Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaack

So I haven't blogged in what, a year? No matter, I'm back now. I'll probably be talking mostly about knitting, but other stuff is sure to slip in. For one thing, I plan to do a bunch of sewing this summer, and I am also itching to make some jewelry. Since I no longer have a glass studio, I'm thinking polymer clay, at least for now.

In the meantime, I just finished my second pair of Rockin' Sock Club socks. I joined my first sock club this year from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. That means I get a skein of their "special" sock club yarn six times a year along with 2 patterns and sometimes other goodies as well. I have to admit that the patterns are at least as exciting to me as the yarn! I made the first yarn into a pair of Cascadia for a friend of mine. I loved the yarn color "Happy Go Lucky" with its highly saturated pinks and reds. Here's what they look like:

Last night I finished my second pair from club yarn. This yarn is called "My Wild Irish Girlie" and It's one of those wildly colored handpaints that I usually love in the skein and in the sock -- not so much. Well, these are pretty cute knitted up. The pattern is called Slip Jig and it was very easy, in fact, by the time I got to the end, it was too easy and I was bored to tears. This is medium weight STR and here's how they look:

I am undeniably compelled to knit socks. I can think of many reasons for this. First, I am a fairly obsessed knitter. Socks are small enough to carry around and work on anywhere. Socks always fit, and wearing hand knit socks is one of life's affordable luxuries. I can try all kinds of things out while working on socks, and even if the entire sock is a disaster, I don't mind frogging it and starting over. It costs so much less to knit a pair of socks than it does to knit a sweater, and I can get a lot of knitting bang for my buck, since I'm usually on size 0 needles.

So I tok a look at my stash this morning and I have more than 30 skeins of sock yarn. I figure at the rate I am knitting socks, this should last me about 2 or 3 years. I probably don't need to buy sock yarn for a while. Let's see if I can resist. I am also ready to start designing my own socks, so stay tuned.

I'm also working on a couple of other projects at the moment. I'm making a ramie/linen cardigan for summer, and I have, after much resistance, caved to Clapotis craziness. I caved, not because I want a Clapotis. I caved because I wanted something I could work on as "social knitting"; something I could work on without paying much attention to it, and I also was seduced by, um, some
sock yarn I saw at Maryland Sheep & Wool. The yarn is "Jazz" by Creatively Dyed, and her colors were so amazing, I just had to buy some -- but not for socks!!!

Maybe blogging will keep me honest and working on some of my other UFOs which have lain dormant for quite a while, but let's wait and see.

Other exciting news is that I am planning a podcast with my son Ben who is also a knitter, and quite an accomplished one at that. We're waiting until his summer plans are solidified and then we will begin our mother-son extravaganza. More on that as it develops!

If you have read this far, thanks. Check back soon, and keep knitting!

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.