The Knitting Journeyman

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

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Morning, First Thing

            I needed to hang out with some other 8-9-10 yos this week-end to really see how far behind E is.  Ok, I am more lax than I thought…and Waldorf pedagogy only goes so far to explain why we are so far behind.  A new crack-down is happening—thank goodness R is here—otherwise, E honestly would have to go to school…although I am not ruling out Montessori at this point—and Montessori is in her future.  As soon as I can find a good one that I can afford—that isn’t too far away.  Yes, yes, I know—criteria.  At least E has been put on notice and at least things here will be changing.  For that, I am very glad.
            And again---grr that I cannot get to the books I need…that too is becoming less of an issue as I spent a good bit of time re-arranging the basement last night.  I have a small little office area set up already … I have access to my yarns, to my fabrics, and now to my clays.  I can reach my paints, as well as my ATC papers and some other things drawing related.  I need to do three things…clear off the downstairs table (it has machines and boxes on it) and find all the pieces to my sewing machine (can’t find the cords at the moment)—and find a way to plug everything in down there when I need it plugged in.  Otherwise, we have to bring things upstairs to use them, the sewing machines, the serger…which is not as bad as it seems there either.
            September is National Sewing Month.  It seems very apropos to break E’s sewing machine out and get her going on that.  Knock on wood.  It’s not as if we don’t have patterns and fabric for her to play with downstairs.  And—I know where they are too.
            Goals this week:
 Write and submit two to four articles every single day.  (Thank you, Michele—more on this later).
Finish bikini bottom and start bikini top.  I have fifty rows of garter stitch left on the bottoms before I can bind off and seam everything.  I am actually very excited about this.  Not to mention, as I was reading over the bra pattern yesterday afternoon, I discovered a Yoga version of the top written at the bottom.  I am not sure which I plan to do now…I think I shall stick with the basic pattern first.  If I like it, I will make the Yoga top version.
Set E up her own blog—which will be available only by subscription.  I want some caring adults (Kerry) to be able to read her blog and offer criticism and pointers, suggestions.  Not to mention, I want to get some discipline instilled in her, not merely as a writer, but as a student.
I must check to see if I have the right yarn for the Hawkins House project.  I have a few more ideas, both knitted and otherwise, that I need to run down.
Decide if I am going to frog the baby blanket I have had OTNs for months and months now (for the twins) or finish it.  I am leaning towards frogging it even though we have friends in need of a baby shower gift coming up in September…but really it wouldn’t take all that long to finish the blanket anyway.
Cast on my friend’s birthday present.  I can’t find the original pattern I used to make my own shawl/wrap/scarf thingy (great name, huh?) –but I can wing it…and it might not be such a bad idea to wing the pattern anyway…even though it is nothing like the original pattern.  I do so prefer to be safe.
Find rabbits a home.  This is so mandatory at this point it is not even funny.  We switched from the knock me on my butt/knock me out allergy pills to a once a day type—but the new stuff doesn’t really work all that well.  Even though I am setting up the basement as a work space, with the rabbit’s downstairs the workspace isn’t applicable until I can get the air quality settled and ---mold? Or whatever free.  Good news is we are finally coming back down to the bottom of the hay bin…so this time I won’t buy hay until I clean that sucker out really well.  But R keeps reminding me, the allergy was there even before I had the huge reactions to it.  So, even as I say we can clean things up on one hand, the other issue is still likely there.
R set up the desktop pc last night.  Today I have to find out what it needs to get it to run and to see if it will run E’s new program.  Plus, I have to remind R we are going to Micro Center tonight so we can get hardware to update his computer.
Set up E’s excel sheet (thank you, Chott family)…her chart on her bedroom door is obviously not clear enough or detailed enough, so R and I are borrowing another family’s idea; we are setting up a fairly detailed excel sheet of chores and schoolwork assignments for E.

Having said all of this, let me also say things are moving along nicely on my t shirt sweater.  Even though I am working on size 7US needles and was expecting the progress to be very slow (compared to the tanks I’ve been making on 10 ½ US or 15 US needles), I am actually very impressed with the way things are moving along. 
            I have been holding back on casting on my seamless yoke sweater, only because I have so many other projects OTNs…but it shouldn’t be too much longer now before I cast on for that.
            BTW, the zombie doll came back this week-end.  Pictures will be put up on ravelry soon.  Now the poor little thing has arms, thank goodness. 
            Remind me—I actually need to block and seam N’s birthday sweater.  We had to go to hobby lobby this week-end to grab the yarn for the rest of his birthday ‘stuff’—his matching scarf and mittens to go with his hat.  I have the pattern saved in my ravelry queue for the mittens.  The scarf…it may look simply, but I am actually going to improvise this one, as I have not seen one like the one I am planning.
            My only other thing today is to clear off my work space and the dining room table…I could use a bookcase close to my desk, but that’s not going to happen—no space.  I’ll have to see what else I can do.
            And now…on with the show.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My August Moon Full Moon Dreamboard

            I knew the Full Moon was coming.  I could feel it.  I love that feeling some days.  Then again, there is nothing I love better than moon-bathing anyway.  I am not a sun person.  I have always belonged to the Moon.
            I didn’t officially know it was the full Full Moon until this morning, but yesterday morning I was already planning what I wanted to do for the Full Moon Dreamers DreamBoard.  I did not plan to work on a collage.  I still have plenty of work to do with my last collaged dreamboard.  It took me a bit of time to figure out what I wanted to do, but I decided I would take a picture for my dreamboard.  No drawing, or painting, or collaging or anything else.  One simple picture.

Here it is.

Now, I am sitting here at my computer while wearing a t-shirt that I knitted myself, in just a few hours, on Monday night.  It’s not as amazing a feat as it seems; I knitted it on really big needles.  The point of the matter with this t-shirt is I made it.  I made it myself…and I am wearing it.  I love it.  It is actually something I will wear in public and will be happy and proud to say, yes, I did make this myself.  It is that cool for me. 
It’s the whole process behind this little t-shirt that has me jazzed.  I did not wake up in the morning on Monday thinking, I am going to knit myself a t-shirt today.  What I was thinking was I have to make time to set up different accounts for various things, start applying for different things, get my butt in gear.  I was thinking I would have to make time in the evening to work on my silver bikini set that I am knitting.  What happened was I reached a stopping point with my applications processes, so I started looking for something to do with this amazing yarn we had picked up over the week-end while we were out at a festival in St Charles.
Farmhouse silk Blend, four skeins, in two different colors.  It isn’t enough, I don’t think, to make an entire sweater (although it might be and I am too inexperienced to realize it), but I could make something, like a tank top or a short sleeved shirt of some kind with it.  So, I spent a great deal of time on ravelry, gorging myself on patterns and knitted glory.  What happened while I was perusing the pictures and patterns on ravelry was too much of a coincidence for me to be comfortable.
As I went through all these patterns, I found out how many of the patterns I thought were cute and doable that I already own…because I already own the books…I just didn’t realize it…my books are still in boxes, still being stored.  That’s my life.  I have everything I need—I just don’t know it/realize it—and I need to bring it out, unpack it and make use of it.  Right now.
This t-shirt is a case in point.  I was TICKED when I found out how cute and how SIMPLE this pattern is to make. (It was that much worse to find out when I first bought the book, I had marked this same pattern to do later on…)   I took an allergy pill, went into the basement, and started to dig through the boxes of books, trying to unearth some knitting books.  I was successful.  I found my copy of Loop-d-loop…and I was thrilled to find out I actually have the correct yarn on-hand with which to knit this project.  I cast on about four or five times before I got it down and got it right…then I went to town. 
This t-shirt, the one I am wearing, is my prototype.  I made it on big needles so I could get a feel for making a top-down seamless raglan sweater without having to stress over thin yarn, little needles and days and days of effort hoping it turns out.  When I made this current t-shirt, I was thinking all along, if it doesn’t fit me, then my 9yo daughter will love the fact I made her a brand-new shirt.  There was no way to lose there, unless I really screwed it up.  I didn’t screw it up.  I am now addicted to top-down seamless sweater construction.  I cast on for my second t-shirt, using the thin yarn and the smaller needles, last night.
Better yet, even working top-down t-shirts counts towards my goal of knitting a bottom-up seamless yoke sweater.  It’s the process.  I make something on large needles…I gain the confidence to go back and do it again on smaller needles…which gives me the confidence to try doing the same thing, only different…
This is me.  This is my life.
I am totally afraid of screwing up, of failing, but I can fail.  I’ve been failing all my life.  Failure is no big thing.  You screw up.  You fail.  You fall.  You get up.  You dust yourself off.  You try try again.  I fell down a rabbit hole a long long time ago.  Every time I think I have crawled out of the rabbit hole, I find myself lost in the warren some more, climbing out of one hole only to find myself on another level, with another hole waiting for me to climb out of it whenever I am ready…but I never seem to find that final resting place, that ahhhh place, where the climbing and the crawling all end.  I wonder why I won’t let myself have that?

So, my Full Moon DreamBoard Picture today is all about ACTION…as in I am honestly actually in the process of DOING…I am knitting my t-shirt…I am knitting my bikini…I am writing and being paid to do so…I am creating…I am living…and I am loving it.

Maybe I am meant to remain in the rabbit hole.  Maybe I genuinely like the rabbit hole, and have merely failed to recognize that fact.  I have a whole new bunch of theories about ‘loving the one you’re with’ and ‘being happy with where you are’ –and they all revolve around what utter garbage that is…because that is called SETTLING…and I have settled my entire bloody life…and I am sick and tired of trying to make silk purses out of pig’s ears and then feeling bad because I failed at making silk purses. 
I will make my own purses, not from pig’s ears, and not made of silk…well, ok, except for the purse I have been commissioned to build and create for my lovely friend the Glass Fairy…but she bought the fabric, so that choice was not mine.  That’s a good thing though.
I will have my cake, which I will make myself, and I will eat it too…and of course, I will share it too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Ending Of The Great House Rabbit Experiment

            Well, as much as I hate to admit it, and since right now I can only see clearly out of one eye due to the hay allergy, the house rabbit experiment has failed.  Not because of the rabbits themselves…but because of the hay issue.  Whatever is done to the small animal timothy hay is costing me too much.  I had another allergic reaction, a much smaller one, this past week.  Which means I took allergy pills that knocked me out all day…and then kept me off-balance the rest of the week-end.  It’s not as if I haven’t developed the habit of taking an allergy pill every morning either—because as much as I hate it, I have been.  I switched allergy pills after a trip to the store this week-end—but these ones make me feel bad in a totally different way.
            Personal baggage alert:  in order to be able to enter the building for SBC operator services in Ft Smith, AR, I had to take high doses of allergy pills…I was not the only one…it was an on-going epidemic back then (late 90s) … so I hate allergy pills unless absolutely needed… and feeling the need to pop a pill every day single just to stay even and not feel so terrible…needing to pop a pill just ticks me off on too many levels.  I have worked so very hard to make sure I use nothing but herbs and natural healing methods…and now I have to pop a pill every morning again. 
            Then again, since my one eye is nearly swollen shut from the hay allergy…with little pockets of …it’s not hives around my eye or else the allergy pills would have taken care of it…but there are small pockets of fluid around my eye –as of last night…so…despite my best efforts and my strong desire to make sure the buns had really good homes to go to before we got rid of them…I don’t necessarily think that is going to happen at the moment.  At this point, it may become I have to dump them at the rabbit rescue as fast as I can…and be done w it…which really kills me.
            I have issues w people who get pets and then find out they don’t work and dump them off on other people, or dump them off on the rescue agencies…we have one friend whose daughter just got her own place…the daughter has had seven puppies in the past year…and just got a new one…and no, she does not have seven or eight dogs; she only has one at a time.  I hate feeling as if I am that type of person, even though I am trying so hard to get through this allergy…even though I wanted to make sure the buns go to good homes…even though I don’t want to feel as if I am throwing them out in the cold and turning my back on them…which is how I feel at the moment…but in the end, it still comes down to my health is very compromised at the moment due to the whole hay issue…so I cannot continue along this path.  Plus, I have to have a rapid solution.
            House Rabbit Rescue is already over-run w all the buns they’ve been saving from breeders and other sources lately—I hate to add to that problem…but at this point, I really do not have a choice.  Not to mention, as much as I like to joke about Simon being called Dinner now—they live in the house—they are pets—they are not food…so having them become meat bunnies is not a viable option.
            Worse yet, I think if we could move them outside…my allergies would be ok…but it’s summer…and we have no place to put them …no place where they’d be protected from predators, the heat and the sun, or even other rabbits at this point…because our backyard is riddled w wild rabbits…they don’t even try to hide the entrances to their den under the shed anymore…domestic rabbit poop does not frighten off wild rabbits…no matter how much we try…
            So, if you want two adorable neutered 7 mo boy angora buns…with cages…and fences…and food and hay and toys and cardboard boxes and feeders and waterers and everything else…email me asap…I just want them to go to a good home...
            Next time I do bunnies, they will be outside buns…unless I find a solution to the hay issue…and if I don’t and it is not just something with this small animal timothy hay…then my whole plan for my future is toast and I have to find something else to do w the rest of my life… because all of a sudden, the future looks dreadfully empty ….  Let’s see if I can save these two first; then we’ll move on as we can.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rebuilding Plans For Yet Another Tank

            So, this morning I decided to wear my green ribby tank that I knitted myself.  It is number three in the ribby tank series with which I am now deeply involved myself.
            I am extremely proud of myself for having knit this thing up actually.  Even though one cup is a couple rows longer than the other…the tie part really does off-set that enough so that is is not all that horrible or noticeable.
            I like this tank.  I like this fabric.  I like this style.  I like the whole thing (minus the mistake with the cups…)…which of course is why I continue to make them over and over again.
            Yes, I did start the bikini top yesterday…I do have one whole cup finished.  I started the second cup…but kept casting on the wrong number of stitches…so I frogged it out and went to bed…I haven’t had a chance to work on it yet today—but I will.
            Now, here I am, wearing my green ribby tank, and enjoying it…and marveling at the fact that I did this myself…and that I am about to cast on for my seamless yoke sweater…any day now…really…and that I have the ability to knit myself an entire wardrobe…if I set my mind to it…and if there is no time limit on that…
            I have new yarns meant to be used for the next ribby ribby…and as I am wearing this one (because my favorite one out of alpaca and cotton is STILL too warm to wear at the present moment…), I have some ideas as to how I would like to rebuild the next tank.
            First of all, I am not going to be knitting the size 36…I think the size 38 will be larger enough…if not, the version after that will be made in size 40.  My hips are considerably larger than my waist, by a good ten inches or so…I want the next tank long enough to hit about halfway down my hips…much as this green one does…but without me feeling a little bit of a tug when I reach the end of the stretch of the cast on edge where it won’t stretch any more.  I will still cast onto to needles a size or two larger; that really helped a great deal with this green tank.
            I would also like more stockinette stitch before the cups again…the transition between ribbing to stockinette stitch to beginning of cups falls at about nipple level…and I would prefer it fall below my breasts.  I know it doesn’t need to do so; I merely think it will look better.
            I cannot stand the cups curling in the way they do.  I did slip the first stitch of every row, and yet they curl in so…more on the outer edges (towards the arm pits) rather than the inner edges (cleavage area).
            I would like to recreate the mistake I made that caused the dead center stitch for the cups to open up in both direction…it honestly looks as if nothing is attached to it, no bind off stitch, no nothing.  I actually like that.  I really hope I wrote down what I did to screw that up; it’s a mistake worth making again.
            Next time, I am sewing the ties down in back.  No more tying behind my neck…I tend to catch my hair when tying it…plus I feel better not needing to tie it.  Just a personal preference thing.
            After I finish the bikini top, before I write out my sweater pattern, as I am still contemplating the yoke design, I do believe I will cast on for another ribby tank…this time, using two strands of worsted weight yarn…as well as the above adjustments.
            Can’t wait to see how that turns out.  Can you?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Week--Reviewed

            Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, but it has been a long week since last week…so I am not necessarily talking only about this week right now…more like the past 7 days.

            Let’s see.  This Monday and last Monday were similar…running errands.

            Last Monday, the kids and I did all sorts of shopping: groceries, bought the chairs for the dining room table…I can’t even remember what day we bought the fish…but we have new guppies –even one male with a lovely double tail…now we have all sorts of new babies floating around too…

            Tuesday we spent the evening w friends while R golfed…Wednesday…I had a HUGE allergic reaction to the mold in the rabbit’s hay.  Last time we bought hay, nearly the entire middle of a 96 ounce bag of ‘premium’  Kaytee timothy hay was full of what looked like mud and mold…so I ended up tossing out more than half the bag (hindsight says I should have tossed the whole thing)…the next bag of hay I bought came from Petco, their store brand, which the House Rabbit Society people all told me was not good…and it isn’t…it’s the seconds or whatever, badly cut short straws, mostly dust…but I’ve never had a dirt/mold issue w them, so far…this past week, I decided we’d try a different store completely  in the hopes that that one kaytee bag was merely a fluke.  Apparently, it is not.  This time, the kaytee hay looks fine…but I had a very violent reaction to it.  I grew up wallowing in hay on various farms … clean hay is not the issue…we all agree on that one…so…moldy hay caused a very violent reaction.  It was awful…I was really making good time cleaning and organizing the basement…I had cleaned up the rabbit cages and pulled the bamboo rug to toss…I had some shelves up and was getting stuff put on them…I was finally making headway…when my neck started to itch.  Now, the problem is…I’ve had this little bit of a rash for awhile…nothing big; nothing major.  My neck gets itchy, especially when I sweat.  We originally thought it might be R, because …well…because…but then it moved up into my eyes about 2-3 weeks ago…again nothing major.  Dry, itchy, rough skin…not even a discoloration or anything…but then a few days after my eyes started to bug me, my scalp, just in one area, started to bug me…dandruff shampoo quickly got rid of the scalp itch… it also seemed to help when I used the shampoo on both my eyes and my neck as well…when my neck began to itch on Wednesday, I thought at first it was because I was sweating…and any sweat can make my neck itch unbearably.  I tried to stop myself from scratching a couple times, so I didn’t scar my throat or anything…but it dawned on me after about ten minutes…it was still really itching badly…and I now had skin under my fingernails… I needed to wash my neck to stop the sweat from making me itch…
            Now, no burning running eyes…no coughing or sneezing or wheezing…nothing but this horrible wasp-like itch…I walked into the bathroom and freak…my neck is swollen and covered with hives, from nearly the nape of my neck all around the front down to just below my collarbones.  When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure how much damage I had caused by scratching.  Since I hadn’t realized it was mold or anything by that point, I did what I normally do…I cleaned my neck…and the hives on the inside of my elbow of one arm and my wrist of the other arm…with sea breeze.  Honestly, it stung, but not as bad as it could have.  The problem was…it didn’t help the itching…at all…so I went nuts trying to find hydrocortisone cream, knowing we have three tubes somewhere in the house…because R had some before we moved in, E had her own tube for her itchies, and I bought a tube after we moved in because I couldn’t find his or hers at one point…after nearly tearing my hair out, literally, trying to find this stuff…I found it…and I applied it by the handful…but the itching would not stop…so…I took a shower and washed everything off…I used the dandruff shampoo as body wash…and that helped immensely.  I took an allergy pill before got into the shower, it just then dawning on me this may be an allergic reaction.  Hey, I had to deal with the itch first…R called while I was in the shower…the voice of reason and the only person who can really calm me down or reach me no matter what headspace I am in … he picked on me for the shower…and the sea breeze … he had me take a second allergy pill, knowing this would knock me out for the majority of the night … I can take one of these guys and be a little tired for the next 6-12 hours…but if I take 2 in a 12 hour period…I am toast…and the label says they last 4-6 hours… uh huh…I finished the call, finished my shower…and pretty much crashed on the couch for …the rest of the day and the night…and was still groggy the next day when I woke up and took another one, just to be safe…
            The allergy pills had the added benefit of making my hands and mouth swell a little bit…and my internal throat swell.  R wasn’t sure it was just the pills, but since these pills have done it to me before, I wasn’t all that worried.  I could breathe fine…I just had trouble swallowing, which wasn’t that big a deal after what I had been through the day before…R still says the allergic reaction is to blame for a lot of the swelling.
            Believe it or not, there were no marks on my throat at all from the scratching I did…I still cannot get over that one.  Not one mark the next day, after 95% of the swelling was gone.  The day after, nothing unusual at all.

            We went to Sam’s club on Saturday?  I think…  I think so; we had N w us.  There was a demonstration for this spa facial stuff, Avani…we bought it.  We brought it home.  I used it on my eyes and my neck, as well as the rest of my face.  The stuff on my eyes vanished…on my neck, you could tell the places I didn’t use it …I wanted to compare, so I left some skin untreated.  The next day, I did the places I had left undone the previous day.  Although the dry skin is trying to come back on my eyes, very slowly—since I was not anywhere near vigorous when I did my eyes—my neck is still completely clear and itch-free--this stuff is wonderful…

            We went out for a wonderful meal at Outback Steakhouse ... then we all needed to walk around some afterwards…so we went to Value Village.  We found this amazing king-sized comforter, with two pillow shams…it looks tough enough to suffer through the dogs…and pretty enough for me…and not-girly enough for R.  The colors are gorgeous…all autumnal and subdued, but still bright and engaging…when I saw it all I could think was both our colors, all mixed together.  It’s terrific.

            Sunday was busy…the whole week-end was busy.  R golfed Sunday morning, starting at 7:50am…he was home about 3p or so…which put us behind our ‘normal’ schedule…so I didn’t get to go to all the stores I had wanted to go to in that area.  We took the kids to eat and to play at McDonald’s playground…which we do every Sunday.  Then my poor patient R agreed to run the errands that we could run…which entailed a trip to TJ Maxx, two of them as luck would have it…walmart (fish food is cheaper there, sorry…I do try to stay away from them as much as I can) and a trip to Michaels since we had a coupon to use… dunkin donuts (drool, dribble dribble, drool)…there was more of the on-going saga w E, convincing her we do love her and that we are pushing her education for a reason…    

Honestly, I did not realize she was a far behind as she is academically…I knew her reading was slow, but I also know that she reads better than she lets on…her math work is third grade…but she balks at us pushing her past where she is now.  It’s not that the work is too hard for her…it’s that she’s afraid to continue, because it will get harder and we’ll expect more from her and what if she can’t measure up…so…we found a software program at sams club that may help stimulate her desire to work …and then I found a website online—it was recommended in one of my homeschool groups…the site is called Lesson Pathways.  From the looks of it, I like it, but we haven’t sat E down to use it yet…as yesterday was hectic in and of its own self.  Having said all of this, and having R to back me up and to help out w her, I know we can get E moving this season…we run homeschool all year round…w week-ends off here and there for visiting cousins and whatnot—but that can and will stop if she doesn’t start performing…

            I did have a great deal of fun though…E notwithstanding.  I had two different women, in two different stores, hours apart, stop and talk to me about my tattoos, both of whom told me how great they are and how good they look.  *Smile*

            Since we didn’t make it to all the places I had planned to go on Sunday, E and I headed out yesterday.  We went to world market.  E loves anywhere we can go that they give you free coffee.  They were out of tea samples when we were there, but the coffee was incredible, as always.  E loves that store, as much as I do.  I love the colors and all the neat things you can find there.  I went there in search of bells…strands of bells…I found them.  I have hung them up at home and the house is now good…not done yet, but at least I have my weird airy fairy air apparent all over the place now.  You cannot step in the door now that you don’t know that this is my home too.  I think I did a good job of keeping and maintaining all of R’s stuff…while incorporating my own.  He’s not upset or bothered by anything I’ve done…so I call it good.

            We then went to a couple other places right there to grab some small things…then we went to the BEST place of all…and the place that made me giddy and happy all day long: Kirkwood Knittery…oh, how I LOVE that store…the only store in the state of MO that carriers Habu Yarns (that we …or the Habu website…know of anyway)…I fondled much Habu yesterday…the paper yarn is incredibly tactile…I love it.  I will have to find a reason to buy some at some point…I ended up buying some of the beautiful silk and stainless steel yarns…and decided right then and there I would not order the wool and stainless steel from lionbrand ever again…I will always drive out to Kirkwood to my favorite yarn store…
            BUT…that is not why I am so happy.  I went through the $1 booklet and 50 cent magazine bins in the back…I also checked out the $1 a ball bin and the 30% off rack…but I stuck w booklets and magazines…I walked out w ten booklets and magazines…2 skeins of the silk and stainless steel yarn…for $38 (I know, I said yesterday $36…I was wrong….)…a stack of magazines that included no less than 5 copies of Rebecca, old ones, yes, but still gorgeous (I found out one is actually recent…so…big thrill there)…and as I told the fabulous Brooke when I checked out, if there is but one pattern in each magazine and booklet that I like, then I have wasted neither time nor cash in buying it.  I am a VERY happy woman today…very very very happy…I need to go back and grab some of the crochet magazines…they were all American ones, and I was really set on European magazines yesterday…not to mention, my knitting is far far better than my crochet most days…but then again, how else am I to learn?

            We also dropped by hobby lobby while it was actually open, since we were in the area.  Honestly, if I had walked out of there empty-handed I would have been fine…I didn’t though.  They did have yarn on clearance.  Weirdly enough though, there clearance bins were full of the exact same yarns, same brand, same color, same lot, everything—but you had to watch because if you picked up four skeins of the same yarn, each skein might be priced differently…I wanted to buy about six skeins of this one yarn, but could only find three the same price.  The prices ranged from $1.67 to $3.99…it’s all discontinued colors…why are the same colors not all priced the same?  I can almost understand why some different  colors are higher priced, almost, coveted colors maybe costing more to earn the store more money; uglier colors not so expensive just to get rid of them…but we are talking the same dye lot and everything here…I spent under $20 and came home w two yarns that I plan to combine into yet another modified ribby tank…then we walked into Hancock’s fabrics in the same complex…this store used to have such a great knitting/yarn section…I still have stash I bought at their store before the exodus to MD …  but they did have thread and fabric galore this time…which is why we were there.

             I’ve been commissioned to build a purse for my favorite Glass Fairy…as we await the arrival of her gorgeous fabrics, I thought I would scope out threads and notions a bit…since we haven’t really gotten down to brass tacks about the basics of design and construction…we didn’t really need anything at hancock’s yet…even though I really ought to grab 20+ yards of muslin to start working on my dress at some point…I am not going there until the house is all done and everything is unpacked and put away and we all feel comfortable in our own home again…

            We’re getting there.  At least we are happy together during the process…that counts for such a great deal.

            Now…I have all my measurements ready for my EZ seamless yoke sweater…I have EZ’s pattern in The Knitting Workshop…and a copy of Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns….I now must sit down and write out MY pattern for this sweater…because all I really needed from Ann’s book was the 4 decrease rows on the yoke, so my sweater won’t pucker…and since this is my very first “real” sweater, I want it to turn out right…the numbers I have using EZ’s percentage system (EPS) do not match anything in Ann’s book …my gauge is 4.5 stitches per inch.  Ann has a 4 stitches per inch  and a 5 stitches per inch recipe, no halves or quarters or anything like that…I should be able to figure it out on my own though.

            I have not yet finished my second hanging mitered towel yet…since I only work on it while we are in the car…while R drives…usually only on Sundays…that is my excuse and I am sticking to it…the next one I make…because R does love them and we want more…I think I shall make a ballband towel…like this one, or maybe this one

            What I am planning to do today though is start working on this bikini top/bra pattern…in preparation for doing the whole silver bikini, quite possibly a thong bikini….there’s a long camping, and campy, story behind this…but hey, anything for a laugh…I swear…  Anyway, at Michael’s on Sunday, with our 25% off coupon, I bought some loops and threads charisma simply because I liked the colors…it’s called ‘Sunny Day’ and is variegated blues and greens….

            I totally forgot about Michael’s there….not only did I grab the necessary silver yarn for the camping bikini (Vanna’s glamour in platinum—I should have enough for a 4 piece bikini—2 different tops and 2 different bottoms—if I did the math right….w plenty left-over In case I goofed or change my mind on what pattern to use….)…we grabbed a cool gift for my Dad (which we cannot in good conscious reveal here until after he receives it so it remains a surprise)…blood splats for Halloween decorating…my 9yo found a sign that fit so perfectly I had to have it…keeping in mind my Dad, and many others, call my kids my little monsters….the sign says “A happy witch lives here with her little monsters”…I want to keep it up all year long…mwahahaha…I love it.

            And since technically I am a member (or I was when we were in WV) of the Black Hat Society (I cannot find a good link now…but let me show you the blog that introduced me to the BHS in PA….HERE)…I amused the snot out of E by telling her we should get the sign that said “Black Hat Society member”, that we were members already, and that we should get one for my mother, who is far more into the Black Hat arena than am I…she and I share similar views, but walk different paths, that’s all.  E has had her “the witch is in/out” sign for awhile now…she is proud to have a sign so like her Granny’s own sign that says the same thing…when I hung E’s sign up this time, she took the ‘vampire’ sticker off the sign (her sign said the vampire is in/out, instead of the witch) …the vampire sticker is on her door…so she is still holding on to that one…but she is happy to be the witchy-poo here now…yes…strange child…from a strange family…and we all love her and we love each other…how much stranger can you get, right?

            I have more to say, more things to recommend, but I am going to stop here so that anything important does not get lost in the mass of verbiage that is my life.
            Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Monday to Wednesday--Three Days Condensed

            It’s Wednesday—this week has been …hectic and all over the place…I started to write yesterday—and then my son shooed me away from the computer and lost everything I wrote for me, because he is always so kind and closes every application I have open after he’s finished…I am in mermaid on land phase today (which means it feels as if I am walking on daggers—which means this cave dweller is refusing to leave the house until I have things cleaned up enough around the house to actually feel human…)…so I am making the time to get everything I have put off done today…
            Let us begin:

This week-end was awesome for me.  Ok, only on some levels.  R had to spend the week-end elsewhere, helping out family…so on that level, it was a lonely week-end—except that he still had his phone w him and we were able to bother the snot out of one another often enough that it wasn’t too bad.
            I closed the old work blog for good, after transferring all the pages and posts to both Alyce and to my current work blog…I completely opened up Alyce again…I won’t rehash every detail here, but will let you read the reasons why here.  I haven’t made the time to go through each and every page there, since Alyce is actually the one blog where I have combined all the other writers blogs I have written that as I closed them I simply imported them into Alyce…so there are several about pages there on various subjects, not just on me…I still have some house cleaning to do there, but it is open again.  There are no new posts as yet…I have quite a few that need to be typed and edited…I cannot guarantee when I will start posting the new stuff…just be assured that it is coming.
            I did a great deal of writing this week-end…which had been hit or miss the previous week.  So I was feeling really good…
            We were all more than ready for R to return from his …visit… to his father’s this week-end…he and his brother-in-law dug up and replaced about 80 feet of sewer pipe.  The poor man came back with wasp stings and blisters, but overall, not in too bad a shape.  I find it amazing how both kids react when R isn’t here.  N actually gets worried about him and can’t wait for him to come back.  I think N is the one who tracks exactly where R is when he’s on the road, because N will start insisting we go home –and within five minutes of us getting home R arrives (we went to dinner w friends Sunday…so that’s where that comes in to play).  We all sleep better once he’s home…he may not think he is as loved as he is by these two small snotheads…but he is…

            Monday.  Talk about a busy day.  N is here with us all week… so between work and trying to get the house together, working on washing laundry after the week-end and so on, plus trying to get a box together for the Vietnam Veterans charity that came yesterday…I didn’t get much writing done.  By noon, we decided it was time to run our errands…get groceries, dining room table chairs, a few other things.  We actually had a very good afternoon…even if it was hot and not as leisurely as we wanted…and we only got half our projected errands out of the way…the rest of which we will take care of this week-end…
            We got home in enough time to unload the truck, put a few of the colder things away, and then R came home.  We were supposed to be helping a friend out at the produce co-op, since that was her first time in charge of everything, so we were supposed to be ready to go the second R got home.  (Way to go, Lori—you did a GREAT job…btw), but we were already running late as it was, since R had to change clothes…and there was traffic, and we of course got lost, although it turned out to be a good thing in the end, once we figured out where we were.  We weren’t early, as we should have been, but we weren’t all that late either…so no harm, no foul there.
            We have enough fresh produce to choke a horse at the moment.  I am very glad we have two refrigerators up and running.  We have both of them stuffed at the moment, between what the kids and I bought and what we got through the co-op.  All in all, very cool.  I am rather interested to find out what sort of things we’ll be getting through the winter with this co-op.  I already have a desire to experiment more with squashes.  I found some amazing recipes for pumpkin recently where we are not using mashed pumpkin or pureed pumpkin, but cubed pumpkin, which is something I have wanted to do for awhile now…even though the kids LOVE our pumpkin soup.
            Tonight we are grilling tomatillos and potatoes and fresh corn and onions…and I have no clue what we are planning for dinner…but we know there is a salsa in our future…if nothing else.  I need to remember to pull some of the garlic cloves out of the freezer so we can grill those too…just for the smoky flavor.
            We got home so late and so exhausted last night, after everything, we darn near went straight to bed.  The kids were exhausted.  They got to play on the playground while we were helping with the co-op stuff—and it wasn’t too long before they’d both had enough of the heat…poor little things.  We really wore them out.

            Tuesday.  Well, I started to type Monday’s stuff up…until N overtook the computer…which is not as bad as it sounds…because that meant I could turn Dog City off…we borrowed this movie from the library…we’ve watched it hundreds of times now.  N absolutely loves this movie…I still don’t get it and I still don’t want to get it.  I got to watch a bit of Primeval and eat chips and salsa for a few minutes undisturbed, while trying to flip through the latest edition of Hobby Farms that had arrived sometime last week…I have not been overjoyed by many of the magazines that have arrived on our door lately…I am actually sorry I have subscribed to the ones I did…but now I know…when it comes times to re-up our subscriptions, out of the five we subscribe to right now, only one is going to get renewed (Poets & Writers)…when I have time, I will be researching different literary journals to which to subscribe…I knew better than to subscribe to Writer’s Digest…but I did it anyway…it’s a good magazine (I guess) for its niche—it’s just not a good magazine/fit for me…I wish I could subscribe to the knitting magazines I like…but none of them are American…not even Vogue Knitting International is right for me…
            Speaking of knitting, I am currently in a flurry of trying to learn the best way to design…I have all these shawls and scarves and yada yada sitting here waiting to be test knit—or reknit so I have something to photograph—and the patterns written up clearly enough for anyone to follow (rather than my normal more like EZ style….)…but ever since deciding to knit my own seamless yoke sweater, I have been bombarded by the whole…there are not many patterns available, either online or in books, that I actually like enough to knit…I have been knitting the same ribby tank top all summer, trying to find that right balance of changes to the original pattern so that I really like it and will wear it all the time…I sort of have the same issue with my seamless yoke sweater…EZ on the video says that puckering occurs around the yoke with the rapid decreases…so instead of two decrease rows, there can be three…and that steaming will work out the puckering anyway (at least this is how I remember it)…but then I borrowed Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book Of Sweater Patternsn from the library…and in the pattern for that yoke sweater there are four rows of decreases in the yoke…so I had to finally order that book—that book has been on my have to have one day list since at least 2006, when I bought her other companion book, The Knitter’s Handy Book Of Patterns…although that book is currently in storage at the moment, so I have no way to check any information in it to see where things lie.  So, I am waiting for my own copy of Sweater Patterns to arrive so I don’t mess up my sweater.  I love EZ, but I never said her directions did not often bring me to tears.  I want to start making sweaters, at least a couple, before I even think of branching out into sweater design.  I have no worries about my shawls or scarves or anything of that nature…but a full sweater?  Yeah…I want to make sure I know what I am doing and what I am saying before I start putting things out there for other people to buy…
            I do have a lovely shrug in the midst of planning at the moment…I simply have not decided which yarn to use…which is the only stall on a test knit…I have the whole pattern written out…once I decide on the yarn, I’ll work up a swatch (gasp—I know, right!) and write it up properly … what I have at the moment is the basic guide for the design I want to follow…not line by line this is how we do it…
            And now, off to work…I have plenty of house work, plenty of writing work, and plenty of children to nag and nag some more…so …here we go…

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday Check-In

                                               (c) 2010 T Webber

This post was written yesterday, but I was in the process of editing/spell-checking when R got home from work...I didn't have time to quite it was done on time...but not posted on time...

            The happy dance continues here at home today.  It is a huge relief for me to be drawing again, even if the better stuff has not yet been posted.  It’s Wednesday.  I have four drawings done.  I went today and found where I had hidden all my colored pencils…or rather, where I have failed to unpack them from, the poor dears.  I found…everything and then some.  My prismacolor sets were in the tool box in the closet, where I had put them long ago to keep them safe…and of course I have to make a mental note: I must find a suitable container in which to keep them.  In their current condition, I can’t see all the colors at once, or clearly, so I tend not to use them.  This is my set of I think 132 pencils that when the kids broke in to the IL house, they ruined the tin box…hence the nowhere to store them so I can see them deal here.
            What I used, and what I plan to continue to use for the moment, are my dick blick colored pencil set…because I can see all the colors laid out at the same time and can see how they relate to one another in their open tin box…which is exactly what I need when I am working…I don’t want to have to dig through a pile of pencils to find the right color…I just want to be able to look, see, grab, and go.  This tin allows me to do that…only 72 colors, but way better than a 12 pack of crayola colored pencils, or whatever brand the kids have at the moment…
            I am drawing again and it feels SOO good…now I need to color the remaining pieces I have drawn up and start putting the better stuff up…maybe I can even start my ‘perspective’ ATC  series again…not that I can actually find a link to show you which ones I am talking about at the moment, but I did try…I keep the two best ATCs in my dayplanner, so I will be able to look at them and KNOW that I can do things and that I can draw well.  It doesn’t hurt that R is always there to support me and nudge me along when I allow the fears and insecurities to crop up.  I will have to scan them and post them here when I get the chance.
            Whilst scrounging around to find my colored pencils, I found…my SoulCollage ® cards…for some reason, the old external hard drive did not keep copies of every picture of them—which makes me nervous about the pictures of the kids it might have inadvertently ‘lost’ as well…but nothing I can do there…when I first started working on my SoulCollage ® cards, I always meant to take them to kinkos or somewhere and have them turned into my own smaller, personal deck, so that I could use them every day…the size of the cards is prohibitive for me to use them frequently (5in x 7in)…I need something closer to a regular sized deck of cards, or a touch larger, so that I can shuffle and sort and do what I do.  I also need something less tactilely demanding—every image has edges that my fingers catch and feel and notice, which takes too much away from the process for me.  I need everything completely one dimensional so I can focus on the spiritual side of things when I work with these cards.   No edges of pictures touchable, no difference in the weight of the papers on each card, all of that needs to go for me to genuinely use them effectively for me.
            I shuffled through my cards several times.  I have no real desire to create any new ones.  I haven’t had that desire in a long time.  Full Moon Dreamboards and other Dreamboards are more than enough to keep me happy and to propel me forward, over the stuck spots.  As I rifled through these images, however, it struck me again just how useful these cards could be to me on a more daily basis…so, on the list of things to do is to scan and upload each card…and get them printed out as my own deck of cards so that I can use them.  I am still very taken with the beauty and the imagery of these cards, even the ones that seem so plain and withdrawn.
            I updated my artistic exploration blog today, with a story piece, as well as a drawing, so I am feeling good.  After some rocky issues with family this past week-end, I am feeling a little overstressed about posting some of the articles and posts that I have in various stages of completion, lest anyone think I aimed anything straight at them.  R told me not to worry about that, or it, or them…and to just do what I do.  So, even though I will probably work on some revisions, I am going to start finishing off these drafts I have, fleshing out these outlines I have, and posting with my normal je ne sais quoi…and ignoring the existence of most people as I work inside my little vacuum…
            I had a healing touch client last night, in person, for which I am so thrilled.  I honestly forgot how much I enjoy the one on one, hands on interaction.  Soon I will be offering more of this sort of work.  Keep an eye on my work blog for details; they will be coming soon.
            I am also looking more towards personal mentoring sessions of late too…I hate to say life coaching for some reason…it makes me feel too mainstream…but with the work I normally do personal mentoring is such a better definition…so keep an eye out for that as well.  I am still working within the framework of the spiritual training program…I find it very interesting how so many pieces of my work keep flowing together.  The spiritual and the mentoring and the coaching…I pulled all my old files off my netbook today and set them up on my laptop…only to find some amazingly brilliant nuggets of information and delight awaiting me…I had no clue that over a year ago, I was in the process of developing these same programs to offer to the public…but I was.  I have the notes to prove it…I am …both stunned and ashamed…I love that it is all there, waiting for me, but ashamed because it took me this long to get there…but I won’t let that hold me back.  I have plenty of work to do yet.  I have only just begun.
            Last but not least, my favorite Glass Faery has been at it again, with the Musing and the prompting and the little nudge nudge wink wink thing she does…so expect some interesting fibery goodness to be flowing over at the work blog here soon as well…and you thought stainless steel yarn was going to be enough to tide us over for awhile, didn’t you?  *giggle*  Want a tiny hint?  I finally get to work with metals…not just of the yarn variety…there may even be a blow torch involved…which I have been waiting for for a very very long time…I am so excited!
            Have a beautiful day…peace.