patterns for both a man and boy? I can find the name, if you have the book. I'm looking around for a project to make ME something, but . . . haven't found it yet.
Otherwise, Kim and I had a fine time at Crafty Bastards -- she bought t-shirt, wool, and ?. I bought two pillows. At a store across the street I bought a new funky dress. Then we both got spa pedicures -- fabulous and returned to our new favorite bar, Bar Pilar.
Likely themes for me here will be: not knitting, attempting to go the gym and/or cook dinner, and what book I am reading. Just started a book called Miles and Me about Miles Davis.
I do get a gold star since I went to the gym last night -- I don't know how to insert a gold star but imagine one!