Tuesday, January 24, 2012

water dragon new moon love bubble

Since all hope of catching up with the events of my last 3 weeks is washing away in my 2 flooding creeks beyond the yard, I will simply post a cold-hard-facts post. Bo-ring, I know, but we play catch up with a minimum of drama.

Knitting: Aidez, back completed and pretty. I love the sheepy Ecological Wool, and the big fat US#10 needles. I do not love traveling trellis cables, as they require me to pay attention to the ever-changing status of seedstitch fill and which cable to use to cause all that traveling. But I do like cabling, as evidenced by this little bit of cozy comfort:
I joined in the madness of the Outlander Fans annual swap, centered around Diana Gabaldon's book characters and storylines. This little coffee cozy is a product of a swap-related activity, in which you and a partner are "dancing to the same tune" so to speak. I have been using it nonstop, since taking the fiddly thing off the needles, and I've decided that a coffee cup cozy is the ultimate Small Luxury, especially when it is knitted up in one's own handspun - the remnants of the shetland that decorated my Riverrun Shawl.

I'm still in the commuter marriage, which has been a blessing and a curse, depending on the day you ask me. P was offered an early retirement buyout from the Feds, and is considering taking it - it wouldn't happen til 2013, but that event is one which profoundly affects where we live - on one salary(mine) + one pension(his), the Washington, DC area becomes too expensive to enjoy. He'd take a year off and then go back to work as a private consultant, but we're thinking to just locate that work down here in Atlantis. My hard-working husband has been kicking around retirement for awhile, but thinking it would be a 10 year plan, as he gets increasingly fed up with the government service. As in Education, the golden heyday of Federal Service is past. So we're running the numbers, but the current plan is to stick out the commuter marriage til mid 2013, keep the Atomic Lodge as our home base, and then decide whether to stay here or move to some cheaper, possibly more rural place in VA, closer to my Olde Country.

After a day of heartfelt sadness over not going back up to the Love Bubble of the DC area, I experienced a wave of profound relief at not having to plan for a Big Move this year, and a wave of joy at the idea of being able to live in the Atomic Lodge for at least another year. I don't think I'd been letting myself feel the love for awhile because it all seemed so temporary. Now, I look at the redwood ceilings, the boulders, the green woods, and I feel a balm, a loosening of my frozen heart.

All this was hard to explain to the NoVA friends, of course. "How could you possibly stay there?" When I explained the whole ECONOMICS of the thing, there was understanding, of course, but closing the door on the Love Bubble plan was hard. I do have friends here, but settling into a place takes time, and I am still in the midst of that process, here.

I drove up to the Love Bubble this weekend, a drive which included 150 miles of blowing snow, and a return trip of socked in fog and stinging cold drizzle. It was punctuated by happy times visiting the King Memorial on the National Mall with P and a very old friend from CA, reuniting with DisKnit for a couple of joyous hours, bloody marys with my old cocktail circle in Shirlington, and good times hanging with my husband in his corporate apartment in Ballston. I took Ella, and learned that she is a great apartment dog, and that having a big dog in an apartment with no backyard is a hassle I do not want to deal with. She enjoyed the travel and the constant attention, however, and I do love spending time with my aging grey lady. Cricket stayed with the babysitter and played frisbee and tracked mud in the house all weekend. DC gets snow and ice, Atlanta gets rain and mud.

Now I'm back here, taking a day off from my 2 McJobs (which I will discuss in detail, later - suffice to say that neither is paying me what I am worth, but both are fun and not too taxing) and trying to embrace all that I have to do around the place.

Happy Chinese New Year! Happy New Moon! May the energy of the Water Dragon bless us all with prosperity, peace, and health!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

An experiment

How can anyone look at this yarn and not be happy? I just love Noro in all its crazy psychadelic beauty. This Kureyon sock skein is full of Easter egg candy colors that are just begging to be knit up into some silly springtime socks that go with nothing, therefore going with everything. It was a gift from my knitter Patty, who insists she didn't know what to do with it. (hoard it! pet it! sniff it!)

After a careful assessment of my stash - holding fast at 2 big Rubbermaid tubs and a file box, and my finances, holding fast at not very much money at all, I have decided to Not Buy Yarn in 2012. I have mulled over this long and hard, the past few days, when I was considering resolutions and affirmations for the coming year. At first, I made the pledge secretly to myself, and then decided it would be too easy to break if it were my little secret; I tell myself all kinds of stories and they contradict each other all the time. This would be another one. Nope. I'm putting it out there. It's an experiment. Souvenir yarn is no exception. Festival yarn is no exception. A year of not buying yarn. No exceptions. I am allowing myself a reasonable amount of spinning fiber, IF I am spinning consistently.

There. I committed to it.

Mostly this is an experiment, to see if I can do it, like the No Bottled Water commitment, and the No School Cafeteria Food pledge, and various slow food efforts I've made. Putting it out there helps me to take it seriously. It's also a challenge for me to delve deep into the stash and handspun and knit it up. I have more yarn than I want or need, and yet I love it all. So I'm gonna let all of it be enough for now.

In other news, I have finished the mitered mittens, including cutting into the knitting to place the thumb. I'm happy with how they turned out, and really, cutting into them wasn't too bad, and accompanied only by a cup of Tension Tamer tea and the latest episode of Downton Abbey, which is obsessing me, as I catch up with old episodes in order to prepare for new ones. The mittens are warm and slightly scratchy, and when our weather changes - supposedly temps are warming up by Friday, I will give them a good soak in Eucalan and hair conditioner to soften them up a little. If I had to do this project over again, I'd make them a little bit shorter. No one needs a gauntlet that long, do they?

Meanwhile, I march along on Aidez, enjoying the knit, but it's a big sweater, so the progress is slow and uninteresting to the casual observer. To folk looking to knit a chunky aran cardigan, it's an easy knit so far. I wish it was done already, as these temperatures in the teens and twenties at night are daunting. I am making full use of my little stable of hats, even wearing them indoors.

Hoping for sub work soon; the district just started back to school today after the Christmas recess, and I'm still being entered into the system, I'm told, so no sub calls yet, but I'm hopeful and ready to start working. I've ironed all my pseudo-professional outfits and hung them up in the closet, readjusted my bedtimes (9:30pm) and wake-ups(5:00am) and organized some lunch likely food. If you build it they will come, I'm told.