31 December, 2010

Finished Objects 2010

Or at least most of them.
1/3 - Citron Shawl, 440 yds.
1/14 - Citron Shawl #2, 462 yds.
1/23 - Victoria Socks (VR) - 258 yds.
3/2 - Peasant Heel Socks #1 - 243 yds.
3/8 - Peasant Heel Socks #2 - 330 yds.
4/15 - South Sea Monkey Socks - 305 yds.
5/23 - Val's Wedding Shawl - 1787 yds.
7/7 - THB's Last Chance Socks - 440 yds.
7/7 - Whammy Kiss yarn - 335 yds.
7/15 - Plain Cornucopia Socks - 305 yds.
7/25 - Handspun Ishbel - 320 yds.
8/12 - Little Red - 1040 yds.
8/16 - Jolly Green Knee Highs - 545 yds.
10/27 - Baby Bliss - 365 yds.

28 December, 2010

It's a Wash.

And oh, how I wish I meant this kind.

He can captain my spaceship any day, if you catch my drift.

But alas, I do not. At this point, I'm not even going to bother weighing and counting up my yardage for this year because it won't make a difference and I prefer to imagine that my 2-3 pairs of uncounted socks add up to enough yards to magically take me to 11 (miles) and also I have yet to find my stupid kitchen scale.

I feel that I can confess to you, my dear readers, that my knitting mojo deserted me this year. I'm sure I did something to drive it off, but it takes two to ruin a relationship, and I was left with a closet ::cough:andahalf:cough:: full of wool and no mojo to make it sing to me. Like Garfunkel, I have stopped singing on my own; my knitting mojo's name, it appears, is Simon..

Next year I intend to start afresh with both the 12-Mile Quest and my Input/Output Equality Experiment. There's a picture on my camera that shows the closet all tidy and organized and the daunting Tika-high stack of boxes full of yarn that didn't fit in said closet; once I find the proper camera cord, I will reveal them to you, although I warn you beforehand that it's slightly distressing. I have a short and therefore do-able list of things I'd like to... do... before 2010 ends. They are:

1) Dig out all my WIP's and either auf them or place them in prominent locations so I can finish them. This should greatly help my totals for next year.

2) Clean my cherry Schact and make her ready to actually earn her keep this year. Not that she didn't last year, but it wasn't exactly a spinning-friendly household so she's rather dusty. Or a Tika-friendly household, to be honest. I'll stop now.

3) Bag up and prepare 12 months-worth of spinning for Spindlicity's 2011 Stash Down. This requires a Tossing of the Fiber Stash, which can't be a bad thing. it will also require a lot of discretion in choosing monthly projects!

Tomorrow is the 30th of December. I should probably get on this list.

It's been a tough year, gang, and I've just barely held it on the rails. Thanks for sticking with me; next year will begin in a much better place, and I'm more excited about it than I have been about the last several put together. Bring on the '11!

05 December, 2010

I Drank All the Tea

Internetlings, it is DECEMBER. Did you know? The weather in California certainly doesn't, although it has been ever-so-slightly colder lately. In fact, it was a grand 36 degrees (Farenheit, natch) when I sauntered off the plane from Chicago on Monday night.

Thanksgiving with the family was lovely. My Grandmother had her final chemotherapy on Monday and managed to stay relatively upright until Friday, which meant she made it down to dinner on Thursday, for which we were all thankful. She did try to direct the Making of the Dinner from her bedroom on the other side of the house (including calling my aunt and uncle on their cell phones from upstairs), and my Uncle Frank worried all day at work that we would forget to put the turkey in the oven, but otherwise everything went swimmingly.
Uncle Tony, Uncle Jim, and Tia Maria
Tia made an apple pie!
At table

On Friday I took a train to Chicago
on which I worked on my mitts, the second Primvera sock being finished already!

to visit two dear friends whom I have known just about an equal amount of time - give or take a few months back in 1999 - but who had never met one another. We rectified that on Michigan Avenue in the middle of Black Friday.

A handsome pair

It was fun and we bought not a single thing (although I did veer a little toward the H&M after we passed it for the 3rd time. The display was shiny!).
Me, Katie, Scott, Jessie, and Brandon, pre-Tangled in Chicago

Then on Saturday I took the train out to Geneva,

The mitts! They are done!

where Meghan and I spent a truly fabulous weekend immersed in fiber, yarn, and amazing food.
We carded batts
And met a certain hooligan in a red suit

We scored a mint green polar fleece blanket for 5 bucks at the thrift store, then took it home to wash and discovered we had bought...

Earlier in the trip, the fmaily took a trip to Michaels where I may or may not have bought some Patons Kroy stretch yarn to make summer socks (I did). I justified this to myself by saying that I had finished the major project I'd brought (the Primavera socks and mitts) and that I could potentially finish a whole 'nother pair of socks before I landed in CA.

Oh yes. It was an awesome weekend. Now if only I could find my scale so I could weigh all the things I knitted!

04 December, 2010

Moving Day!

And of course I was all, "most of my stuff is still in boxes in the garage, so packing will be a snap!"

I was wrong. I have a lot of shit (on top of the books and yarn, despite my best efforts last year) and not very many boxes, my Nieblings. This will be a Move in Stages, of which I am looking forward to the Final Stage the most.

Stage 1: Paint!

16 November, 2010

Falling Behind

I was going to have knitting pictures for you to ogle, but I forgot to take them until after it was dark. Daylight saving is, in case you didn't know, o-v-e-r, so it gets darker... earlier. Weird, right? You'd think they would want to save daylight in the winter, when it's dark all the time. But no. Yet another thing to change when I'm in charge of everything; damn that list is getting long!

Sooooo I'm nearly to the end of the center square of the Hap Shawl. When it's piled up it looks pretty much the same as it does here, with just more fabric. Once the center is off the needles, I'll stretch it out and show you that it does, in fact, make a square! It's rull exciting in my knitting life, guys!

Let's see, what else. OH! I signed the lease on my new apartment today! Wahhooooo!! No more crazy, soap-using, brother-emailing, passive-aggressive crazy (did I mention crazy?) person for a roommate. Unless you count me, which maybe you should because I use soap, email my brother, and am occasionally passive-aggressive. One of these things I am working on and the others I consider positive parts of my persona; I'll let you decide which is which. Anywhoodle, I talked my landlord into letting me paint my room, so that's going to happen on Friday and I will take pictures of Nadia and I smeared in paint and rocking out to 80's music according to the Universal Law of Painting. What kind of music did people listen to while painting before the 80s, I wonder? I have an amusing mental image of Elizabeth Bennet painting the west sitting room while Mary warbles away on the pianoforte.

And I promised spinning information, so here it is! You may have noticed a severe dearth of spinning on this blog with the minor exception of over the summer while I was in BFE Illinois. Well, since I'm shifting house, I'm going to take the opportunity to put my wheel where I will use it. And to help me remember that spinning is good for the soul, I'm taking part in the Spindlicity Stashdown 2011. This is only partly inspired by the veritable mountain of spinning fiber in my possession, and more by my desire to actually SPIN sometimes instead of just acquiring fiber. Since the original post, the author (Janel? I have no idea) has decided it's going to be a 12-month thing and will begin after the holidays are over. I, on the other hand, have A Very Little of the Be-Bop-a-Lula left to spin up and ply, so I'm going to make that my warm-up project for December.

Here's a button if you'd like to play along!
And there you have it. My contribution for today. I will leave you with a little tidbit i learned today while watching the Du Maurier/Hitchcock special feature on the Rebecca DVD: Daphne du Maurier's father was great friends with J. M. Barrie, and played the very first Captain Hook on stage. He was also the person who began the tradition of having the good Captain and Mr. Darling played by the same actor. Daphne grew up with the children who inspired Peter Pan. Now why wasn't that wrapped into Finding Neverland?!?

15 November, 2010

Blah Blah Title Here It's Late I Don't Care

I'm back from derby and my butt hurts. This kicking ass on skates is totally working because I can feel the definition starting to come back in my quads. YESSSSSS!!! And then someone mentioned a "skater butt," and I got chills. The one thing I do not need more of is junk in my trunk, thank you South American family. I guess you can't win'em all, right?

Y'anyway, Darcy is trying mightily to get me to go to bed using his tried-and-true technique of pushing everything remotely mobile off of my desk and looking at me like, "did you see that, bitch? Go to BED!"

And since I just pay the rent and am clearly not in charge around here, that's where I'm going.

Tomorrow I have stuffs for you to hear about! Including knitting and future spinning. Oh, what's that? You forgot that this is mostly a knitting blog and not a catalogue of which days I am sore*? So did I.

*Lately the ones that end in Y.

14 November, 2010

What Happened?

Um, so it's Sunday.

I'm not exactly sure how that happened, especially the SUNDAY part. I got up yesterday, left the house at noon, and didn't come back until 4am this morning. My cat was seriously annoyed with me, and I was dead tired.

But I helped to clean the Sacred Warehouse (fresh meat have the dirty job. I love it!), practiced for a couple of hours (those crossovers are getting easier), then went to a teammate's house to shower before we went out to Second Saturday to pass out flyers for tonight's Sunday Slaughter. Afterward, we did what derby girls do in their off time: we went out drinking, after which I had reason to wish fervently that I was already installed in my new apartment a short cab ride from downtown Sac.

Now my legs are sore and my homework is undone. Gah!

12 November, 2010

Only Slightly Productive

This is how my day went:

I woke up late, cuddled the still drugged-up kitty for awhile, and so got out of bed even later. I made tea, had brunch (having missed the appropriate hour for breakfast), then did a little homework and started laundry.

When I looked up, I was horrified to realize that it was almost 2:30 in the afternoon. How had my day slipped by so quickly?

That feels like a million years ago. The moment I looked at the clock, time stopped like a bunny in the headlights. It's a very strange feeling.

You know what else is a strange feeling? Getting approved for a new apartment! The landlord called this afternoon sometime after time stopped and told me that our old apartment in San Jose raved about me as a tenant. I expected a positive response, but there's always the fear that the manager secretly loathed you, or that today is the day you find out that someone's stolen your identity and racked up a bajillion dollars worth of medical bills. But none of that happened, and I got approved! Wahoo! I'm super-excited about this; I feel like it's a great new beginning. I'm stoked about pretty paint colors, possible chalkboard cabinets, and putting prints on the walls. I spent the day perusing IKEA's website looking for rugs, a couch, and other sundry things to put in my new place.

And now I'm going to go make popcorn, cuddle the drugged kitty some more, and start reading Great Expectations. It seems fitting.

11 November, 2010

Endcaps are Dangerous

Last night THB, Friday and I went to Bel-Air to buy ramen for dinner. After all, it's soup season and we were lazy! So we toodled around the store for a bit, sniffing the cinnamon pine cones and thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas-y foods. I walked by at least three endcaps full of canned pumpkin and evaporated milk, and every time I veered closer... and closer...

Let me back up a bit. I am not a huge fan of pie in general, nor am I a fan of cake, AKA a vehicle for frosting. Cheesecake is one of two exceptions to both of these rules; I do love me some cheesecake. The other exception is pumpkin pie. Once the leaves on my favorite maple tree turn yellow, pumpkins roll into dark corners to hide from my voracious desire to stew them and bake them into custard. They are the four-and-twenty blackbirds to my pie-maker.

Now, back to Bel-Air, where Friday and I were walking by yet another endcap full of cans of pumpkin with pictures of pie on the labels. She mentioned that she loves pumpkin pie, too, and that was the end of it. One of the reasons I love this pie is that it's so easy to make. Dump in the sugar, eggs, and spices, then whisk in the evaporated milk and pumpkin, pour into two pie crusts (TWO! You can make TWO PIES at once!), and bake then cool. Then eat for breakfast with freshly whipped cream, courtesy of your handy hand blender. Bliss.

Wonder Woman likes pie, too!

10 November, 2010

Who Gets the Best Drugs?

Last night was a boatload of fun. Us girls discussed derby names (shhh don't tell that we told each other!), the Potential Hardass Girl on the team, we got our fingers going in the air a few times during stories about Boys and How to Reject Them, and over all had a great time. Randy met us out, and he was amused by my shiny new friends (who are o-m-g so 22, but not crazy [yet]). It was a fabulous mix of old friends and new, and you may have noticed that I enjoyed myself thoroughly, despite drinking minimally so I could drive 35 minutes home at 1:30AM.

I paid for it 5 hours later. Mes amis, I am no longer, to quote Jenni, "eighteen anymore." Neither am I 25, or even 30 anymore. Bless their little hearts, they thought I was 24 and also a size 4, so I will love their noggins until kingdom come. BUT. Five hours of (bad) sleep later, I hauled my (very sore) butt out of my loft bed - veeeeery sloooooowly down the ladder - stuffed the kitty into the carrier, and hauled his loudly protesting self to the vet for his 8am tooth cleaning.

At ten, the vet called to say that he did, in fact, need to have teeth pulled, that he needs antibiotics, that he's a very handsome kitty (natch), and that he could go home at three.

At ten-thirty I met the landlord of the apartment I hope to have keys for by this time next week. No word on that front yet, but should my paperwork come back from the San Jose apartment in order - which it will, as we never paid late and all the damage in the apartment was wear-and-tear - I should be painting my room next a lovely French-ish blue by Monday.

At noon I was at Nadia's house. She took the burden of driving off of my hands and we went to go find IKEA frames with which to frame my lovely prints from Rebekah (no luck, grr!), and to find the aforementioned French-ish blue paint at Home Depot. Several paint chips found their way into my purse, then we called it a day.

I picked up the still loudly protesting kitty at 3:15 and was handed a release form not for the kitty himself, but for the controlled substance pain killers (morphine) I'm supposed to shoot into his mouth for the next 3 days. Apparently if I sell them, I could a) make a shitload of money and b) go to jail for a long time.  Meanwhile, Darcy has been staggering around with wide opium eyes, miscalculating jumps (much to our amusement and subsequent guilt) and being not-so-surprisingly amenable to sitting in warm laps. Poor toofless kitty!

Clearly the answer to the above question is: animals.

09 November, 2010

Potential Problem

Not roommate drama, thank goodness. But it just occurred to me that I have a seirous issue with finishing the NaBloPoMo thing: I am going to the Sticks of Chicago again for Thanksgiving, where I will be sans internet for 10 days. So much for every day of November! But I'm going to try to make every day until then. Unavoidable lack of internet isn't worth giving up on the exercise.

So for those of you who don't know, I'm a World of Warcraft nerd. I've been playing since launch 6 years ago with a group of real life friends; we thought it would be a good way to al keep in touch, and even though some of them have dropped out over the years, it has indeed proven a good way to keep our long-distance friendships alive. I've also made a bunch of friends through our guild, which we've been a part of for the last 5 years. It started as a group of people in their early-to-mid-20's and is now a guild of people from about 25-40 years old. Having grown-ups to play video games with makes everything so much better!

Anyway, that's what I've been up to today: playing video games. Tonight I'm going to a jazz night at a bar downtown with my fellow Fresh Meat and hopefully dropping off my application for the 1-bedroom apartment I looked at on Friday. Should all go well, I'll have keys on the 15th!

Also, my butt hurts today in a very "getting in shape" kind of way. Woot!

Day One, Officially

Tonight was my first practice as an official Sacred City Derby Girl, Class: Fresh Meat. It. Was. Awesome.

My butt hurts. My legs hurt. My jaw hurts from clenching it against the mouth guard while I concentrated. My lower back is sore, my abs will be by tomorrow, and it's fan-fucking-tastic.

You know what else is fantastic? All 11 of us girls are totally stoked about being friends. Suddenly for the first time since I moved here, I have out-of-the-house plans for the next six evenings. I hardly know what to do with myself!

I talked to my hopefully-future apartment manager (landlord? I dunno) today, and I'm dropping off my application with him tomorrow evening. In the meantime, I'm fantasizing about the pale blue-grey I want to paint my bedroom, the frame I want to paint onto the wall for Love is a Servant, and which color to use to make the kitchen cabinets into chalkboards. I can't wait!

07 November, 2010

Breathing Again

Whew, the last few days have been full of D-R-A-M-A. But now the biggest issues are resolved - that is, THB and I sat down and ironed out how I was feeling and how he was feeling, and now we, at least, are cool. Which is all that really matters at this point; family being family and all.

Today I went skating with some fellow Fresh Meat friends! It was fun even though we didn't skate for very long. There was a little kid birthday party at the roller rink, so there were lots of munchkins to dodge, and we quickly decided we were not yet good enough on skates to jump over any who might fall in front of us. Also the other girls were, in true Derby style, hung over, so we sat and chatted most of the time instead.

Tomorrow I am meeting with the manager of the apartment I saw on Friday and hopefully signing a lease. I haven't seen any other places, but this one is nice and I felt both safe and happy inside it. I am very fatalistic when it comes to apartments, apparently.

I do have a story though:

Yesterday I decided to watch a movie and knit after dinner, then go to bed early. I made a steak and got ready to settle down and watch Derby (1971), which had come in from Netflix a day or so earlier. I distinctly remember THB handing it to me along with some other mail, opening the envelope, noting the movie inside, and putting it down somewhere. I was all stoked to watch it, and started looking around. It was nowhere to be found, and I was slightly miffed with myself for not putting it directly on the TV stand like I usually do when I get a Netflix disc. I looked high and low, carrying my steak around with me so Darcy wouldn't drag it onto the floor (it's happened before), and found precisely nothing.

Miffed, I started House instead, then went to bed still wondering where that disc could be.

Now, this would be a not-story except that I went to the mailbox today to check the mail, and what was inside but a Netflix envelope. Since I already had my three discs, I figured it was put into the wrong box and flipped it over to see the name and address. They were mine. My eyebrows went up, I stopped walking toward the car, juggled my skates and knee pads into a comfortable position and opened the envelope. There inside was... Derby (1971). Apparently I have been dreaming about real things lately, and one of those real things was getting my next Netflix disc.

I'm not sure whether that means I'm clairvoyant or just boring. I mean, who dreams about Netflix coming in the mail? Obviously I do.

06 November, 2010

That Didn't Last Long

Four days, or 13% of the month, to be exact. Ahh, well. Pick up and begin again, yea?

Yesterday was one hell of a day! My Nadia came over, we went to look at a charming apartment, then we got ready with Friday and the three of us went to a beautiful dinner at Ella's in Sacramento, followed by In the Heights, followed by drinks and dancing with my friend Randy, who has been the lead electrician on the show since it started touring about a year ago. It's nice to hang out with friends who've known you for 1/3 of your life, y'know? There's something so easy about it; when they say, "Derby? Really? That's so you and.. not you. At the same time," I know exactly what they mean. Or he meant, in this case.

When the 3 of us girls got home at 2:30 am, the elephantine subject of what's been brewing in this house came up again. We all three have different loyalties, and all 3 of those loyalties are exactly where they should be: Friday's are with THB, mine are with me and my family, and Nadia's are with me as well. Under that premise, we talked about a lot of the issues that have been coming to the surface; it was one of those conversations that can only happen at 3AM no matter how old we get, apparently. I haven't seen that side of 6:30 in the morning for longer than I can remember.

This whole thing will pass, but nothing is going to be the same, and I'm a little bit afraid. It's not over yet, but I'm filling out an application for the apartment I saw yesterday and hopefully seeing another one today.

04 November, 2010

Roommate Trouble

It is time to shift house. For a long time, I've been struggling with living in this little 3-bedroom house with (usually) four other people. THB's Girl Friday is here most nights, and so is his best friend, and with our other Official Roommate, that makes five people in a 1200 square-foot house. With no closets (the closet thing really chafes me. Argh). It doesn't help my frustration that the other people living/staying here are younger than myself and therefore have different expectations than I do in roommates and living conditions.

That is not to say that I'm always cleaning the house. Just so we're clear; I like to operate in what is known as organized chaos, and it's sometimes difficult to explain why a pile of papers is in that particular spot on the floor (and has been for... awhile). And sometimes it's because I'm just lazy about going through papers, to be honest. Just because *I* know where something is in relation to the rest of my stuff doesn't mean that it looks tidy - often quite the opposite. But I try to keep my mess in my own room for the most part; other people live here after all. And my roommates do the same, for the most part.

But there is something rotten brewing in Denmark, my dears, and it hit the fan on Tuesday, spattering festered anger and passive-aggressive behavior all. up. in. heah.

For several months, or since I moved here, I've been pushing for us to suck it up and hire a housekeeping service. We're all busy and dislike cleaning, but THB and I have a higher dirt threshold than Other Roommate, so she ends up cleaning more than we do. She has, however, not brought up any frustration with this, and I've asked her several times if she feels frustrated by it. Without fail, she says no, that she likes cleaning and she's doing it to relax. Now, I am lazy and also dislike having to ferret truth out of people, so I've taken her at face value. So, the maid service idea has been pooh-poohed and nothing has changed. I brought this up again last week sometime, and they laughed me out of the room again. Then on Tuesday, the house was inundated by ants - they were fucking everywhere, and it was disgusting. We all pitched in to clean up, but there was a little sing-song in the back of my mind saying that if we'd hired a maid service, this wouldn't have happened (this may or may not have been true. Ants come inside when it rains, and it's been raining). I kept my mouth shut and started looking for 1-bedroom places on CraigsList that night instead of turning into a shrieking harpy.

Tonight, THB told me that he's been having a 2-day long email conversation with our Other Roommate, who told him he needs to step in as a landlord and not as a brother and fix this situation. She hasn't contacted me at all, not to ask to have a conversation, not to tell me I'm a crazy bitch, nothing. She also hasn't been home in 2 days. We are apparently in 4th grade and Not Speaking to one another, and I don't even know why. It's absurd.

I have an appointment to look at an apartment tomorrow. I really hope it's not shady so I can sign a lease on the spot. And I am beyond furious that this person has managed to make me uncomfortable in the house that I share with my brother.

03 November, 2010

Just Under the Wire

It's 11:30! Woot. I just got back from my second on-skates practice, which was also an evaluation to figure out whether us newbies go in the Fresh Meat or the Fast Track group. I, predictably, am in Fresh Meat. This doesn't disappoint or surprise me at all, since I didn't know how to skate when I went to the Sac City Rollers Boot Camp three weeks ago. Was it really 3 weeks ago that I decided to do this? Damn. It feels like the pre-Derby me was forever ago. That's what happens when you're a diver, folks.

Also, I want you to remember that thing I said on Monday about settling into the couch before showering after a hard workout, and then picture me coming home and writing a blog post instead of jumping into the shower - JUST so I could get it in under the wire. THAT is how dedicated the New Me is, mis petite chiens. Which is totally, in case you didn't pick up on that.

 Let's see, what else? I've been knitting a little but have nothing to show you, as the Sekrit Thing #1-million had to be ripped and re-knitted so it looks exactly the same as before only ever-so-slightly bigger. Swatching is for wusses!

And speaking of wusses, this song had me in tears on the freeway; I almost missed my exit. But it's been running through my head, and I'll probably dream about a "relationship" that's been dead for over 10 years tonight.

Damn those scars run deep, don't they?

02 November, 2010

This totally counts!

It's 12:24 am as I start this blog post, and since this is my blog I get to make the Posting Every Day rules and I say it counts. So there. (Are you as amused as I am at how I think you're going to all come bearing down on me at full speed? I think it's the endorphins. I've missed them; let me tell you why!)

So at 11:15 tonight (last night? On Monday) I finished my first on-skates practice for the Sacred City Derby Girls. I am, to put it mildly, chuffed with myself. I didn't fall down when getting my gear checked like at try-outs (1 point), I didn't wuss out on anything (1 point), I accomplished some of the "lowerings" (they're actually falls, especially when you're out of shape) to the coach's Fresh Meat standards (1 point), I didn't quit (1 point) and I didn't die (5 points).

Also there was hot water in the tank when I got home so I didn't have to wait to crawl into the shower. I learned very young that getting in the shower quickly after a hard workout is key because your muscles are still warm and (mostly) will hold you up during the process. But if you settle into the couch for any amount of time, you're doomed. Your muscles get cold, then you start to have to do things like lifting your legs into and out of the shower, which is a precursor to falling in the shower, which any child of the 80's knows is tantamount to DEATH. You could split your head open and bleed out and also freeze when the hot water runs out! That may have just been my parents...

Y'anyways, I did it! And I even started to work on crossovers all by my little self once I was steadier on my skates and not so afraid of falling down - 2 hours of "drop to your knee and get up in 3 seconds" drills will do that to you!

And now I am going to bed with some ibuprofen, a book, and some popcorn. I feel I deserve all three.

01 November, 2010

National Something Something Month

Holy tiny pill bugs, y'all, it's November of 2010. How did that happen? My mind is appropriately boggled. Today I am listening to In the Heights in preparation for going to see it on Friday. Can I tell you how much I love this musical? So much.

My last post kicked me into high(er) knitting gear and I have progress to show you! I finished Baby Evelyn's tiny dress.

Baby Bliss Dress, Pagewood Farms Alyeska yarn, "River Rock," 365 yds.

That's my hand for scale, and while I have long fingers and it's one of those rare weeks when my nails are all the same-ish length (one will break today because I said that...) which would be reason enough for a blog post, the real point of a hand-for-scale is OMGTINYDRESS!! I'm sending this today because I'm pretty sure babies grow quickly and if I wait till tomorrow it'll be too small. Thankfully Ev's momma plans to make more babies for me to swathe in knitting.

I finished sock #1 of the Primaveras while I was watching derby practice, and then because I couldn't find my Pistachio Mitts, I started some new ones. Also, I don't like the Primavera pattern very much; it feels like it takes forever, which might be a result of making ahem longer socks or maybe the M1R/M1L increases that are not my favorite. Anyway, I made myself start the second sock before I started the second mitt because I've never yet fallen prey to Second Sock Syndrome and don't intend to start now!

One sock and one mitt does not a pair make!
Creatively Dyed Calypso yarn, "Gris"
I also started another sekrit thing - what can I say, it's that time of year! - but here's a fairly innocuous picture of the beginning:

SEKRIT! THING! Number 1 million. I like sekrits; they make me sunshiny inside. 

THB has been expressing his desire for more knitted stuff by asking if everything on my needles is for him. I keep saying no, and he keeps pouting; it's a little game we play, and I think it's adorable that my little brother wants more knitting from me even if he can't manage to keep the knitting I DO make for him (hence the title of the most recent socks I finished for him).

So that's the happs at the moment. Except that it's November, which in the knitting community - or at least, the online knitting community - means it's National Sweater Knitting Month, or the impossible to remember "NaSweKniMo." This is an offshoot of National Novel Writing Month, which might be more than national and is also mostly and online thing, just sayin'. Anyway, the point of November in the online world seems to be to challenge yourself to do something you usually wouldn't be able to do and to hold yourself accountable.* This is an excellent exercise and for the last 2 years, I have tried and failed to complete a Salina sweater - I may have mentioned this the other day - so this year I am going to try to knit a whole different sweater. THAT will show tricksy Salina in its Time Out Box on the closet shelf! (I may anthropomorphize my knitting occasionally. It's part of my charm.) Considering that I've only ever completed one grown-up sized sweater, I feel that this is a reasonably challenging challenge, yea? Now I just have to pick the yarn and the sweater. But, like always, mis cucarachas, there is a thing.

You may have noticed that I like buying yarn. I love colors and shiny and soft stuff, and it piles up around me like so much possibility. But once a yarn is knitted, it is a completed thing and no longer a possibility. Something in me rebels at this, and my mantra at such times is, "there will always be more yarn," but it doesn't make the changing from possibility to thing any less stressful. It's easier with socks because they don't take long and I've been making them for long enough that I know how to make them fit me. But sweaters can go wrong in so many ways, and I'm my own worst critic. Ai-yai-yai.

Thus, today's knitting is about choosing a pattern and yarn from my stash that I will spend the next month turning into a sweater.  I've got a few patterns and yarns in mind, so now it's a matter of matching them up and remembering that even if the sweater doesn't fit me right off the bat, it will fit someone - and even if it doesn't, I can always rip it out and try again. Paciencia y fe.

It's a beautiful fall day in California!

*My RSS feed has just informed me that it is also National Blog Posting Month which is totes an internet thing. I think I shall try this little exercise because I am Raych and Bekah's Biggest Fan Girl in a Non-Creepy Way and also a Follower. Also, bananafish.

28 October, 2010

No mustard, just catch-up.

My internet friends! I have missed you! It's been a month and ::mumblemumble:: days, and in that time I have finished precisely NO knitting, so I blame my absence on that. There are several half-finished and even some mostly-finished projects sitting on my desk right now, but since I am a Gold Medalist in the Procrastination Olympics, I don't know when they will be done.

So what else have I been up to? I suppose I could show you my Hospital of Unfinished Goods. It's not a Graveyard as yet - after all, they're still on my desk in their little quilting cotton bags (thanks, Mommy!) instead of shoved on the top shelf of my closet like last years November Sweater*. We shall proceed in order of completeness, from least to most. It's more climactic that way.

Creatively Dyed Yarn from MWF&F with Meghan. Calypso base, "Gris" colorway.
These are the Primavera Socks (Ravelry link) from Natalja. They came about because I needed "cooler knitting" (according to THB) than the next project for an event I was going to. More on that later. During the event, I made it all the way down through the heel and about 3" onto the foot of the first sock, so they're about 25% finished at this point, or maybe a little more since the leg is 9" long before the heel starts. I've been experimenting with taller socks because I am now apparently fully a wimpy Californian and cry about 60-degree weather. The mind boggles!

This is a plain Hap Shawl, or will be. I decided over the summer that a Hap Shawl was just what I needed, mostly because I wanted an excuse (HAHAHAHAH!) to buy a bunch of Dream in Color Baby lace yarn. And then it came and my Grand Plans for the color scheme were thwarted due to the deadly difference in real color vs. online color, so I just HAD to get two more skeins of lighter for the center (shown here) and now I have an extra 2 skeins of Baby in a periwinkle blue and a medium charcoal grey. I think I will make Wicked sweaters out of them for when it's not so damn cold in California...

I keep using this picture because it still looks the same.
This is my Hera Mountain Ridge Shawl, recently returned to me by my mother. I left it up there during a visit just after I posted about it, and she thought it was hers until she opened the bag (we have a lot of similar quilt cotton bags because she makes all of them. I am a lucky girl!). I think my Knitting Mojo was in the bag too since I really want to finish this now!

Pagewood Farms Alyeska Sock yarn, "River Rock," 360 yds. + 5 yds of misc yarn for finishing!
THIS is my Baby Bliss for Miss Evelyn's first birthday. In true knitter fashion, her birthday has come and gone and this is obvs. not yet finished. It is currently in the same state it was ON her birthday because I ran out of yarn and have to go stash diving to find something similar enough to sew on the second strap with. Sigh.

ETA: I sucked it up and finished this after I wrote this post! Wahoo! That's 365 yards added to my 12-Mile-Quest total.
Panda Silk, "Black"
And finally, the thing that's the closest to being done is my Silky Shetland Shorty, which is currently shoved in a bag in disgrace. I have ONE SLEEVE CAP left - about 15 minutes' work - but before I can do that I have to figure out how to stop the underarm from unraveling. ARGH. I think some knots and a little Fray Check will probably solve the problem just fine.

Obviously some of these pictures are old. I've been struggling with the light in this house since I moved in; it turns out a fancy paint job doesn't help with photography!

Let's see, what else has been going on? Mom and I went to the CogKNITive Fiber Retreat for the second time this year. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, and THIS time I brought home some yarns and some fibers! There aren't pictures (yet) but I picked up some gorgeous RedFish silk in tonal greys to make a shawl I can wear with my black dresses, some white alpaca lace from Alpenglow Yarns for something similarly pretty and warm, and a braid or two of Bee Mice Elf for the spinning I haven't been doing. A couple of highlight pictures:
I can be a highlight, shut up!
Knitting and Spinning in the evening
I love this wine. It is full of win.
Mmmm. crab rangoon! A favorite.
Caffeination is key in the morning. And anytime, really.
And finally, we come to the aforementioned Event. I tend to be a diver - that is, I decide I want to do something and I don't really research it out first - and this was no exception. At the end of September, I was looking up dates for the next roller derby bout in my area and discovered that there was a Derby Boot Camp scheduled for 10/10 where the derby girls would teach us how to skate! So I took THB and his girl, Friday (see what I did there?), down to the newly-opened local skate shop and got myself a pair of bomb skates, some pads, a helmet, and headed out to learn how to fall down on roller skates. The other local team's tryouts were for 10/17, so I went thinking that if I didn't make it, it was no big deal - the Boot Camp team's tryouts were in January. But I DID! And now I am part of the newest Fresh Meat class for the Sacred City Derby Girls! I am ecstatic and so ready to get on skates next Monday to start my training, you have NO idea!

So that's the state of things. THB, Friday, MyNadia and HerHusband and I went to the Sac City Roller Girls v. Bakersfield Revolution last weekend, and it was GREAT.
After the anthem I stopped taking pictures because we were busy drinking, like good derby-goers should.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and  I cannot WAIT to play some derby. Expect catalogues of bruises in the future!

To finish, here is an adorable picture (though I say it myself) of THB and Mr. Darcy. Awwww!

*The astute among you will notice that this is from 2008. I didn't even blog about Salina last November, despite trying to finish it. This November's not looking good either. Sigh.

22 September, 2010

The Thing about Jane

Back in the day, girls like Jane Eyre were considered subversive and not fit for the eyes of young ladies, especially young ladies of the governess persuasion who might have designs on their employers' hearts. This, my precious ones, is important: without once removing so much as a hairpin (modern temptresses of employers, take note!), Jane winds Mr. Rochester around her tiny, sprite-like finger, where he stays - despite the temptations of the beautiful Blanche, his *SPOILER* wife, and various foreshadowy things like a sundered horse chestnut tree.

I love this book. Every time I read it, Jane becomes more quietly plucky and more her own woman - it's as if she is more than the sum of her chapters. Mr. Rochester becomes more smitten, leaning on Jane's little steel frame figuratively and literally. The entire story has this beautiful arc and in some places comes full circle (see above re. leaning) that makes me feel as if the world ends up in the right place if you just follow your own staunch moral code.

This time through, I noticed some stuff about Jane that I maybe hadn't picked up on before. This, tangentially, is the beauty of books that stand up to multiple readings: once you know the story, you can immerse yourself in the world, seeing things that you didn't see because you were caught up in the DRAMA and the SUSPENSE and perhaps the AWFUL and DEGRADING PROPOSAL by St. John (pronounced "sen-jin," btw) on page 354 of my text. Seriously, that scene drops my jaw every time. And every time Jane says in her quiet way, "no, thank you, I will not marry you," I cheer a little harder for this most subtly feminist of Victorian novels. Remember, at this point Jane has no prospects of ever being married - the pinnacle of existence for the Victorian woman - and chooses to reject St. John anyway. That's ballsy. Y'anyhow, this time through I noticed all the bird and fairy references. In the first 3 pages of the book, Jane reads about sea birds in Bewick's History of British Birds, and it's off to the races from there. Everyone compares her to a bird. She is small, grey, has a bright eye, and perches on chairs instead of sits in them. She is a dove or maybe a sparrow.

And then, when all her dreams are about to come true in the least fulfilling way possible, Jane flies her nest. This realization hit me like a blow to the chest (I have had a blow, Jane!). Touché, Ms. Brontë, touché. (Tangent: I had a good time putting all the different little accents over all those E's. English needs more åccéñts.)

There is a reason that Jane Eyre and her first-person account of her life has grown in my estimation over the last few years (needless to say, it grew quietly.) Despite the giggles that inevitably escape 12-year-old me when Jane says that her "organ of veneration swelled," it's mostly a book about changing your station in life WHILE holding your morals together. I read this paragraph about Jane's struggle to leave Thornfield and promptly sent it to my friend who was going through a similar struggle involving leaving a man she loves but cannot be with*. Here, my chickadees, is the heart of Jane's character:

Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth - so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane - quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can counts its throbs. Preconceived notions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by; there I plant my foot.

It seems quite modern, doesn't it? And that is why I love Jane.

*because he's a stupid stupidhead who doesn't see how "we should date other people" also means "I don't think you're the one, but I don't want to get rid of you until I find her."

07 September, 2010

A Challenge! Somewhat Like.. A QUEST! ('Cept Shorterish)

Remember Raych, whose blog and sister's art I lurve? She is Riting a Thesis that tickles my fancy bones. Then she solicited ideas for books and got soooo many, and then she posted her list, and then I said, "I wanna play!" and she said, "K! Homework really CAN be interesting!"*

And thus was the Everything Old is New Again Challenge born.

So grab your questing saddles and squinty reading glasses, kids. Buy a bushel of Fujis (yay, fall!), some crackers, and a whole mess of chillable red wine, park yourself on the patio, and get your read on!

*To which I replied, "maybe YOURS is, but what is MINE?" which is why I'll be procrastinating on mine, but not hers. It makes perfect sense, shut up.

31 August, 2010

Unveiled (now with more parentheticals!)

One of my favorite book bloggers is the hilarious and astute Raych. She consistently makes me laugh and also I agree with her taste in books, which is kind of a prerequisite for thoroughly enjoying a book blog. Anyway.

Raych has a sister (or two? I think two. But it is only the one of which I currently type.) who is Into Art in a completely opposite way from the way I am Into Art. That is to say, Rebekah makes art and I admire it. I'm convinced that Rebekah admires art as well, but I am not so much about the making thereof. Sometime in the last couple of weeks, Rebekah had an art sale on eBay. I clicked over and looked at adorable and whimsical paintings, but this one in particular caught my eye.

I decided to think about it, because $200 is a lot of yarn! And think about it I did, including having a weird dream in which I owned the painting but someone (not Rebekah) refused to give it back to me. I woke up knowing it may have been painted by someone else (Rebekah) but it belonged to ME.

The climax of this story is that I won the auction (it was a stressful several hours waiting, remind me not to play with eBay very often) and sent Rebekah a sappy little note about how the title plus the painting mean more to me than either would separately, and she wrote back to say that she's interested in how the people who buy her paintings interpret, see, and interact with them. How cool is that? I love when artists, like directors, understand that their work has a life of its own that may not necessarily be interpreted the way the artist/director intended. That's what makes art, Art, people. Make a note.

I came home late last night/early this morning from the Best Wedding Ever (congratulations, Nadia and Paul! Your love is the kind I hear makes the world go 'round.), went to sleep in my own bed for only the 9th time since June 14th, and woke up to make tea around the beginning of the afternoon. And the moment I finished simultaneously cuddling the kitty and drinking my tea, the doorbell rang. It was FedEx with a biiiig box and Canadian customs stamps! After a happy 10 minutes digging through puffed plastic bags and styrofoam, I got to this:

And after another 10 minutes of caaaaarefully wrangling plastic wrap with scissors (eep!), I got to this:

Isn't it sweet? And lovely? It goes perfectly on my wall
Love is a Servant by Rebekah Joy Plett

and has a title that coincides exactly with my summer. Everyone's First Real Art Purchase should be so easy and enjoyable. Thank you, Rebekah, for channeling my heart and thoughts into a painting even though we didn't know one another. To quote Lady Catherine, you have given me a treasure.

25 August, 2010

Happy 10th Anniversary, Bring It On!

Nathaniel reminded the internet today that it is Bring It On's 10th anniversary. I cannot even express to you adequately how much of an impact this movie has had on my life.

I danced from the time I was 5 until I strained every joint in my legs when I was 20. I was on a dance team that won every category we entered at the international championships in 1995, and was totally dedicated to the idea of being a dancer when I grew up. Cheering may not have been my life, but in August of 2000 I had just ended a horrific relationship and was in the process of being scraped alternately off the floor and the ceiling by my best friends. Bring It On came like a cheerful, hilarious bolt out of the clear summer sky, reminding us how it felt to be young and pretty again - complete with a snarky little brother and parents who just won't understand oh my god you don't know anything about meeeeee!

We fell in love with Jesse Bradford and his crooked smile, we cheered for Eliza Dushku's snotty rejoinder to cheerleader snobbery ("I came here from Los Angeles, your school has not gymnastics team, this is a last resort!"), and we drank copious amounts of tequila under the guise of sterilizing my new tongue piercing (did I mention it was the summer of 2000?)

I downloaded the beginning dream sequence cheer and put it on the beginning of every mix CD I made that year; it still makes me laugh.
I'm bitchin', great hair! The boys all love to stare.

But Nathaniel is asking for the one shot that defines the movie, and for me it's the moment that - to my knowledge - defined a singularly cheerleader kind of thing: spirit fingers.
No longer the property of jazz dancers or Fosse fanatics, spirit fingers are now firmly in the realm of cheering. So much so that I have heard jazz dancers accuse each other of using "spirit fingers" instead of "jazz hands"!

So there you have it - possibly the most quoted bit of Bring It On, and what I think of as the best shot of the film. But like a mother with a shoeful of children, I can't choose just one to love best; I love whichever one I'm watching at the moment. Excuse me, I have to go watch a movie now.

24 August, 2010

Knit, Knitting... Knat?

I am back from the bachelorette party! And it was fun, my peaches. I was so tired on the train back home that I fell asleep with my knitting in my hands and missed an undetermined chunk of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which was b.a.d. One should attempt not to fall asleep for the crucial buildup of a thriller, or one is apt to wake up to some Serious Spoilers. I am trying to put them out of my mind.

Before I left for the bachelorette weekend, I stopped at the local library to check out a book that I was in the middle of when I left Coal City. It wasn't there, so I consoled myself with a stack of other books. At the moment I'm reading a pair of books by Pauline Gedge about girls in ancient Egypt. Afterward I'm debating over whether I should re-subject myself to GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire series. The debate goes something like this:

Me: I love those books, and I've largely forgotten what happens aside from everyone dying. I should read it again!

Me, Too: But the series isn't finished! And we haaates cliffhangers!

Me: But they're so. good! There is plotting, and scandal, and Jamie Lannister! And Jamie Lannister's abs, which are strangely compelling! Maybe it's his bad-boy-turned-good persona... or his square jaw... why do antiheroes always have square jaws? Is it a sexual prowess thing?

Me, Too: Stop avoiding the point and distracting me with attractive fictional men! Have you learned nothing from Robert Jordan's death? Never begin a series that the author hasn't finished!

Me: We're reading the Outlander series, which also isn't finished and also involves amazing abs - this time of the Scottish variety. How is that different?

Me, Too: Cheating. She could end the series at any time (do you hear me, Diana? Any. Time.) and it would still feel complete. Not so with GRRM and his many hundreds of dangling plot points.

Me: You have a point.

Me, Too: This is why we like classics.

Me: Agreed. Would you care for some Tolstoy?

Me, Too: Don't mind if I do.

And so it goes.

But back to the knitting! Of which there was plenty this summer.

THB's Last Chance Socks weighed in at 440 yards.

The Cornucopia socks were smaller, being for me and not my gigantic-footed brother. They used 305 yards.

I finished knitting my second Girasole, which was ridiculously easy and fast this time around. By weight, it is 1040 yards, but isn't yet blocked. Bachelorette duties called, after all!

I completed my second Jolly Green Knee High on the plane back from Illinois and with a broken needle, no less! Note to self: size 0 wooden needles do not fare well when jammed into a bag at top speed! Note the second: carry spare needles, durrrr. They used 545 yards, but the next iteration will use fewer as these ones are a little floppy and loose and prone to falling down, which is not a good look for knee highs, generally speaking.

For those playing along with the 12-Mile Quest (Brie), that puts me at 2330 yards completed, or 1.32 miles, not including the Ishbel for Grandma! That's not too shabby considering that I also spun almost all the Be-Bop-a-Lula singles and knitted about 70% of the Cheraphim before THB arrived with the skein of yarn I needed - he dug through my stash to find it for me, wasn't that sweet? - and it turned out to be not the color I thought it was, so now I need a Plan C. I'm thinking I might just dye the offending Wrong Color Skein, or maybe the whole she-bang after I finish the knitting. I am as yet undecided and the shawl is in Time Out. 

Here is the new shawl I started when I got home and caught up on Omly's blog. It's the Hera Mountain Ridge Shawl, and I'm particularly pleased that I didn't have to a) buy any yarn for it, or b) dip into my Lorna's Laces stash, which is strangely sacrosanct for socks lately. Instead, it is alternating skeins of Tess Sock Yarn from Stitches Past and my dear friend Cynthia. I am also completely enamored of the stripes. You might think that this much garter stitch would make me crazy, but you would be wrong. Don't feel bad, it happens to everyone.

Maybe it's just that my brain needs a rest and something to practice knitting without looking while watching Bones (boy howdy, did I miss Bones!). But I'm enjoying the hell out of this so far.

And speaking of Grandma, she is doing well. The last day I was there happened to be her fourth chemo treatment, so she and my Uncle left the house before I did and I got to wave her off. But that's not the story! The story is that as she was getting ready that morning, I told her that she looked as if she was missing something. She checked her head, neck, and ears to make sure she had on her wig, necklace, earrings, and hearing aids, then gave me a totally blank look. I couldn't keep from grinning like a fool when I pulled out the finished Ishbel from behind my back and gave it to her! She was sooooo happy, and it looks lovely on her:

Isn't she an adorable little Grandma? I'm so glad she loves the shawl. We definitely had our differences while I was there, but I'm completely happy that I went.

17 August, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

I am back in California, and it feels a little strange. I've been sleeping on a twin camp bed with a 30+ year old spring mattress for the last 2 months, so I'd been looking forward to crawling into my full sized, memory foam bed for about 1 month and 29 days. It was everything I had hoped, and I don't think I moved for a full 9 hours.

Home smells like home, which is a lovely change from smelling like Grandma's house. Not that Grandma's smells bad, you understand. But I missed the smell of green growing things uninterrupted by the smell of humidity, which is a close cousin to the smell of slightly rotting foliage.

My mom came to see me today, and I cried when she showed up. Being away from almost everyone I knew for two months will probably show itself now, instead of when I was there. Partly this has to do with my tendency to pull my shit very tightly together during a crisis and then to fall apart afterward. I used to get stage fright after the play, which is how I knew I wasn't born to be an actor.

There will be more blogging soon; I have finished objects, a final yardage count, and pictures/stories to tell. In typical fashion, all the excitement of my summer was crammed into the last week. I made it to the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Art Institute over the course of four days! Flickr will be a bit shell-shocked when I'm done with it. But for now, I think I'm just going to revel in the two days I have at home before Darling Nadia's wedding takes over the next week and a half.

25 July, 2010

Tour de Fleece, Day the Last

Well, darling Readers, the day has come. The final day of the Tour de France, of which I have managed to watch not a single moment, and with it the final day of my third year participating in the Tour de Fleece.

You may recall that my goal was to spin every day of the Tour. It wasn’t a supremely difficult goal, and I didn’t have to stretch myself a huge amount to get it done. But I did have to get up out of bed a few times and plug myself into my iPod for half an hour at the wheel to be able to say I spun that day; if you know me and how much I love my bed, then you understand that this Tour wasn’t ALL fun and games. I didn’t really play along in any of the challenge days, and my two days of rest didn’t coincide with the Tour itself, but I did manage to spin every day save two, and I did manage to finish two of my three bobbins of CMF Be-Bop-a-Lula in addition to finishing the Whammy Kiss yarn:

Look upon my achievements and tremble!  I would have finished Bobbin #2 last night, but for the third time in his life Darcy decided he wanted to sit on my lap, and it quickly became clear that while some spinners are able to operate a wheel while their laps are full of cat, I am not one of them. Whether or not my inability to do so is related to the fact that my cat is Decidedly Not Small, I am uncertain. But since he was a kitten, Darcy hasn’t been much of a cuddler, so I’ll drop what I’m doing to encourage kitty lap time whenever it presents itself.

In the last 23 days, I’ve also done a great big whack of knitting. So much knitting, in fact, that I’m taking at least the morning and afternoon off today to let my wrist rest! It’s crackling in a you’d-better-stop way, but not a you’re-in-trouble way, so I suppose I’ll listen. I did block the Ishbel, though, so here it is!

Next Wednesday my dad arrives with my youngest brother (age 10). I’m not sure what effect their presence will have on my knitting, spinning, and reading time; but I’m fairly sure it won’t increase it by any great magnitude. My dad seems to think that knitting, while a pretty and ladylike activity, is akin to doing nothing - a sentiment that drives me batty every time we go head to head over it. I think it’s because I refuse to allow him to control what I knit and for whom, but that might just be my residual teenaged angst showing through.

I plan to spend this week plowing through the projects I want to finish before I leave Coal City. To that end, here they are listed in all their glory:

1) CMF Be-Bop-a-Lula yarn
2) Cheraphim
3) Knee high socks
4) Girasole

Three of those four things are within my immediate control, and if I can ever get THB on the phone to send me the final skein for the Cheraphim, I just might do it!

23 July, 2010

Tour de Fleece, Day ...

What day is it? I have no idea. I don’t even know when the Tour ends, so maybe I’ll just continue to spin a little every day until I go home.

So far I’ve reached my goal of spinning every day but rest days. What dates the actual rest days are, I have no idea, but I’ve only missed 2 days through the whole Tour, so I’m calling it a success so far. I’m over 1/2 way through the second bobbin of CMF Be-Bop-a-Lula, and have reached that interminable part of the spinning project where the bobbin keeps getting more full but the fiber next to me stays the same size.

On Wednesday, I went to a Cubs game!  My friend from back in the Ashland days, Brandon, lives out here and got tickets from his boss, who couldn’t go, so B invited me and we spent a lovely afternoon at Wrigley Field. Our seats were even in the shade, so I didn’t get a sunburn! Although it did mean that the contrast washed out my pictures of the game. Ahh, well - one picture of a baseball game looks much like another.

I love baseball games, and Cubs games most of all. No one except Cubs fans sell out games when the team is as loser-ish as this one, and we as a body expect the loss, so we go because we love the game and the atmosphere - especially when the game is exciting. And boy, was this game exciting! We picked up a single run in the first few innings, and held on to the lead until somewhere around the 7th or 8th inning. At that point, B and I started to look at each other and say, “we could be here for awhile...”

And we were. There was a heart-wrenching moment in the eleventh inning where the bases were loaded and Fukudome was at bat - something that would strike fear into any pitcher - and the whole crowd was on its feet, waiting. But the mighty Casey struck out, and the game went on:

Everyone was tired, and even the hawkers with their beers and hot dogs had gone home. In the top of the inning, the Astros scored three runs, and people began to pour out of the stadium; I suppose three extra innings of hope can wear on even the most dogged Cubs fan. And then, someone hit a home run - I don’t know who - that brought us two runs and elicited a cry of “are you fucking KIDDING ME??” from somewhere in the vicinity of my seat.

Early in the game, Brandon told me that if we lost, it was because I wasn’t clapping enough. This is a joke, you see, because at a baseball game I tend to buy completely in. I’ll drink terrible beer at exorbitant prices, boo at the umpires, and clap with every stupid calliope song that plays across the loudspeaker. B made fun of me and said that I just wanted to clap, which may be true.

THB told me that if we lost, it was because I was at the game, since I’ve never been to a Cubs game that the Cubs have won. When I called him at work he told me to GTFO before I jinxed the team.

I should have left, still clapping.

Except I didn’t, because baseball is baseball, but Cubs games are a delight.

And after the game, we headed to the Goose Island Pub for a much-needed beer, some garlic fries, and great conversation with other Cubs fans.

I also, of course, tortured THB with the above picture, as a good sister should.


Of knitting, there has been a lot. I finished Grandma’s Overspun Ishbel:

Handspun SW Merino, “Whammy Kiss”
320 yards

which is currently soaking and will be blocked in a few minutes. Then I wavered between starting a giant green Galveston (Rav link) out of the Forest Heather Shadow yarn I bought earlier this summer, or the Zephyr Girasole I planned when I was still in CA. The Girasole won out because there is a slight possibility that I can finish it before I go home. I’m about halfway through the sunflower pattern, and it’s looking a lot like the sea urchin that its similarly colored, fuzzier predecessor resembled. This one, I am hoping, won’t shed as much and so will actually be wearable. But I’m not holding my breath.

Then yesterday Grandma’s Knit Picks order came in: two balls of heathered red sock yarn and a set of 24” size 1.5’s. When I placed the order I tried very hard to resist the urge to earn the “free” shipping and buy $50 worth of stuff, thus earning me the title of “the Heroically Resistant.” I managed to avoid the temptation - mostly, so no title for me. Two balls of Felici in Green Veggies managed to slip into my cart (I swear without me knowing!) and since the arrival of Grandma’s needles liberated my own, I promptly started the top-down knee-high pattern I’ve been turning over in my head.

I didn’t realize it until I stopped knitting to start my Tour spinning last night, but I might have a thing going for green.

The Cheraphim is still at a stand-still. I will indeed run out of yarn, so I’m waiting for THB to send me the last ball of Knittery yarn to finish it up. Given that I called him during “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” it might have to wait until I get back home and can dig it out myself.