Sunday, September 21, 2008

Finished Objects and the Cold From Hell

I hate when clients bring the plague into my office. Why don't they tell me they're sick *before* they've gotten their germy hands on everything. I washed my hands, I thought I'd washed down everything he'd touched with alcohol, but alas, I missed a rhinovirus which has taken up residence inside my sinuses, my nose and my chest.

What I hate is that anything that sends my immune system in overdrive also send me into fibromyalgia flare-up. So in addition to the whole cold/fever thing, I also hurt like hell.

With all this going on, we still went to BJ's yesterday and did the major monthly food shop, and stopped at Lowes to get styrofoam insulation boards for blocking the Pennance Shawl which is, indeed, done!!!!

There it is being blocked. I spent a good chunk of the early part of today grafting the sucker. I'd never grafted seed stitch before.

Unfortunately, you really can't see the stitch definition:

And, since it's raw silk, you can't even imagine the texture.

Is it okay to be that much in love with something you've produced yourself?

Speaking of love...

This is 4 oz, just under 700 yards of merino goodness. The dying was done by Carolyn and I'm just head over heels in love with it. I'm thinking of an oversized Clapotis scarf (not quite enough for the shawl.)

Just because I love it so much, here's another picture:

Speaking of finished objects, here is the cardigan for baby William, the very young son of one of Tim's co-workers:

Those are my glasses to show scale.

I just adore the little seed stitch collar and the bar increase on the raglan.

In fact, I loved the bar increase on the raglan so much, that I decided to use it on Tim's sweater.
You know how the bar increase is a very visible increase? And if it's not there, you really can tell?
Well.....The other night, I was looking at the sweater:

What you can't see in this picture, but what I could see...and once I saw it, I couldn't NOT see it, is that I missed one of those wonderful bar increases.

And so, I decided that I'm a good enough knitter that I don't have to rip back 15 rows of sweater, I can just fix it. So I put nearby stitches on stitchholders, grabbed a crochet hook and more needles, and proceeded to rip down to where I'd made the mistake.

Tim and Kali left the room

Morgan was pressed against my leg, lending moral support

I knit, I ripped, Morgan purred. I knit and ripped some more. Morgan purred harder. I knit some more. Between us, we persevered.

Morgan claims she was never worried.

But I think she looks relieved.

I have a cute new gadget. It's a row counter stitch marker, for when you do something every other row (like a bar increase on a raglan sweater).

Basically, it's two jump rings, each with a different color bead, joined by a split ring. On increase rows, I pick the green ring. When I come around again, and it's not an increase row, I pick up the red one. That way, if I put my knitting down in the middle of a round, I can just look at the marker and tell if it's an increase row or not. Or frankly, with the onset of menopause, if I get to the middle of the row and forget what I'm doing.....

And last but not least is another handspun that I'm in love with. This started life as two bobbins of laceweight spun on Phaedre. One was 100% wool (unidentified) and the other was 100% merino. In an effort to clear the bobbins, Tim plied them together. This is what resulted:

And unfortunately this does not do it justice. It's airy, it's light, it's freakin' wonderful and I only have 200 yards of it. I don't think I'll ever be able to spin more.

Right now, I'm still working on Tim's sweater (which will be done by Rhinebeck) and the socks, which I still don't want to talk about. Let's just say I've cast them on for the 7th time. I'm down to 60 stitches (from the pattern's called for 84) on size 1 needles. I think we have a winner.

Asherah has a 1/4 full bobbin of BFL in Lichen from Miss Babs

and the camera doesn't do the colors justice. Mauve and green and grey. Moody and autumny. Deep woods and rocks that don't get the sun. The roving is whistle clean and smells yummy and sheepy (in the best possible way).

That's what I've been up to.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Falling Down a Well

No, actually, I haven't fallen down a well. Unless you consider falling down a well and falling through the hole in the page the same thing. I've been writing. Finally, the book has taken on its final shape.

Yes, yes, I know I've said that before. But this time I mean it. It's different. There's a different quality to the re-write. I'm reading the 2nd draft and cutting out huge swathes of materal. Even stuff I like. If it doesn't further the story....zap. If it's pretty but doesn't say anything....zap. If it doesn't give us information that is vital to the reader's understanding of the character...zap. I know how it ends. I changed a major relationship. I've cut out an entire story line, because it's not relevant.

It's a topic that has come up, in one way or another, in a few things I've written in the past 15 years, and I'm thinking it might need its own book.

And I've been knitting. I'm working on a top-down raglan sweater for Tim, that I hope to have finished by Rhinebeck. Yeah, don't laugh....Risa, make them stop laughing. It's miles and miles of stockinette, and perfect for zoning out in front of the TV. Tomorrow, after I upload pictures, I will show you The Mistake and fixing The Mistake. Suffice to say that Tim left the room, and Morgan curled up and lent kitty moral support.

Coming off the needles, as soon as I get a chance to sit down and Kitchener 80 stitches, will be the pennance shawl that you all saw at WOOL. Piccy's next post.

Then there's The Sock. I just went looking for a link to the sock, but perhaps Tina didn't blog about it.

Relaxing in a bath is 675 yards of 26 wpi merino that was dyed by Carolyn. I also plied (Tim did the spinning) an as yet undetermined (a lot) amount of mystery wool given to him by Diane (who, as far as I know doesn't blog...but should).

Also, there will be pictures of a lovely lace weight that happened by accident and we don't know if we could replicate if we tried. Hmmm.

So, just a teaser to let you know that I'm alive and well...and should be taking pictures and posting more in the next day or so.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Stop The Madness

There will be regular blogging later, but for now, I need to spread the word about a movement that is taking place in our country regarding a woman's right to choose her own methods of health care.

The department of Health and Human Services is currently considering whether certain forms of birth control actually constitute abortion. This includes Birth Control Pills and IUD's. The following is from the Planned Parenthood website

We have until September 25 to raise an outcry.

President Bush's regulatory change lets health care providers define abortion, which could threaten access to birth control and broader reproductive health care, and allow federal funding for so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" that refuse to inform patients of or provide patients with a full range of reproductive health care options.

Now that the new rule has been issued officially, we need you to speak out during the official 30-day comment period before the rule can go into effect.

We need as many people as possible to submit comments to the Department of Health and Human Services before the official comment period ends on September 25.

Go here to make a difference!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

What a great weekend. It helps that most of the time my birthday falls out on Labor Day Weekend, so for most of my adult life it has turned into a three day festival. This weekend was no exception.

There was one little glitch, my back went out on Friday, so I had to cancel plans to celebrate my dear friend Flame's 40th birthday, as I was flat on my back marinating in Vicadin and Flexeril. This was NOT helped by my chiropractor's long standing practice of taking the week before Labor Day as a vacation week. To make matters worse, this all happened too late for me to cancel my two appointments of Friday, so I worked through the pain. Not a really good idea. I paid for it on Saturday.

But Sunday...well...with enough pain-killers in me to withstand the journey, we drove down to Catskill, where Tina and Steve were gracious enough to host a little party for me.

First, I got to see Tina's new harp:

And to greet Nuala (Tina's parents' dog).

Watch Steve set up the new Flat Screen TV:

Then we went downstairs to hang out on the lawn, under a tree. Tina and Steve live in this awesome victorian mansion that has been carved up into apartments.

That's only part of the building. I love that building. One of my lifelong dreams is to own an old Victorian and restore it. One of my friends, Dave, is already in the process of doing it. Say hi to Dave:

Dave was at the party.

So was Diane:

And her incredibly sexy, knitting husband, Eric:

Personally, I think the only thing sexier than a man who knits, is a man who spins. The only thing sexier than that, would be a man who spins...while wearing a kilt. Oh...the palpitations.

Tina took pictures too, so I'm sure they'll hit her blog at some point in the near future.

Of course, when knitters and spinners get together to celebrate, there's loot:

There are books on spinning, and knitting lace and knitting shawls...and lace shawls. A wonderful writer's notebook from Katie, chocolate and fiber. My husband outdid himself by cleaning out my Knitpicks wish-list. Does it get better than that? Especially since he bought me my Kromski Sonata and that was supposed to be my present for the year. I think I'll keep him.

There was cake:

Then, as if that wasn't enough, Monday we went to one of our favorite farm stands down in Valatie, Golden Harvest Farms.

It's bittersweet for me to see farm stands in early September. On one hand, I love the abundance represented:

But on the other hand, the end of Summer is fast approaching. Autumn is so lovely but so short here, and then we dig in for the Long Dark Winter.

Oh, and did I mention that we hit a destash sale and more fiber arrived while I was at Wiawaka?

I am about to get ready to go to the chiropractor (thank heavens), so I will leave you with some shots of late summer abundance:

Until next time.....