Sunday, May 3, 2009

Frankie Manning 1914-2009

Well, I knit, but I also Lindyhop. Here are some of my favorite pictures of Frankie, taken on his 89th birthday cruise. More to follow.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Couldn't resist

I just had to put something visual on here!

You Are an Argyle Sweater

You are contemplative, brainy, and serious.

You don't take much lightly - life is too important for that.

You are a very determined person. You don't let anything stand in your way.

You think out your actions and act deliberately. You don't waste time, money, or resources.

The End of Visual Frustration? Maybe

Ok, I admit it. I've been a slacker. I haven't blogged much. I have been knitting, but not as much as I'd like. But the really depressing "not enough" in my life has been reading. I just haven't been reading. I love books; I love to read and I always have. I have stupidly wondered over the past year or so why I'm not reading. Has my brain fallen victim to entropy? Have I gotten stupid? Well, I was wondering for a while when I realized: I can't ##(**&* see! My contact lenses weren't correcting my vision well enough for reading. Removing my lenses and donning my glasses didn't help. Taking my glasses off has been the only way I could read comfortably, but then I can't see anything at any distance beyond about three feet.

I asked around and got the name of a highly-recommended eye doctor. So highly regarded was he that I could not get an appointment, but I was desperate. I went to see one of his colleagues. He dilated my eyes; he refracted my eyes; he advised me to get lasik (I'm not ready). I saw another doctor who spent a long time fitting me with new contact lenses. I got new reading glasses. My "regular" glasses, he said, were the "perfect" prescription. All was (supposedly) well.

Not. After about a week with the new lenses, I was wearing the reading glasses almost constantly. My eyes were getting really tired. I couldn't see my computer screen at work with or without the reading glasses. I'd come home, take out the lenses, put on the glasses and still I couldn't see. This is a bad situation for someone who is about to return to school, to reading many hours a day, in several arcane and foreign languages.

Add to this dilemma an itching, redness and general cranky-eyedness. I went back to the doctor. This time, I got to see the highly-recommended doctor. He comes from a long line of rabbis. He was cool and fun and helpful. He gave me drops and said "come back in three weeks".

I went back today. He said the contact lenses I had been prescribed were too big. He said my glasses were the wrong prescription and that is why I can't read with them on. He said he had to refract my eyes AGAIN to get a good read on what is happening (pun intended).

So now I have new lenses, I'm getting new glasses and a very different pair of reading glasses. My vision is really important to me. I am a very visual person. I really hope I can get some good vision now, read more and get on with things. In the meantime, nine hours later, my eyes are still dilated and I can't really see anything very well.

Good thing I know how to touch type.

I'll be back with photos when I'm able to see them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thanks, Yvonne!

I found this interesting; see how many of these you've read:
Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total.

How many have you read?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte x+
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible 1/2 x
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens x
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy x
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller x+
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare "complete"? I'm not big into poetry, so no.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier x
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger x
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger *
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald x
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens x
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams x+++
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh x
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x+
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens x+
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis x
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis x
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini x++
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden x
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x+
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez x
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy x
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood x+
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan x+
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel x+
52 Dune - Frank Herbert x
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth x
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon x+
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez *
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt x
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold x+
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac x
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy (I think I read this; I'm not sure!)
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
(I tried; multiple times)
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt x+++++++ one of my all time favorite books
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell* This one has been sitting on my night stand for a long time
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker x

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro x+
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert *
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton 91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad x
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery x

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams x
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute x +
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x+

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo x+

Knitting: I finished Bella's mittens and am proud to say they are lovely and warm and soft and no, I have not read the dreaded "Twilight" books. I also finished "that scarf" and I'm loving wearing it. The mittens are coming with me to New York next month.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Happy Birthday, Abe!

On a more mundane note, I am very much in the clutches of startitis, and I'm loving it! Yesterday I received a package from Knitpicks containing about twelve more cables for their beautiful "Options" needles and I expect to employ many of them. Currently on the needles: "Stricken" by Cookie A, "Bella's Mittens", "Portrait" by Norah Gaughan, "Irtfa'a" lace shawl, "Mystery Shawl 11" from Goddess Knits, a pair of gift socks from "The Eclectic Sole", a pair of Cat Bordhi "Coriolus" socks, and I am about to begin "Salt Peanuts" by Veronik Avery. ADD is a gift, folks.

Photos to follow soon, including a look at my reconstituted "wall of yarn".

Please feel free to comment with an answer to this question: How do you plan to ignore/obliterate Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I have moved. I am still unpacking. I hate moving! (Who doesn't?) I am knitting. I'm starting a lot of projects because I've been feeling that I don't have enough variety to pick something to take with me to knit. In other words, I've been knitting "that" scarf, and everything else on the needles requires my full attention. So I've started "Bella's Mittens" in an amazingly soft Misti Alpaca Chunky. The yarn is like a cloud and just makes me want to rub it all over myself (oops). I also went to Canvas Works in Olympia with Ben when I brought him back to college. I got some Cascade tweed and I'm going to make it into "Salt Peanuts' by Veronik Avery. I will post pictures soon, but for now, this is the best I can do.

I LOVE my new space and my eight minute commute to work. Not only that, but Trader Joe's is a mere minutes away.

Thanks again to Secret Sock Knitter who wins the prize for best SP ever.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I have moved!

Just moved to University Place. It is lovely. I will blog soon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Jackpot!

I have the absolute best Secret Pal in the world. She has spoiled me silly. Here is just a partial catalog of the wonders that arrived late last week:

I hardly know where to begin. Let's start with the sock blockers. I have never blocked socks, but I sure will start now! If nothing else, socks look really awesome on the blockers. They are small, just like my feet, and I'm quite tickled at having them. I never would have thought to get these, but I KNOW I will wonder how I ever lived without them.

Next, my amazing psychic pal sent some beautiful periwinkle lace yarn. How did you know that I just signed up for my first Mystery Shawl knit along? It called for purple or green or gold lace yarn, and I did not have any of those colors. This yarn is perfect for the project, which I can't describe, since I only have the first clue. I do know that it will be a triangle, and there are beads. I got some lovely AB purple beads which look great with the yarn. Stay tuned for phohtos when I actually begin the knitting.

Next, (I'm already overwhelmed) we have a very funky zipped case, in which the above-mentioned beads and tiny crochet hook are residing. This is an artisan piece, not any off-the-rack fabric case. And inside were beautiful beaded stitch markers and some heavenly smelling beeswax/lavender emollient hand salve(?) in a pretty bee-decorated tin. You are a very attentive pal and you really got my number(s). Wow....

OK, continuing with the overwhelming gifties:Two beautiful sock yarns. I love them both and cannot pick a favorite. I'm glad I don't have to! One is lovely pinks and browns; I have to check out the repeat pattern before deciding what kind of socks I'll make from it. The other is a funky, multicolored hand dyed masterpiece. I love each and every color, and I think this yarn will hold some real surprised when it's knit up.

And on and on....Yummy body butters from Mark, each smelling better than the last. Two vanilla citrus soaps. I can't decide whether to wash with them or use them as sachets in my drawers. A bottle of Eucalan! I love Eucalan. I use it on my handspun and any other wool I wash. So it's my socks' best friend.

Speaking of sachets. This lovely lavendar filled, embroidered little pillow smells great, looks great, and is going to reside with my sock yarn. It keeps the moths away, or so I've heard.

Thanks a gazillion, SP; you rock! Next post I will show you what ELSE came in the box. Yes, unbelievable but true. You have also inspired me to be an even better spoiler to my own Pal.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Don't Play with your Food? Fogettaboutit

Where the line between fun and obsession blur deliciously: