The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today's Question

and then some too--since I found the Q&R for the Curious thanks to that email from Siona earlier. :-)

What does your body want to say to the world?

be free
be free

What's your favorite insect?

praying mantis
how can one creature be so--meditatively engrossing while be able to scare the pants off small children, be such a good thing to have on hand to control unwanted insect populations and a creature only dreams may surround

If you could be anywhere but here, where?

Wales, deep and lost in the hills and the valleys, surrounded by sheep and the taste of sea smarting the breeze

If you have to leave Earth, what 5 things will you bring?

not counting kids or pets--

a pen with plenty of ink refills (do the refills count as one or each refill individually? or do we count ink along w the pen)
a blank journal
a comfortable pair of boots
a pair of knitting needles
my wedding ring set

What flower holds the most meaning for you?

there's a toss up
either the rose or honeysuckle
I love roses--and they hold way too much inference about the previous marriage I was in--it's a flower of hope and majesty and just perfection on so many levels to me.....
honeysuckle always evokes such a positive sense of well-being and bliss in me--it is the scent of all things good
and it is pretty darned tasty too in a variety of forms

Why did you choose your profile picture?

My gaia profile pic is my fave octopus seen right at the top of this blog--my blue-ringed baby.
This is also the tattoo--the exact (fairly much--this picture was the template) image of my tattoo--
There are so many things I could say about this creature--but there is so much I would prefer to keep to myself.
This creature is me--on far too many levels. See me and be warned--even though if you pass the test you will never find anyone more devoted.......
This octopus is also my guardian and my teacher--how can I deny that?


How interesting that today when I woke up--no--when I finally made it to my computer after the kids woke up and I was able to reach my livid little box--I had an email (not to me personally -- but to the entire group) from Siona and it had a bunch of the daily questions that I had missed--and links to the responses.

Well, since i missed the original releases I think I will tackle them now, just because. Or at least some of them anyway. :-)

How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?

This question is very interesting. Especially w yesterday my birthday and my friend picking on me about getting old.
Funny how time lines run in my life and I never really have that worry some people have of time running out.
Here I am nearly 40 and I am not that close to having my life's dream--although I am closer now than I have been in a long time.

I would not like to be a child again--because there is no freedom there.
I would not like to be a teen-ager again, unless I take with me the knowledge I have now and I continue to build upon that.
I would not want to be in my 20s again. Simply because that is when I died.

So far my 30s haven't been the greatest, but this is the best time in my life thus far.

I want to appear young--but not too young, physically--somewhere in the Mother range of the Maid-Mother-Crone aspect--but not too young. Somewhere in the range of 35-45--and just let it be. And then of course--the rest is just Timeless and left on to be.

What do you think about 2012?

It's just a day, like any other.
Whether it turns into the end of times a la Terminator or whether the planet implodes--not much to be done in any direction.
Things have to happen.
Life in some form or fashion will continue to go on.

What does happiness smell like?

for me, somewhere in the range of fresh baked bread, rose petals and honeysuckle in bloom.......

I'll have to post a sample of my hand-writing later on--since i have about 7 different writing styles (I'm not joking--check out my journals--and that's just cursive--) I have to decide what to post--the clear and well-modulated version--or the scribble and scrawl version that has lately become my normal preference......

Friday, February 27, 2009

Questions And Reflections has a questions and reflections message and I receive it every single day. I used to try to answer them when the mood struck me, long ago. Then I stopped, for whatever reason.

Then I decided about a week ago I wanted to do more--I wanted to start answering them again.
I have no idea what happened to my account when they transformed from zaadz to gaia--but I haven't been able to log in since the change--but that's ok--because I opened a new account and I am pretty happy with things again. I like gaia even better than zaadz--though I am in no way knocking zaadz.

What I am trying to say is--I am planning to bring the questions here--simply because this is the one place I always come back to in a timely manner--eventually anyway. :-)

I didn't put the date with these questions--they are all recent. I simply wrote the question down on my thinking pad and went on with my day. I have answered several of them in my head already, but as yet have not put anything down in print.
I can not promise really long keen cool answers to any or every question--I will just answer with what comes up for me. Sometimes that brings up more stuff later on. Sometimes it doesn't.

The question with which I am beginning is this one:

Where did you come from?

Truly? Everywhere and nowhere.
I come from in between the stacks of books in every library in every town.
I come from between every flip of film in every movie I have seen and not seen, every one I have been in, and been away from.
I come from within my own mind and my own brain--from within the calm still pool near the kelpie's pond, from the burned out hollow of a log where lightning struck, from where the volcanoes belch into the seas, from the morning's mist and the monsoon's poisons.
I come here.
I'm not yet sure where else to go.

What will I never regret?

Giving birth to all my children, regardless of the people in my life at any time.

What is one thing that there are no words for?
There are always words, even if the words are insufficient. If you can't find the words in one language, try looking in another. There are always ways to express the inexpressible.

What have you been carrying the longest?

It's a toss-up between Guilt and Shame.

Where is your favorite place to hide?

Inside myself.
In a big wide crowded room full of people.
In a small room with not many people.
In the grocery store.
In the woods.
In my dreams.

What kind of angel would you want to be?

I like this one; it's funny and quirky. It made me think--and shows how funny and quirky I am. And not funny haha either.

I would not want to be an angel at all. There are too many rules and regulations associated with being an angel.
I'd rather be a fairy. But not a fairy god-mother or anything--because then we still get stuck in the whole rules things.
Fairies can pretty much do what they want--they can be utterly rude and cruel and careless--and beautiful and striking and charming. All at the same time. I can be hateful and loving in one breath. That's the easy part.

If I were an angel, I'd be a solitary angel. I'd have to go away from everyone else, all their problems and troubles, their rules and attitudes. I'd have to go sit and ponder all day and watch the world go on and on.

What type of weather are you wishing for today?

Better ask me where I want the weather to be happening first. :-)
I would love a nice spring day, a little chilled, but a little warm. But only only at my house. I want a blizzard to cover all my neighbours. It sounds very unfriendly, but the neighbourhood kids (only two of them) mess with the dog and encourage her not only to hurt herself (she's on a lead as the backyard isn't fenced in all the way yet), as well as her bad habits like jumping, mouthing and barking--which we work so darned hard to make her stop here before she hurts one of the kids--mostly N.

If we were in a different house, I would say let it snow and let's light the fireplace and snuggle. Different house--different state--different country.

As things stand--it's cold and rainy and freezy. And that's ok too.

What is a must and a must not?

This one seems to speak more to one's personal ethical and moral boundaries--what I must do is not the same as what you must do--and so on.
Some of these boundaries of my own I am unaware of until I come up upon them -- sometimes my own boundaries surprise me.

We must do as our conscious guides us, to do or not to do.

Share the story of your life, using only six words.

Here I am, ready to go.

What I Did Today

I washed every dish in my sink--even though now it looks as if I haven't done dishes in a week.

I made cupcakes, to go w the 2 cakes and the cupcakes we stayed up to make last night.

I fed the bird inside, the birds outside, and the cat outside. Not an every day occurrence by any means.

I cleared the floor in my den, vacuumed it and everything. There is still a pile of kids books awaiting a bookcase--but we'll be going to get the bookcase soon enough.
I also moved the piles of felted sweaters off to one side and picked through them a little just to remove the much much thinner ones. Don't worry--I'll find something to do with those ones.

I completely did not freak out over 2 containers of powder whose contents now decorate what surely seems to be absolutely every surface in the house--except the parrot and the fish--and how they escaped only Heavens know.

I yet again managed to ignore that pile of laundry in desperate need of folding in my bedroom.

I washed my hair--and it's all curly again--frizzy since it's a rainy day--but my dd is now happy--my curls will come back after I straighten my hair--it's so awesome that she swears she likes my hair straight much better than curly.

I found that yoga book I've been looking for since nearly when I unpacked all the books when we moved in --I knew I'd seen it--I had to move the kids table in the den away from the one shelf before I saw it. But I saw it. So, even though I am currently reading a bunch of other things, I know where it is even if I am not quite ready to read it.

I worked--and it was a good day at work for me.

And I am really hoping to get the kids to sleep within the next hour--and sneak out to the couch after they crash so I can actually sleep tonight. Just as I refuse to have more than 1 tv, computer that plays dvds notwithstanding although this weekend the computer has played nada somehow, I refuse to buy a larger bed. I have a full-sized bed. Me personally that is all I want. I don't to share it with the kids--it just ends up happening that way--kids and dog. I wasn't too upset over the dog at first--she was small and sick when we got her. Now she is large--and fluffy--and thinks she ranks the same as my dd in pack hierarchy --which means 60 pounds of love thumping down not beside me but on top of me in between dd and me when we go to bed (think cheek to cheek)--she sleeps at the foot of the bed when ds is here--and I am glad some nights she is fluffy and she gets too hot to sleep on the bed with us.
If I get a bigger bed--it won't help. I will still have a kid on each side pressing in as close to me as if they were attempting to return to the womb.
I get overwhelmed by touch--frequently. Too much touching. I need a break. Alot. And I have the dog who has to be touching. The kids who have to be touching. A bird who loves to be touching when we let her/him/it. And all I want is a day off, a car to take me quite far away, and the whole day to do absolutely nothing but climb hills and mountains and be as far from humans as is possible in this day and age. I'd love to go canoeing--just not right this second--cold and wet has little appeal for me--but hey--warmer weather is coming! Soon. Surely. :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stop And Smell The Roses

These are the roses that client of mine sent me for Valentine's Day. They lasted til this past week-end. We still have the little daisy flowers out since they are still pretty and perky.
The roses were wilting and limp and petals falling--so I did what any enterprising woman would do. I pulled all the petals off the roses, leaving the stems still in the vase because we like the greenery--and how very Morticia is that anyway? :-)
I took all those petals and put them on my canopy (it's mosquito type netting) over my bed. I wanted them to dry out there, spreading their scent and not losing their colour, so I could have the rose feeling all over my bedroom--and then I could use the petals in other projects --soaps, potpourri, whatever.

Well, jumping on my bed is great for small children (grrr) --and my canopy is split down the middle (just how it's built) so as both little cretins were jumping on my bed, the petals 'fell'--and got scattered--so there are a few still on the canopy--many many did the dog eat--there are lots of petals all over the floor--amidst the normal glitter--and dog fur--that resides so cleverly upon my bedroom floor (we won't go into why--really ;-) ) .

But we all really got a great deal of enjoyment out of those roses. They were excellent.

Now, to get the 'painting the roses red' song out of my head..........

Hello Dolly

Just wanted to post pictures of her up.
E is upset w me because I still won't let her play w my doll. :-)
My Alice doll arrived--smaller than I had thought but still lovely--E doesn't want to play w her though. :-) lol

This is Youtsuzu. She now has a permanent place from which to watch her world.
She has a 5 layer kimono on--so beautiful. Wish I had a pair of her shoes for myself--silly, I know, but still.

Ribbon Shawl In Progress

I actually put the pattern and details up on ravelry, if anyone is interested.
If anyone could give me a clue on what they yarn is I would really appreciate it.

Our Faithful Companion

What can we say to this?
Such a loyal companion--such a butt-head......

Cricket Has A BoyFriend

Preening is how parrots show their affection--Cricket far far far prefers R over anyone else in the house--and he/she can be quite belligerent about things too.

I wish them all the luck in the world. :-)
Even if I do get smacked for that comment.....

This Is A Doll?

Remember me telling you about Notjustyarns?
My order came in yesterday.
The yarns smell --like chocolate.
The came with a little potpourri sachet thing--which I just love--and it has rose petals in it (we love roses and rose petals here :-) especially this week).

These are some of the most spectacular yarns. So beautiful. So delicate. So soft to the touch. We are talking a major sensation overload here. It is terrific. And there are 20 skeins here too. So I am a more than satisfied customer. I am a very happy camper.

BUT, I keep taking out these yarns and I keep fondling them (as I eye my winder and swift, wanting to put them both into action at once) I keep thinking--is my doll in this? Such exquisite yarns--do I want to make up some little toy-like creature with these yarns? Don't I want to make something so much more magnificent with these yarns?

What? You didn't see that coming? I sure did--even as I was ordering the yarn I thought it would probably happen. :-) I had two fears--one was that I wouldn't be able to bring myself to use said yarns and two that I would run out of the yarn for whatever bit I was working on and then the whole project would be fubar and I'd have ruined all that lovely yarn, as well as my creation.

So either way--it was sure to happen. :-)

Now I keep pulling out these skeins and putting them together thinking--shawl--thinking--SHAWL--thinking--SHAWL--hello there--on tiny needles--shawl. Several shawls if need be.

There are so many complimentary colours in this batch. Of course the one favourite of mine that stands out is the dark purple one, at the top of the pictures. But my other favourite is the grey and white at the bottom of the pictures. I love that purple--but I do think the grey and white is my absolute favourite.

Yes, I have gone through, many a time, pulling out yarn for skin colour, hair colour, even tail colour if I should go the mermaid route. But nothing yet satisfies me.

I am waiting for this yarn to speak to me, to tell me what it wants to be and what it wants to do.
And meanwhile I think I need to find a bowl or something so I can openly display this stuff it is so gorgeous.
I have 1 issue with the yarn--and it's not all bad. I would have liked it more if the yarns had been labeled (cotton, alpaca, wool, etc etc etc) -- I'm not even interested so much in how many yards per hank there could be--I'd just like to know what's in the yarn.
But otherwise--I honestly could not be happier.
This whole batch is just--beyond amazing.
Thank you. :-)

All Hail The King

This is my boy--he had to have that crown--and he wears it well, doesn't he?


This is my rug.

When E was sick 2 week-ends ago--and my friend and I got a chance to go to a nice place and have a few drinks without the audience of children--we saw something in the parking lot as we were leaving.

Now, I had had a HUGE frozen margarita--and tequila is my friend--so when I saw what looked like a downed sheep in the parking lot--of course I had to investigate.

The rumour I have since started is that R got me the rug himself because he knew I'd love it--and I do. It washed and bleached up right nicely and is a grand addition in my bedroom.
Truth be told--I was the one that spotted the thing--and he helped me carry it and stuff it into the back of the car-as I was a little unsteady on my feet for a variety of reasons.

But--this is my rug--and I love it. :-) And it was a great gift from R too. He's such a caring thoughtful friend. :-)

Why Can't I Go?

I can't go to the mardi gras party--because I work my current job and I have kids :-) -- otherwise the kids would just be an excuse if I didn't really want to go.......

plus, considering what I have heard about these wild free-for-alls--it would not be pretty for all of us to be in the same room together--it would be quite dangerous.

Although with these lovely kilted lads--how can that be a bad thing, eh??

Birthday Hair

Every year for my birthday--or at least some time in February, I do something different to my hair. February is a really rough month for me--and although the utter gloom-and-doom-depression of years gone by is passed--I have this weird inconclusive energy all month long.

And it is always something w my hair--a new cut--a new style--a new colour (usually). Well, my hair I had cut in January and I still love it--so the cut is fine. And although my colour is -- in need of touch-up--(I have like 3 shades of blonde that I have used, on different sections of hair--on purpose--and now the roots are showing in more than just the rear)--but I am not in the mood to colour my hair at the moment.

My best friend took us out to dinner last night for my birthday--since his girlfriend is having surgery on my birthday--we went to Outback--and E not only ordered steak--but she ate it, most of it (and even tried the blooming onion too, without being harassed)--and then when we went to the grocery store afterwards we had to buy dead cow there too just for her--and she ate a whole steak for breakfast this morning--colour me amused and amazed. :-) Anyway--I only had 1 wallaby darned--I LOVE them--but the schnapps makes me leery since schnapps and I go way too far back and it's not pretty--funny what can happen to affect you your whole life--in just a few short hours on one new year's eve night........anyway--I was sober--but loose.

We were walking through the mall when the herstyler guy caught E looking at his wares--and offered a demo. Well, she's too shy--and I was all for it--although I don't think I had actually combed my hair in a week or so--at least I had washed it on Sunday, so thankfully it was clean. :-) So the guy straightens part of my hair--and it is great--and yes it is still straight--and shiny and soft. Then he curls E's hair --two little curls and this kid is in high heaven.

I've never been much into hot things near my head--my hair is very weird--brittle and thin and coarse and wiry and thick and spiral curly frizzy at its best--even without styling gear my hair is a frazzled dried out mess just because that's how it is. But this straightener was pretty cool.

So cool when we went to walmart we did some instant research--and this was before finding out how much they would have cost at the kiosk or online or anything. For $40 we got a really nice version of the exact same thing that was at the mall--without all the patterns and leopard skins and all of that--so I am happy and E is happy--although she's upset I can't make her hair curl w it--but I did tell her last night when we bought the straightener if I couldn't do the curls I'd buy a curling iron just for her hair. And next time we go to the store--I will.

Only part of my hair was straightened last night, by the kiosk guy. This morning--after I had an argument with the stupidity of the breaker box in the house--I straightened my entire head of hair--I still need practise to get it all right--but I can do it--and my entire head too--and it does look really--good. I think it is faintly disturbing. I really like it--but it is so different. :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Knitting Plethora

I've been sick off and on since my loving son gave me germs a few weeks ago. Add in the weather changes and the tides and moon cycle and whatever else you want to add in to make things seem the way you need them to seem-- I just haven't done much knitting. I just haven't felt like it.

I was having headaches until my son came to visit this week-end. As soon as he walked in the door the head-ache I'd been fighting since I could stand upright after the worst of the illness just disappeared. So at least he and I both felt better.

Now, during my bout of illness, while on a call (it really does help to keep my conscious brain somewhat occupied while the rest of my brain does the 'work' when I am working--that's how I got into automatic writing--I needed something 'legitimate' to occupy myself with while actually in front of clients rather than the phone clients and then--automatic writings began there...what can I say?) I started going through etsy--not ebay--just etsy--I really do prefer etsy--I have bouts where I go looking for wedding dresses--even though I have patterns here on-hand. I want a pale blue dress--but much like Mammy and her petticoat from Rhett--I want scarlet or crimson underskirts that both no one can see and honour the Ancestors --red and gold--that's going to be a very interesting twist.
Anyway--the issue w the dress as it stands at the moment is -- most of the ones I like are sleeveless or with a scooped neckline. I don't want any of my tattoos showing at all at my wedding--don't ask me why--everyone who goes to my wedding will know in advance about my tattoos--I just don't want them showing in the bridal pictures for some reason. Which makes me ponder the whole shrug, shawl and veil angles alot more--cohesively than should be necessary. And I am wearing my hair down--and as curly as I can get it too.

All that means is--I spend alot of time on etsy looking for and at different things.
The other day it was shawls. There are so really tremendously beautiful things on etsy--and some of them are at such incredibly good prices--and then others the prices are so high--despite knowing the work that went into them--you wonder if the people were stoned when they priced them. There were several shawls I would have been happy just to be able to buy the pattern for them.
But as I was scoping out shawls -- I kept thinking that some of the really simple ones (you know--garter stitch or stockinette stitch, in acrylic yarns--and not under $45-50 to start--the ones where I am thinking an online trip to knitpicks is a good thing :-) ) --and I started thinking--all that yarn I have--I have lots of yarn that is really very pretty and nothing to really do with it--and here are these so simple rectangles of knitted fabric--some really were just garter stitch--plain garter stitch--with plain yarn--for such large amounts of money--that I kept thinking why? Why buy something like that when I can knit it myself?

So that's what I am doing.

I took a little stash dive--and I found a plastic bag full of a pretty (and kinda weird looking) ribbon yarn. It's a ribbon, that has tufts periodically--like a flower petal--one petal on each side of each tuft, two petals per tuft (not making much sense am I?). I had a bunch in the bag, different colours. No labels. And mostly unwound from their balls or whatever--and all tangled and knotted up with each other--which explains why something like that would be given to me. Here, T, this is too much trouble for me, but I know you love this stuff--so have at it.
So, I worked on untangling as much as I could--it did involve some cutting, yes. And it did take a couple days, yes. But I managed.
Since there are about 5 or so different colours, I am taking 1 colour and knitting for 2 rows, then taking a different colour for 2 rows, then alternating til one colour runs out--and then I switch that colour to something different--so whenever one colour runs out I start another colour--that way there is a continuity to the thing, as well as alot of variation in colouration. Which is pretty cool.
I've been scoping out yarn, ever since my one client asked me to knit him something and I wanted to use noro keureyon (I ended up with a nice multi-coloured wool--but can't remember what it is right now--I bought it local though--it has nice variations in it--nothing like noro of course, but still so lovely)--this means lots of ebay (and etsy too, though not so much) searching--so I had searches for noro of all sorts--and the recycled sari silk and everything else too--this shawl I am currently working on looks alot like recycled sari yarn mix--although when you get close you see the yarn is different.
Wish I knew what it was--cause as weird as it is on its own, it's working up really pretty.
I've been working on the thing off and on for two weeks--so I'll keep you posted.

Board Book Adventure

I have the pre-prepared and ready to go board book that I started last year before the move. All the backgrounds are covered, painted and ready to go. All I need to do is set the story and embellish away.

I am waiting to receive the pdf file of Alice in Wonderland images so I can print them out and see what we have and how I am going to combine them. (this post was written days ago and just now posted)

I am using Alice templates and pictures—but I am not doing an Alice in Wonderland book.
I want to play on the outrageous and bizarre angle. The sweet little girl stuck in a strange land surrounded by the strange.
Not necessarily Alice at all.

And then as I was pondering the Alice board book theories—I remembered a cache of goddess imagery that I have had since before we left to move to MD. In between pondering the Alice layouts, I had a lot of ideas about the goddess images. If the Alice images had not worked in the current ready board book—I would have used that book for the goddess images.

So—I have two board books in the wings. The goddess book—which I have only partially prepared—as in E tore some of the glossy bits off the pages, but not entirely. Si it still needs to be gessoed and prepared and everything. And the Alice book, which is fully prepared and ready to go.

Basically what all of this leads to is the fact that I have to go through and pull out all my glues and pencils and markers and paints and everything else available that I have packed up and packed away—which I have actually been looking forward to the past efw days—since this idea originally began to germinate.

One thing that has helped push me forward is the arrival of my copy of ‘ The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Altered Art’ by Allyson Bright Meyer. Why did I buy this? I saw it for sale at Edward R Hamilton – but since they don’t accept credit cards any longer (I haven’t ordered from them in nearly two years, when they first started to take credit cards it seems) I went to amazon and to see about getting it—and although it is very simple—it really helps me to focus on certain things—and I am hoping it will help me when I approach different techniques and applications.

Again I will keep you updated as things progress. First of all—I have to figure out where I put all those goddess images. Then I will decided where to go from there. 

Either way, my Alice book will be worked on and finished before all of that. I am sure.


Journey To The Doll

I want a doll of my own.

As if I don't actually have several anyway--from the ones I've made myself, to gifts, to ones I've bought myself.

I have this entire agenda this year for knitting and crocheting toys—for everyone else. Other than my amigurumi Alice in Wonderland doll—which I have not yet re-commenced as of this date. Although I keep looking at the yarn I have sitting here, the chosen for her flesh.

I have no real desire to fill my own room with toys I create for myself.

In fact, I have found about about this group and I think it is a wonderful thing. Can you see leaving such things at hospitals and nursing homes? Won’t that just be tremendous? Even leaving them in the offices for public assistance and WIC? Those children would be so – happy.

But—I want a doll. I gave my oldest dd my own gerber baby doll which I got for Christmas the year before my first brother was bourn. That poor doll has been through so much these past decades. But E is thrilled with her—as I always was too.

I have the necessary Waldorf doll making books—and all sorts of cloth doll making books—and several knitted doll books—and even a bunch of free patterns—sewn, knitted, crocheted.

Whenever I am bored lately I do searches on ebay and etsy and in other places for dolls—and doll making kits—and all sorts of doll-related things.

I keep looking and looking, researching, learning, thinking, pondering.

Some of the dolls I see are just so horribly ugly—I am so sorry. And then others show such a lack of – I don’t know, talent, experience, whatever. They are the whole I mean well but didn’t quite get it genre.

I found a gorgeous mermaid doll, with a removable tail, which I thought was so cunning and so cool. But it was the materials list that made me stop and think—again.  Who makes a doll out of silk? Would you give such a doll to a child? Not one of my children.  BUT if I made a doll for myself—what would I use to make it—if I had no limitations (because let’s face it, buying a small amount of something to make a doll is a lot easier and less expensive than buying a whole bunch of something to complete say a shawl or a shrug or something).
It’s the difference in gas between filling up your car—and filling up your motorcycle. For your car, unleaded is fine. For your bike—you get premium. Period. Though premium costs more, filling the bike tank is so much less than filling up your car tank –and the mileage is so much better with a bike, usually—that you don’t really focus on how much per gallon you paid—you think of how far you’re going to go on that one tank.

It’s like my doll idea here—it seems so much more reasonable to spend $50 in materials—hand-spun alpacas and silks and so on (I’ve been looking—alot)—but there will be plenty left-over from the stash to make any number of other small things—but that doll will be irreplaceable, beautiful, unique and forever special.

I haven’t bought any yarn yet (if you keep up w this blog then you know that's not true now--this post was written a couple days ago and just now pulled from one computer and put up on the blog)—I keep thinking, and planning, and pondering. But it is still there. I keep thinking what doll pattern I have on-hand—or close enough to on-hand—to make it worth my while. I keep going back and forth and just can’t seem to decide—so by my indecision I have decided to wait.

I have several dolls that I am supposed to make for various people this year. I was planning to crochet something for the ex for his birthday—the monk—but as I contemplate it right now I find myself unwilling to go out of my way like that. The monk doll is quite easy—but as I keep looking at the lotus—I find myself unwilling to do something like that for the ex—simply because he is so unappreciative of absolutely everything I do to try to be nice to him.

Let’s avoid the why be nice to him tirade—he is utterly –utterly. It has nothing to do with him personally—I didn’t like him much when we were a couple—why would I bother with him now that I have more than enough proof about his lying, manipulative back-stabbing ways (it’s called fear—he’s afraid of conflict of any sort and prefers to be underhanded about things in order to avoid—everything)—so why would I want to rekindle anything with someone like that? Not to mention—as a boyfriend—he was horrid—I am fine w cheap—and he is extremely cheap—what I cannot abide by was the complete lack—of everything—emotional connection, compassion, show of affection—and the complete inability on his part to even come close to being able to do anything for me in bed (which brings us back to the whole—don’t worry about paying attention in anatomy class—take a human sexuality class—even a communications class would help—if actually applied).

All I want is for us to be able to act like adults in order to do what is best for our children. Instead I get the if I don’t walk his line I am completely invisible line. He just pretends I don’t exist—which is frustrating via email—but is absolutely infuriating when it’s done to my face. I put up w enough of that from my family.

That is the only reason I try to be nice to him—because you have to suck up t the man and flatter him in order for him to even look at you sideways—or at least I do. Not to mention---one of these days the kids will see that I am doing all this work to keep things going and nice—and the ex is being a complete butt. One of these days these kids are so going to turn on that man—and I lack the capacity for sympathy for him anymore.

Anyway—my doll. I will make my Alice doll. I will make another doll for myself as well. And I will order that expensive beautiful yarn and I will make my own doll—all for myself—special and unique.

I am so sure there are so many other reasons behind my wanting a doll. But I won’t get into that here or now.

More to come on this as well.

February Delight

I know what it is about February—I know what it means to me.

I am trying to remember what I did last year in February—and I know that’s when I bought the beads and everything else for the beading process.

This year, thanks to a wonderful client who tipped me well, I started out by buying the baby knitting books.

Then of course Valentine’s Day – and I knew I would have to get something for myself for Valentine’s Day from the kids (even though I do so love the artwork by my son that currently hangs on our refrigerator)—the whole thing was precipitated by my excursions through ebay and etsy looking at Alice In Wonderland stuff. The bracelet from my kids came a couple days ago—and it is so beautiful. My light-switch plate came that day as well— it is ugly as sin up close and way thicker than I had thought it would be—but I love it.
I’ve been having those thoughts and wishes and desires about making my own doll—which caused me to order a lot of beautiful handspun yarn—and now I am awaiting its arrival.
It makes me glad that I ordered the yarn swift and the yarn ball winder. earlier this month.

Today I was unpacking more—this past week I had made a great deal of progress in the storage room. All the kids toys are out of the den—and the floor is now scattered with all my own things—papers and pens and bits and pieces.
But I was more than happy to find a great stash of things that I had just forgotten I had had—and many things I knew I had somewhere and just hoped that I had brought with me when we moved—rather than it being at dad’s waiting for me.
I found paints—oils and acrylics and water colour. I found paint brushes. I found stamps and ink pads. I found my bamboo reed pens. My tin of doll faces. Soft oil pastels. Brads. Blank ATC cards. Prepared tags.

See, my board book for Alice is bearing down on me—and I had been wondering about where my pencils and markers are—well—my pencils seem to be at my dad’s—but my markers are all here and accounted for—and I have my lesson book as well too—that will come out later on. Alice is why I originally started poking around tonight.

I am so very glad I did.

My printer is running low on colour ink—but I have been printing things out with the mediocre inks—and I have been loving them deeply. I spent a bit cutting the tiles and squares out this evening before I started poking around.

When I saw my tin full of small prepared tags I kinda got giddy. I have some very small Alice images. Things that would be so perfect for these tags.

I have had bits of poetry and stories and imagery flowing in and out of my brain ever since the Alice In Wonderland escapades online.

I am a very happy woman tonight.

So many avenues and mediums at my fingertips tonight.

One thing worse though—most of my supplies came from ollies in OH—and they were quite inexpensive—and now I have two stores to whine about not being able to get to while in St Louis—but then again—that’s what trips to visit family are for, right?

All right—so enough for tonight—as my goofy little girl is getting squirrelly about the dog not laying right here beside us for a change.


Alice In Wonderland

A few nights ago, I couldn’t sleep. The weather was in the process of changing—and that always keeps me awake, pushes me a little off-balance. Yes, I am that connected to the world around me. Do you know how long I once worked to not be so connected—and then conversely how hard I worked to regain that connection? It takes a mighty lot of work—in both directions. And, yes, it is harder to regain what you have fought to throw away than it is to throw it away in the first place.

So—Alice In Wonderland the movie, with Anne Hathaway and Johnny Depp (and a slew of others), has just finished filming or is about to be released or something in between those two things (my dad sent me an article about Anne Hathaway and her cross-dressing new role)—and I absolutely LOVE Alice In Wonderland (we will get to why in just a few minutes, to be sure).

My favourite “fairy tale” is Beauty And the Beast --have you seen my past lovers/boyfriends/spouses? ‘Nuff said right there—I am not in it for looks—I am in it for love—as my past can attest—and guess what—the whole I am aiming higher thing now definitely comes into play—even though I still love Beauty and the Beast.

HOWEVER—my favourite TALE is Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Beauty and the Beast is an easy one to decipher—I always try to look for the good in everyone around me—I always have—I offer that level of trust til my hand gets bitten off. But why Alice?

We are not getting into the whole was the writer stoned (or whatever) when he wrote Alice—I do not care. We are taking just the tale of Alice and are moving on from there.

I get it. I get Alice. I get feeling like a complete alien in a world that seems to want to accept me but doesn’t--or that doesn't want to accept me but I keep trying to fit in anyway. I have felt like this my entire life. Look—I was always the new kid—I was always the strange one, the different one, the Outsider. Even in groups where I ‘should’ have fit in—I didn’t. That’s why I am one of the few people who went through high school and I was friends with everyone—the popular kids, the smokers, the geeks, the sluts, the nerds—all of them were my friends—some better friends than others to be sure—but still. I’m smart – I’m pretty – and I have always wanted to be loved (which is my real downfall in life really). In Alice—there is the whole little girl lost—and surrounded by amazing and fantastical creatures and people—I get that. Every day I get that. I am constantly surrounded by the strange and the bizarre—on so many levels.

I love the new line of Alice books that have been created – and I like that there is a larger depth to everything in these books. I want more of them too. Frank Beddor is a bloody genius.

Anyway. I spent HOURS literally going through ebay and etsy looking for nothing in particular about Alice in Wonderland.

I ended up buying some digital artwork – because I have some amazing ideas (especially after seeing all the altered art and altered jewelry – I especially love the altered globe. I even bought a digital Alice calendar—and my friend is going to help me print it out. My colour ink cartridge is low—and I don’t have the paper to make it worth-while—and I also lack the ability to divide up the pictures in the way the instructions state. I was just willing to take it to a printing place and pay them to do it. A good meal in payment for time and ink and effort seems so much better. 

I also ended up buying the bracelet (see previous post) from my children for me for Valentine’s Day—I am wondering if I should do what I have planned for my birthday or not. I bought the ex something because my driver had a possible trip out of state to make this week-end and the ex’s birthday is next Saturday—so I ordered something (both kids approve—although only one did when I bought it) because I wanted to be sure we had something for him—even though I had to tell him we have to hope it’s here in time. I so hate making the effort for someone who could care less—but I have to make the effort because it’s from the kids and it’s important to them and for them.

If all else fails I did buy a doll (again with the whole I want a doll thing that we can get into later) for myself—before I knew about Youtsuzu—I wanted a rag doll—I have even been scoping out Waldorf and Waldorf-styled dolls of late—the time before this when I couldn’t sleep, when it was storming. I wanted someone I could hold and cuddle with and sleep with—just like a little kid, yes. Sometimes it helps. So much has been taken away from me for so long that sometimes a doll can be a very comforting thing. Add in the it’s good if she’s washable factor—because my kids will touch everything (which reminds me—N really loved Elannah last night—the first time he really saw her or played with her—I was quite impressed).
I also bought this keychain by Delphine Levesque Demers. I don’t really care for the anime stylization—but I thought it was cute—and I have a GREAT deal of admiration for her work—there are actually a couple of her prints that I may go back and get once I am better able to do so.
And then—there is this card that I absolutely could NOT resist because as weird as it sounds—I treat the riddle like a koan all the time—so—why is a raven like a writing desk? One of my old writing blogs was named after this riddle—and I still have a working email address that uses this riddle in part. It was just too cute to pass over.
I was thinking of buying these prints as well—they have the utter simplicity that I love—but they were not—involved enough to make it more worth my while there.

I pulled out my old half-done altered board-book just a little bit ago. It is absolutely perfect for my Alice project.

Here’s an image for you—this is what I feel like on a normal basis—the picture of Alice being overcome by the deck of playing cards—where they swoop up in a tidal wave to overtake her. It’s a beautiful and terrifying image. And yeah—that’s me—every single day.

Anyway—since I am absolutely determined at this point to work on my Alice board-book. I will keep you updated here. At one point or another. Always a journey. I am always on a journey. 

Knitting Book Upset

Well, I told you about all those knitting books I ordered when I got that tip from the one client?
See previous post about that.

Well, all the baby knitting books have arrived. And I am not really interested. Not a one of them has much to offer. I am so very disappointed.
And that one pattern I wanted—the pea pod looking thing—I found that pattern for free on Bev’s website – for free!
Of course, I am thinking that a couple of the bonnets would be nice to try. As well as the baby kimonos—but do you have any idea how many FREE baby kimono patterns there are?
I even found fitted diaper patterns—for free—on ravelry. Not just baby soakers—although there are many of those for free as well—but an actual fitted diaper.

‘Closely Knit’ by Hannah Fettig—it arrived as well. Ok, fine, another point to prove that I should not buy things just because they sound good. I want to make the one hat, the urban beanie. And I do love the bird’s nest pin cushions. I adore the heart patch pants. But there’s not a lot of other things in there—and it really seems a waste of time—I have patterns for bird’s nests and eggs—and birds themselves—knit and crochet. The little britches are available free online as well—even if they don’t have the little heart patches—although it is the patches that really makes me giggle and makes me happy.

Do you know what knitting book I did receive (yes, I ordered it) that I am absolutely in love with?
‘Knit One, Haiku Too’ by Maria Fire. There are no patterns in this book at all—not that I have found. But there are delightful inspiring stories—and very pretty haiku. I really enjoy both—the stories and the haiku.
“An artful journey
Poems, stories, and stitches
Inspiration found”
This from the front of the book itself.

I do so enjoy reading this book.

All those baby books—all those patterns—all that disappointment. Here’s how one becomes a pattern designer all on one’s own—by not being able to find just what one wants.


Some days the arrogance of some people is really a lot to bear.

How do you come into my home one day, take my daughter out to eat, bring my son food back, and me nothing?
And yet the next tie you come over, you go through my refrigerator and take whatever you want to eat and to drink, without asking, without permission, and call yourself being fair and equitable and—maintaining boundaries?

I wrote that a couple months ago actually--it's been sitting on my laptop waiting for me to finish it out--but there really is nothing left to say about that incident. Not enough to set me off.

A friend of mine pointed something out to me the other day that actually made me cringe--she said I am giving x way way too much credit. Sure, he can admit to be one of the laziest people on the face of the earth, but that doesn't mean everything I credit to his laziness is sheer laziness. She pointed out that alot of his behaviour can be called malicious intent. If he is able to get off his butt to go get E something for Valentine's Day--why can't N get me something for Valentine's Day? That sort of thing.

Now, x tells me I don't know him at all. I must. This friend has never met him--and she can predict his behaviour alot better than I can--apparently, as I am told by many sources, because I give him way too much credit for, you know, like, being human or something.

Some days I wonder why I tolerate the man--but every time I think this I look at my son--and pray some day I'll be able to help him. My son has a hearing disability. It too runs in my family--and I recognise the signs--the verbiage. Among the ear issues the kid seems to have constantly that the x utterly ignores me about--we won't go there. X is too caught up in it's all autism--and it isn't. N was like this from the time he was bourn--it's something different. But now that he talks more--I am watching--the kid does alot of what I do--since I have limited hearing in one ear due to scarring from ear infections--and he speaks like someone else in my family did as a kid--due to ear problems. He needs to watch my mouth when I talk when I introduce new words--and I do that alot so that my kids will be able to have something more than a comic book mentality and vocabulary when they are older--cause no (public) school I know of til college is going to teach them anything else. Watching people talk is something I have to do--but I also have to watch body language--and until N is older I won't be sure of what he is doing specifically--but it's worth paying attention to right now. I am not saying tubes in N's ears will cure every problem--but I am betting dollars to donuts it will help IMMENSELY.

But what do I know--despite my training, despite the fact I lived w it, despite it running in my family through direct lineage and cousins and all sorts of extended situations back several generations, despite any other number of things--I'm just a girl--so what can a girl know, right?

Apologies--had to get that off my chest.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

At Least Someone Cares

Valentine's Day for me was terrific--because of a man I have never met before--and he's a client as well.

First, he gave me a box of chocolates (had them shipped--not handed them to me in person):
a 4 tier box of Thomas Haas chocolate.
Now, when it came, I had no clue how expensive this chocolate is--or that it is hand-made (which is very very cool) or any of the neat things I have since learned about Thomas Haas.
I just liked the box. It has four tiers--and a lid--it all stacks on top of one another--almost like a pyramid--but all the same size and shape. The lid fits every layer the same.
The box is VERY cool--and ever since I saw it my brain has been working up different ideas for how to alter said box into a piece of art. :-)
Now the chocolates--well--I am really a simple person. Please do note--I even gave some to the ex when he was here--mostly because I knew he'd like it--and I wish he'd taken more--because I really don't. I like the bits w the nuts in them -- and I love the ones w bits if toffee in them. And that's about it. I don't care for chocolates w alcohol in them--the alcohol is too over-powering. I am not much into fruit -- unless it is raw and in its natural state. Give me a piece of plain fruit any day. I like plain fruit. I like plain chocolate. I've had lots of chocolates in my day--and although I used to prefer European chocolates -- these days I am even more simple these days--get me some dove milk chocolate and I'm good. And my ex may freak when he hears this, considering the promise he made me when we first started dating when I was living in Conway, but I am really not that much of a chocolate person any more these days.
Strange but true.
I am very much looking forward to altering the box on its own--and to using the chocolate wrappers (the little papers between the chocolates and the plastic tier set inside the cardboard box) in some other altered project--I really think these are going in the one book I haven't done much with--but then I haven't done much with anything since we moved.

The other thing my client got for me (did you think I was finished? :-) ) was a doll. A very beautiful gorgeous geisha doll--and I know nothing of her story or anything else--so if I get anything wrong I am sure someone will let me know. I like her because she is so beautiful. Youtsuzu.
My sister long ago got me interested in pullip dolls--and I have been watching and looking at them ever since--with no real reason to buy one of my own, even though I think they are so beautiful.
I have to learn how to put her accessories together and on her properly--but other than that--she is just beautiful. I have to research her now to find out more about her--because to me she is just a lovely geisha doll with lovely eyes and very cool shoes of which I am jealous. :-)
Now, the funny thing about this doll is the night before she arrived (she arrived yesterday afternoon) I had one of my restless sleepless nights--weather changes almost always keep me awake--and I was on an Alice in Wonderland kick--and I actually found a mini Alice In Wonderland pullip--for $30 on ebay --then only reason I didn't get her was her dress was pink--and I am not a pink person--much.
I have very very much been wanting a doll lately--I cannot really put my finger on just *why* I have wanted a doll so much, so badly, but I have. But we can get into that later on.
She's beautiful, Youtsuzu.
And here I was trying to figure out how to justify and how to swing getting her for myself for my birthday.
This client is the first person to actually surprise me in I don't know how many years. It's great.

I also got roses --roses. Same client too, yes. Someone gave me flowers--on Valentine's Day. Isn't that so sweet?

Now--as my one tirade and aside here--I made sure E picked something out for the ex for Valentine's Day from both the kids. I didn't get him much--I let E handle that--and I wasn't expecting much. My ds did make me a big heart at school--so ex had absolutely nothing to do with that. But not a card from the kids--not a happy valentine's--nothing at all from the kids. At least he did get E something.
It just bugs me to no end--he doesn't think about anything other than himself--I KNOW he personally isn't getting me anything--but the whole thought is that the kids are getting me something.
So--because I knew he'd be a prick about things--during my sleepless Alice IN Wonderland night--I made sure the kids got me something--this bracelet.
At least I am not completely left out in the cold by my own children this year. I've learned--either I get it myself--or the kids won't be able to get me anything--unless someone in my family takes them.

Anyway--I am very happy. Do you know how long it's been since anyone did something nice for me on Valentine's Day? And what is really bad is I don't expect anything--I never have--all I want is a hug and a kiss and maybe dinner when in a relationship. I am so simple some days it isn't funny. Although now I have much higher expectations--because I dated losers like ex for way too long.

First Things First

I am not a Mac person. I have a love/hate relationship w my mac mini-- the ex got it for me way long ago for some completely unknown and bizarre reason (these days we look back and say--guilt--but who really knows w him--much less him knowing why he did it).
The only thing I really like about mac is I don't have to worry much about viruses--mostly.

One thing you ought to know about me is I am actually NOT very technologically savvy--nor do I have any desire to be so. I need access to the internet--I need to upload and edit my photos, which I then put on my external hard-drive to save--I need word processing. I can operate the entire Microsoft Office Suite--although it may take me a little bit on different lesser used aspects since i haven't used them since I worked w SBC (now AT&T). I plan to run my website through someone else's server--not through my own--at least when I start it--and then as I gain more confidence I can get my own server and learn how to deal with that.
Plus, I have been told we will be making our own movies and so we will need the ability to edit and so forth the movies--the same as we do the photos. My oldest dd has asked for a camera that takes movies and still shots for her birthday--and I've told her she personally is NOT getting one--but we will look into getting one for the family that she can use.
I've already started researching cameras, thanks to R, so, we're good there. I really do miss my old 35mm that the ex destroyed and pretty much dismissed as not his fault/not his thing afterwards (I get ticky about slights like this--it wasn't his so why should he care about anything? Now my dd has a book of baby pictures of herself--but my ds does NOT and will not unless I find all the old digital pics and start getting them printed for him).

Back to the whole computer thing.
I need internet, blogging and research. I need email. I need word processing. And I need to be able to edit pics and save them elsewhere.

I have never actually been really happy w the mac. Then again, I am not always happy w the pc either. But my mac has issues. In fact, in the past month I have to restart the thing every time I go near it due to its issues. And nope, it is not a virus. The big issue I have w mac is I have no one to go to to ask for help the way I do a pc--not to mention on a pc I usually know where to start looking when there are issues. Not w mac. The ex is the only mac person I know and even when we were on decent terms he pretty much ignored me and told me it was just me when I had issues. To note: the reason I have to restart these days is an interesting flippy buzzy noise--and the fact that everything fairly much freezes while jumping. If it were a pc--I'd say it's some virus. My mac assures me that this is not the case. So--I just growl at my mac and go on.

I am spending the day pulling everything off my mac and putting it on the external had-drive. Yesterday we upgraded the memory on my pc--and now my pc is a dream--so fast. So efficient. And it has all the programs I want--and I know how to get and where to get anything else I might want--and I can make it do what I want it to do instead of what it thinks I ought to do. (I'm running XP Pro--although I am looking at linux instead these days).

As soon as I figure out whatever the mail client issue is w outlook express, I will turn the mac off for good and never touch it again--well--ok--I will re-format the thing and sell it to the highest bidder, but that's about it.

One thing that really surprised me was how very fast the pc became--versus the mac--even though the mac is a couple years old.
I actually can't wait for my pc guy to come and show me what's wrong w the outlook express (whatever it is I am doing wrong, I am sure) and then I can change everything over to the pc--and I won't look back at all.

I am not sure on the magicjack thing. We think the boost in the memory will make magicjack work better, etc. We'll see. Thus far, I am not really that impressed. For $40 for a year of local and long distance service though it cannot be beat. And I rarely use it anymore, simply because I have stopped calling most people--because I work on the phone--I therefore HATE to talk on the phone--I've been like this since I worked for operator services in the 90s. I hate phones--I hate people--and SBC is the real reason behind all of that. I was a moderately nice person and was much sweeter and more trusting--and then I worked for SBC--and it may not be the customers who are to blame--but the managers at SBC--and the way they treated the operators as something less than human that made me turn and become bitter towards all man-kind.
Please do note--I was never really that in favour of mankind to begin with--but I didn't really have the bitterness towards Man then that I do now. I was far more trusting, open and innocent before I started to work for SBC. SBC killed that dead--and it only took a couple months to accomplish too--how sad is that?

As things stand I am going to see what else we need to do to get the pc up into condition running xp pro--and then I am getting my laptop and learning linux--if I keep magicjack, then xp has to stay--but if not--the pc will be linux when my year w magicjack is up.

Hmmm. I keep pondering the whole local/long distance telephone thing. And there is something here with me wanting to call overseas lately as well -- I am so not getting into that at the moment--but it's still there. Hopefully that means some old contacts are thinking of me--as well as new contacts who are about to enter my life--somehow. :-)

This is my computer update for the time being--have fun today.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Chenille Shack

Please note--this is my dog helping--she wasn't helping as much as she wanted--or else she'd have been laying ON TOP of the yarn.
Isn't she precious?

Anyway--I love love love The Chenille Shack (please see previous post for links and all sorts of good stuff).

See here pictured the yarn I ordered:
1 pound plied bamboo yarn--(approximately 1680 ypp)---4 skeins
1 pound linen soy/cotton chenille yarn (approximately 900 ypp)--4 skeins
1 pound natural and green cotton chenille (approximately 1450 ypp)--4 skeins

And my beautiful free birthday present:
1 pound the quiet lights rayon boucle (approximately 1200 ypp)--4 skeins

I cannot recommend this place or these people enough--the store is awesome and customer service is STELLAR. :-)
And the yarns--the yarns--are so delightful. :-)

Please do keep in mind I am looking for a beautiful--but simple--pattern to knit up the rayon boucle--I want to make a shawl--preferably for my wedding--so if you have any ideas, please let me know. Thanks.

Spring Beret Number 2

Cotton Fleece in cavern? black -- I cannot find the label at the moment.

I started out with the same pattern (see previous posts)--using 9US needles to do the ribbing--then switched to 10 1/2 US for the body of the hat.
I only worked the 4 lace repeats--I did not work the extra Rows 1-6 before beginning the decreases.

And I am very glad I did not.

My hat fits perfectly--a little more open than the first go-round in olivette--and not so overly sloppy and lounger-ish as the original pattern would have us wear. I really like this hat--and isn't that the important part?

I still need a nice decent cool hat--in green--to make and wear for St Patrick's Day. :-)

I'll have to work on that. Need to find the right pattern, now, don't I? :-) Then we'll have a look-see at what yarn to use. :-)

Twin Blanket Number One

Red Heart Baby Clouds Cotton Candy
11 US circular needles

and granny's favourite dishcloth pattern

blanket is roughly 23 inches by 23 inches
give or take :-)

I haven't started the second blanket yet--the one for E--because I didn't want to hack germs all over it the entire time.

I started a ribbon novelty yarn shawl instead yesterday--for some unknown reason. :-)

Loves Of My Life

Chinese Wave Pcitures

Chinese waves washcloth:
Followed directions per pattern (see previous post)
Cloth is roughly 10 inches by 7 inches--because it was already way too long and I didn't want a square.
Got to use it in the shower--it's not the pattern I am looking for.

It does very well on the thickness. I like a nice thick cloth, yes. But I am looking for a pattern that is both exfoliating yet gentle--but not too gentle. This pattern -- too gentle--not exfoliating enough.

So--back to the drawing board there.

This Is Cricket

Friday, February 6, 2009


Ok--so you know I've been sick.

Today I finished my Chinese waves washcloth--and will be happily using it tonight in my shower-hahaha--well--the girl will probably beat me to it--but still--it's the thought that counts. And it counts as a FO too.

I started it yesterday--but my fever came back in the afternoon so I spent alot of time cat-napping between calls and I didn't finish it. I'll provide more details when I post the pictures.

I finally finished my second version of the spring beret --and I am very very happy with this one--I haven't taken it off my head yet-so that's a good sign. :-)

In case I haven't mentioned--and I will have pictures and more details up once I feel better again--or at least better than I feel right now--The Chenille Shack is an amazing and wonderful place. I will post more details once I get pictures up--yeah--I know--I keep saying that--but I mean it. I love Jeanne--she sent me free yarn as a birthday present--isn't that terrific? How can you beat free yarn--especially when it is so pretty?

I have found myself doing things I would never have thought I would do--usually I give a bunch of knitted things away when I start having too many around or when I just get tired of looking at it--this year I kept looking at the yarn I used with certain projects and whimpering about the yarn--noro kureyon, kettle dyed malabrigo---oh my oh my. And me, I still have not gotten to a lys yet--and nothing online does anything for my weird need to touch things and stroke things--and then buy 1 single skein of something or another--or several single and unrelated skeins of something. I have taken to frogging things--alot-- lately. And I have to locate the scarf I did--the seaweed pattern--blue wool--I am so taking that apart and reclaiming the yarn as my own again. :-)

I am getting really tired of the only yarn store I have seen being joanns or michaels--I just want a real yarn only store--that's all. :-) Maybe I can torment someone enough to get him to take me soon. :-) It's not all that fair that the yarn we need for his next project can be gotten at the dollar store. :-) Imagine if you will--a willie warmer made from--fun fur. Blue fun fur--but still. :-) Ya have to have a guy who wears a kilt in your life to really be able to have this sort of fun. :-)

And since I got the bonus at work, I decided the pen will not be my only birthday present. I bought myself a hand-operated (naturally) yarn ball winder and a yarn swift--I bought my yarn swift from ebay--mostly because I figured it was faster and less expensive just to buy one--and this one is beautiful in red mahogany stain. :-) I have a thing for red woods--I can offer nothing more than that. Plus I love real wood. :-) And to make it better (or worse since I had to pay state tax--which made this a whole 20 cents or so more expensive than the not in-state ones that weren't as pretty) I bought locally--or as locally as I am able. :-) It was in the same state as I am in--that for me counts alot. IL really does have alot to offer, huh? The Chenille Shack is in IL as well. :-)
My ball winder arrived today ( I ordered both the swift and the winder February 3)--and the swift should be here tomorrow or Monday. :-)

I have yarn in mind to play with since I want to make a wabi sabi shawl --it's something I have wanted to do for awhile--and the stitch pattern still wakes me up in the middle of the night as I ponder it--and pray has something to help me visualise everything and figure out how to do it.....
worse yet--I think the yarn I am planning to use is still in WV--although the trip to WV is currently being planned--or at least is in the let's talk about it phase and all.

I also have alot of wool sitting here waiting to be spun into balls--and I will admit the lack of desire to wind these yarns has stopped me from just picking up needles and working on different things at various times. I will no longer have that issue.

Why didn't I buy a spinning wheel?
Let's start with the obvious--where will I be sticking my spinning wheel--other than my bedroom? Uh huh. :-)
I have who knows how much stuff at my dad's wherever--and we still have to bring it back here.
Then there's the whole--fiber addiction and having to locate space to stash fiber--much less the stashes of yarn and sweaters I currently have--that's 2 kinds of sweaters--the felted sweaters to be used to make a blanket or whatever--and the stash of sweaters to take apart and turn back into yarn. And we won't get into the fabric stash either--right? :-)

Do you know what I want to do?
I want to take some of the felted sweaters and turn them into a patchwork styled skirt. :-) And I think I shall, once I have all my sewing machine bits here. :-)

Space for the wheel.
Space for the stash.

And I don't know much about spinning wheels. I know what I want -- but that doesn't really mean that's what I need. I want to make mostly worsted and bulky weight yarns--but that doesn't mean I will. And there is always the what sort of fiber will I be using--which is also meaning what the heck can I afford to use--and you buy a spinning wheel--you become a fiber addict--which means you need to learn to comb and card the fiber as well...which leads to the buying of all sorts of accouterments I am not prepared for at the moment--which leads me right back to the I don't really know much about spinning wheels and am not comfortable getting myself into something like that right this minute.

And now--I msut go teach my dd how to fry a small dead bird--she thawed out a cornish rock hen this morning and is demanding I teach her how to fry the thing--so off I go.

I Do So Love My Son

It's a bit difficult to think about it at the moment--but this is the second? week we've been sick here? Or are we going into the third?
Not this past week-end, but the week-end before my darling little boy came over, sick as a dog--and gave us all germs. :-) Here's the really great part--he slept most of Friday night, darn near all day Saturday, and woke up at a decent hour on Sunday--and apparently he's been fine since.
I got sick, Monday--couldn't even work Tuesday because I lost my voice. My dd didn't get sick til about Wednesday. X didn't get sick til closer to the week-end.
Today is the first day my sinus migraine hasn't been here--although I am still coughing. Today is the first day I've bothered to get dressed since the Sunday my son returned to his dad's. That should tell you alot. I am very much a stickler about getting dressed every day simply because I work from home and I need that sense of stability.
X is still sick--he's dealing w the fever part--but then again--we cannot be sure if x has what we've had--or if he has something completely different--and we are not taking any chances. Today dd is feeling better, but she's still not back to her normal self yet.
Last week-end E and I were just too sick to have N over here--this week-end X is too sick for us to think about having N over here--because we are still on the cusp of getting better--and we cannot have one more dose of germs--especially if X has something entirely different.

I am actually pretty upset about not being able to see the little stinker--I hate being this close to him--and being so far away from him. X is not the type to send an email at random (or make a phone call) and say hey boy had a good day at school--or boy fell down -- or boy was asking about his sister today. Getting anything out of that man is like pulling hen's teeth--and I really think pulling hen's teeth is an easier job (yes, please understand, hens DO NOT HAVE teeth ok? I know this. Really.).

I am so grateful that I work from home it isn't funny. If I worked outside the home--I'd have lost my job over the past two weeks.
As it stands, I got a bonus for last month --and so far this month is looking good. :-)

So thank you thank you, Powers That Be.

And finally something has happened with the insurance company over the car. Please do not use Erie Insurance from PA if you actually want someone to do something, in a hurry or not. We can blame it on the fact I live in IL all we want--but when the adjuster would call my dad and he'd be screening calls --and he would immediately call her back after she hung up and he would get no answer--repeatedly this happened, not just once or twice--then you can only say it's because I am out of state and keep a straight face only for so long.

Now, please keep in mind the accident was in November, 2008. They came what yesterday to look at the car? Due to the dented roof above the windshield the gentleman yesterday said they won't repair it. They're sending someone to pick up the car this week some time--or within a week--or whatever. I for some reason simply do not trust this insurance company.
Also note, I have told the adjuster twice now that I work during 'normal business hours' and I cannot just ignore work for any reason if I want to keep my job--which I do want to keep my job.
At first this was fine. I have submitted a written report of what happened. I submitted an email report answering the adjuster's questions--which answered nothing other than what I had written in the first place.
I got a nice (haha) email yesterday morning informing me the adjuster would be calling me at 1p EST and if this was not convenient then I needed to email her a time when it would be convenient that was also during 'normal business hours'. Now, I went to school in that area--public school--and I know that there is ALOT lacking in the education system--and this was in the 80s so you know it only got worse since that time--but when I tell you I work during normal business hours and cannot take outside calls lest I lose my job--what does this mean to you? Hmm?
Well, I do not always check my email first thing in the morning--unless one of my friends is going through a crisis--or I am. I didn't get her email announcing her intention to call--until about 2 hours after she should have called (not my work number--my home number) --and guess what--I was on calls from before she said she would be calling til well after said time.
When I did get her message, I did respond, saying exactly when during the week I could be reached by phone and that she would have to make an appointment to reach me at that time or I wouldn't be here--I did leave out the part where I am dependent upon someone else for transportation and this is why she would have to make an appointment. I haven't heard from her since--and I don't expect to hear from her within a week's time either. This adjuster does not return email any faster than she returns phone calls. Not even to let you know she received your email--and forget trying to ask her any questions because those get ignored.

Over all--I cannot stress it enough--avoid Erie Insurance of PA.
Maybe it is just this particular branch. Maybe it is this particular agent/adjuster. Maybe they should realise this is how I now think of their entire business and if this is the type of service they provide--they can provide it to whomever will tolerate it--which is not me.

It's that subtle disconnect the adjuster has--that whole I know I am better than you because you have no choice but to deal with me attitude--that whole I can ignore whatever you say or type and do what I do regardless and then try to make you feel like an idiot because you aren't doing exactly what I want you to do when I want you to do it. That attitude. The attitude the pervades her emails--that says I totally ignored everything in your last email except what I wanted to see--I am too good to answer your questions--and I could care less about you, your life or your issues--now fall to your knees and do my bidding as I command without question.
Yeah--that attitude. If she were say from India working customer service--I wouldn't have put up with this--if she were from India I'd be upset but more able to give her some slack, since India cannot think outside the box and their whole thing is they have to follow directions perfectly to the letter (I so DO NOT advocate the customer service or any other industry going to India or anywhere else--this is just a local example as my 1 friend has been trying to train India for a certain telecommunications group--and finds India almost impossible to train -- because they cannot for the life of them think outside the box--they have no problem solving skills--which you must have in the job they are being trained for--haha). Tina has no such issue--she's just too stuck on the fact that she thinks her excrement is rose-like in bouquet. Uhm-kay.

BTW--they are totaling the car. They aren't responsible for anything other than sending my dad a check for the salvage cost of the car--that's all they're doing. That's it.
I actually hate it--she is fixable--but since the roof is dented in at the windshield they won't even try.
But--if they aren't going to pay for anything and we know they aren't going to pay for anything--and they have all the information they need, written and via email--why should I bother trying to eradicate my week just for a person who has proven repeatedly that she is a complete a*****e?
Hey--I told her when she could reach me--if she ever responds I will be there--just once--and that's it. And only because I said I would. For the sake of my dad.

Know what is worse than that? My dd is convinced we must buy a yellow car--not a gold car--a rubber ducky yellow car. So much for my dark green ancient antique jag I've wanted for ever and a day. And in case anyone has ideas about me getting a newer car--have you seen "Untraceable"? Do you want to know how hard it is to hack someone's vehicle? It took me about 10-15 minutes of googling--and I wasn't really very sincere about it either--to find out how to do that.
Wait--I can google looking for a knitting pattern I know I googled previously and spend hours and hours trying to find the darn thing and never freakin' find it again (I printed the pattern out--and it is in notebooks--currently in WV--w my knitting book I wrote!) -- and yet I goof around trying to see how hard it would be to disable a car with gps and onstar and everything--uhm--how not cool is that?

I want an older car--I always have, even in the 80s. Why? I grew up in Steel Mill Country--let's start there. Do you know what happens to fiberglass upon impact? It disintegrates--completely, darn near. Something that used to cause a bump you could knock out with dry ice now costs $3000-4000 to fix because there is so much damage. For your own protection, they tell us. Has nothing to do with so many other aspects we won't get into here or now. I want real metal all around me. This way, when I tap that telephone pole--the pole doesn't care and neither do I. Not that I tap telephone poles--anymore. :-) No frakkin' gps--no tomtom or jojo--no gogo. I want a cd player--period. I don't even need a radio--give me a cd player and go away. I want a car I can hit a moose with and still keep on trucking--rather than a car that barely taps a deer and the deer runs away with not a scratch on him but my car is such a devastated wreck that I have to buy a new car. Not to mention, ya get me my hoopty and who the heck is going to try to steal it? You get ME a hoopty--and guess who actually CAN work on her own car? But prefers to have help? (And btw--it does not take a rocket scientist to KNOW when the hole is in the TOP of the radiator--the car is toast til there's a new radiator, uhm kay? Anyone who thinks otherwise is stoned and/or wasted.)
My dd is great though--do you know that rubber ducky yellow is far less likely to be stolen than any other colour? Actually that is true--my dad did the research. E has always wanted a white car--she likes white cars. I like silver myself--but not for a car, really. Not unless I really do get myself a kit car and build the whole thing myself--then I want a silver car. But reserve the right to paint it several times a year just because I can. :-) Yes, I know about kit cars--yes, I know about engine mapping--yes, I worked on freakin' airplanes while I was in the navy--do not be naive about me. I am multi-faceted and multi-talented. And I don't mind getting dirty--so long as I have the proper soap and can get clean again. :-)
I am just rather surprised by this sudden turn in E's desire to buy a yellow car--today is the second time she mentioned it. She mentioned it at some point last week for the first time--I was in a sinus infection migraine coma at the time so I can't really tell you a great deal about the conversation--other than yellow car for us was said at some point--and the cock-eyed look I gave dd in return was utterly ignored. So there you go.

I am not all together certain on the whole yellow thing--but I will at least have to be open to the possibility if and when we go looking for a new car--or truck. Because I am after all a country girl--and I want a truck--but then again--practicality and children must go hand in hand--not mini van in hand--and not station wagon either--but we'll have to see. Planning ahead can really suck some days. :-) I was scared enough when I was pregnant w N--and thankfully (no help from x at all) I did find out it is doable and everything is ok with two kids. Now--add twins to the mix please--and then let's see how I can manage. Oh boy--this is going to be alot of fun--isn't it? :-)