Friday, November 30, 2007

Sweater Goodness

We are having actual winter weather here- rare for us. It makes wool all the better. Here's what I've been working on. The yarn is a mystery- the shop owner said she brought it from Europe, but there was very little of it- three skeins- and no label. It has long color repeats, and so I am working with both ends of the skein, and letting the colors do their work. You see the yoke off the needles because I was worried about what the true dimensions were. After blocking, I was reassured. The body will be a solid, something, haven't got that worked out yet.

I started quilting, after a few months off. Have to get someone to hold up the quilt so I can take a photo. I also hauled out the fabric stash, re folded and grouped by color. I lack greens, too much purple, really, and short on the good yellows as well. Also, I have too many cute juvenile type prints, as I really don't want to make a bunch of quilts for charity just now. I will hold onto the prints, though. Just owning them prevents me from buying more cute, juvenile prints. A sew of the fabrics it seemed I had bought more than once. AT first it was just an odd- oh my I'm getting old feeling, but when I looked at the ones I had bought twice I saw a lot of really happy, warm colors. Need to beef up the greens and put a wide border on the top I'm working on, as I want it for a bed quilt so it needs to meet size requirements. To the fabric store!

Monday, November 26, 2007

No Time!

Ok, folks, I have a time problem. There isn't enough, really, and then I go do something dumb, like this plastic bag fusing. See the idea is, that you take six plastic bags, open them flat, sandwich them between paper and melt them into this new, uhm, substance. Directions here, if you must. But don't really, unless you have a lot more time than money, and a high tolerance for melting plastic fumes.

I have a stash. We all know that. I have a yarn stash, a fabric stash, a cool things for kids art stash, a bead stash, a book stash ( of things to read, fiction, plus books about using the above materials.) I have a sewing area, a yarn room ( doubles as the bedroom, dontcha know) . I have three spinning wheels and four or five fleeces worth, plus roving, plus 4 ounces of cashmere, plus R lent me her Bosworth charka and gave me a pound of cotton to play with. Oh, yes, and the LYSO has entrusted me with her circular sock knitting machine, to see if I can get it knitting.

I have even got a jumbo bin of Red Heart yarn for teaching children's knitting, although I haven't done that for, oh, three years. ( An aside- when my son went to private school, I mentioned that I would teach fourth grade and up to knit, if they wanted. They wanted- I became an elective, had a room, an aide, and a bunch of kids. Mention the same thing in public school number one- nope, no can do, and why would I want to volunteer in a class other than my child's? Oh, well, next year, we were diverted to public school number two, which we didn't fight because it was considered a better school- well, they have no time for knitting either, except one day for two hours and that was it. No more knitting, but they all got a hand out. Now Son 2 is at yet a different public school, and they too, have no time for knitting. We also can't plant peas without getting passed by a committee, but then, I said this was an aside. )

So, I have untold wealth a beauty to spend my time with, valuable tools to work with and a free hour. And I decide to try and fuse plastic bags into a usable material, so that I can sew a grocery bag. I have to wonder at my self esteem- I walked past riches to work with junk. Clearly, I need to start treating myself better.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Party's Over

Nothing left to do but eat leftovers and wash dishes. I have a general ban on washing dishes the night of the party, or worse yet, while the guests are still here. At my childhood dinners, we had to wash the dishes before we ate dessert. ( I do, however, follow tradition in that the table is cleared of all the food before dessert is set out. I hate the look of gnawed on food, and random plates of pickles or gravy pitchers.)

We had the kind of thanksgiving dinner that I dreamed of as a lonely young woman. Another couple, with children near our children's ages. THey praised out food, spoke intelligently about topics wide and near, and put up with the very crabby dog barking at the kids. ( We worked out that she seems to have a sore ear- I am hoping the vet clinic is open tomorrow or Saturday and we can get it seen to. I am also hoping that Dream Dog is crabby because of the sore ear, and will return to being wonderful after it is fixed.)

We four adults talked about love, history, politics, race, religion, medical pot, music, our parents, our kids...everything. There was no dividing up of the men in one room and the women in another. There were no hurt feelings or angry words. There was no rush for the evening to be over, at all. Wine was drunk, and no one drank too much. Stories were told, and no one bragged. The children busied themselves, happy with unlimited access to the computer games, and the tree house and a very cool toy called a stomp rocket. The came back and forth, delivering little updates on their activities in the next room, eating clementines and second pieces of pie. At the very end, the two youngest spent time sitting in parent's laps.

The refrigerator is full of food, the sink is full of dishes, and my cup runneth over.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Four Stages of A Laptop

Computer love- no, not that kind- seems to run in stages. I am firmly in stage three, right now, and feeling entitled to be in stage four. Ahem.

Stage 1: Heady Bliss. The keyboard is clean, clicky enough to let me know when the keystroke is done, but not so clicky as to annoy most others. Oh, the battery! Odes could be written to the day long battery. Unplug in the AM, trail around the house all day, checking the battery status and seeing, yes, Woolywoman, you have plenty of battery life left. The connections are swift and sure, and my packets just wiz along. I sometime send myself email, just for the thrill of how quickly new messages load. I browse graphics rich sites. I take the laptop everywhere I go, even if computer use is unlikely. I buy a new bag to carry the laptop in during our adventures together.

Stage 2: Dependable Comfort. The laptop is a noble, sturdy beast. It does everything I tell it to do, and I still occasionally take a spin through the control panel, update wallpaper and default browsers and such. Life is good, I have a nice machine to assist me, and that little scratch on the top only shows when it's closed.

Stage 3: Roiling Irritation. The laptop, while still indispensable, is annoying. It acts as though it has a virus, but sweeps find nothing. I find myself glancing at the clock while it loads emails, cursing the minutes I will never get back from my life. I have to ask Mr. Woolywoman for technical help, and it rankles. (Yes, I have an inhouse networking expert. Don't hate me.) I have odd glitches in page loading, and if I touch the cursor while the email is loading, it freezes. If it were a patient, we'd order a CT scan, but we'd find nothing. The thing still works, right. I'm writing this now, aren't I? So it's a little slower, and I just had to plug in after only one cordless hour. I rarely write or surf anywhere but at home, so get up and get the damn cord, already. Don't trip on the cord I have stretched across the living room, children. I eye my husband's laptop, which though sticky ,( he eats at the computer YUCK), is serviceable.

Stage 4: Crisis. Please look up at your keyboard, and note that the numeral four shares the key with a dollar sign. This is not coincidental. The laptop is totally unworkable. I buy a new battery and am appeased, until the browser fails to load at all. Mr Woolly de frags the hard drive, sweeps for intruders, considers adding a blank to the blank so that the blank will stop blanking. He'll do some research, toss some ideas around. I am cut off from my invisible friends. I stomp upstairs and down, book in one hand, knitting in the other, leaning over his shoulder. Did the blank work? I need it to work, ok? I may get just the tinniest bit shrill at this point. I go to the recycling bin, pull out the Comp USA fryer from last Sunday's paper, and rattle it menacingly. I...I...I realize that I do not know how to buy anything without a computer to research, compare, and contrast. I'll drive to the store. Lets see, for store locations, check our website. OH. I burst into tears. This stage only resolves with the purchase of a new machine. See Stage one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hiding In My Cave

Why yes, that is a grumpy little fish in a bottle, courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I think he likes me, though.

I knit a hat. A bulky hat. Two stitches to the inch. Very unlike me, with my DK fetish. However, a nice hat none the less. Perhaps it is something in the air, or more likely the lovely basket of super giant yarn on the table at the knitting store.

In further non news, we are having a freakishly mild fall, and yesterday I picked a ripe tomatoe off the vine, a full 10 days later than last year.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mom Sings

Oh, yeah, baby.
You got to watch it. SOrt of like, me, except we have dog and not a cat.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Finished the stole from Just One More Row. Cheating, because this is the picture from when I first posted. It looks like this, but longer. It is a bribe for my son's kindergarten teacher. Err- I mean gift. Never actually finished a teacher gift in a timely fashion, before. Most likely I will post a photo after it is blocked, because it might look better/different then.

Other happenings include a whirlwind trip from my oldest friend. I have completely corrupted her into a Knitter capital K. She brought more yarn than clothes. My work is done.