Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Finished slipper #1 of the Dorm Boots, slipper pattern #2. Actually it's slipper pattern #3, since the Cozy House Socks are slipper-like. This one's more like what I had in mind. The Guinea Pigs are a bit low on the foot for Wisconsin winters, but would be adequate for summer. One more Dorm Boot to go then I can try the other pattern I printed off. All feet should be toasty warm at my house in the future. Unless people flash puppy dog eyes and then I let them take them home.
Thanks for the kind words about my poem, Bob. I'm determined to stare at a blank page for a while today. Maybe one of the poetry prompts will spark a response. Anything, even a haiku. Please?
Monday, April 28, 2008
I still wanted to make slippers, though, and I wanted to use that yarn so I went to my favorite free pattern site and found 3 patterns using thicker yarn and bigger needles--Dorm Boots, Three Strand Slippers, and Bulky Yarn Booties. Yay!
I immediately made a pair of the Three Strand Slippers--fast and easy on size US 11s, although I thought they looked like Guinea Pigs when I was making the toe so that's what I'm calling them--they used about one and a half skeins for the pair. And I also knit the first 18 rows on straights rather than try to cram 24 super bulky stitches onto a DPN and keep them from sproinging off the other end.
I cast on Dorm Boots (size US 10s) next and am just past the 10 rows of garter stitch that forms the bottom. Next comes the stockinette body with every row decreases up the foot.
I think it's safe to say I'm on a slippers jag.
Oh, and this morning? It's snowing. Ugh.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
It was overcast but warm and humid yesterday, and last night it rained and blew like crazy. I went out this morning (in the overcast, chilly and windy front yard) to make sure the daffodils and tulips survived. They did--and they don't look too much the worse for the experience. Whew.
Mom and I spent most of the day yesterday gathering supplies and cutting out the tartan cummerbunds for both "Father-of-the"s, and FOG's (aka DH) tartan bowtie (the FOB will wear a long, non-tartan tie) for David & Abby's wedding 3 weeks from today!! Yikes. It took a whole lot more time than either of us thought it would, mostly because cummerbund hooking-together parts were nearly impossible to find. We got things that will be adequate but I will continue the search once the stores open today. *Mom found the cummerbund buckles at some place in Newark, so they should be on the way early next week. The shipping's more than the cost of the notions. sigh* Mom's a really good sewer so I'm confident she'll do most of the work and I'll fetch and carry and give sage advice. Oh, and pay for supplies and buy lunch, stuff like that.
My adventures with yarn continue. Remember last week I got that Lion Landscapes yarn on sale? Well, I couldn't not cast on something with it, so I decided to make more Cozy House Socks with the lighter colored one. It's super bulky weight, not regular bulky like the pattern calls for, and while the ball band recommends using size 13 needles, I'm using size 6, but I thought that it would be okay. My forearms ached when I was knitting the k2, p2 cuff ribbing but I always struggle with knitting ribbing. I tried to put it in time-out for making my arms sore, but I can't seem to leave it alone. When I read the directions for the heel flap, I realized that I'd forgotten to knit the cuff on one size bigger needles but, pfft, so what, right? Right. The cuff seemed quite a bit bigger than the previous ones made with the recommended yarn, but I held them together and they seemed to at least be shirttail relatives. Then before I picked up the stitches for the gusset, I thought it was just too big and maybe I should just frog the whole thing and find something else to knit with my 4 skeins of sale yarn. I kept knitting. I will say that the house sock seems almost pre-felted because the fabric's so dense. I love the colors and it's really soft. I'll keep going and see what happens. And you know I'll make it a mate, a person can't wear just one. Can you say denial?
I will say that as hard as it is to knit that thick yarn on such thin needles it's making working on the Red Licorice Sweater sleeve a breeze. Rows just seem to effortlessly stack up in groups of 8, which is when I have to increase so I see it in 8-row segments in my mind. See?
And for nearly totally mindless knitting I cast on a Silk Road Bias Bag from some of my eBay-bought reclaimed silk yarn. I could stare at the colors all day. So rich.
I still also have the Accidental Sock OTN for waiting room and dentist's chair knitting. I'll have the pair finished by next fall when I'll need wool socks again, I promise.
Finally, I used my Barnes & Noble member coupon for April to purchase a copy of Charmed Knits. I'm such a Harry Potter fan, it's a bit embarrassing.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Don’t be fooled
by all the moon
and spoon in June
gooshiness of love
poetry and songs.
sappiness is a phase.
It’s the magic time,
the blush, the flush
of first love, lust even.
Love, real love, sets in
soon enough and it
takes advanced skills
to excel at.
You need to communicate
and compromise, cooperate
You need to be tolerant
Don’t let the stars in your eyes
make you a fool,
love is hard work
but it’s worth it.
See you Thursday with critique in hand. I do love Henry.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I haven't been lolling on the couch like a slug or doodling around on the internet, no siree. I've been knitting and here's proof.
From oldest project to newest: I knit a few rounds on Accidental Sock #1 at work last week and while waiting for a friend to arrive at a cafe. I am eternally enchanted by the magic of self-striping/self-patterning yarn. I wonder how someone figures out where and how long to make the colors to make stripes and speckles.
Then I cast on the second sleeve of the Red Licorice sweater/swing jacket. I do love that variegated yarn; it's got all my favorite colors: red, yellow, orange, and brown. And it's going faster too. Maybe I'm getting better at this knitting stuff.
Finally I couldn't wait any longer to cast on and knit another Unbiased Bag (I'm calling it the Silk Road Bag) with some of the 10 skeins of Free Trade silk yarn I got off eBay for next to nothing. DH reprised his role as yarn swift while I cranked the ball winder; I have to say he's much more entertaining to watch than a swift. Love the jewel tones of the yarn. I could admire it all day.
The poetry prompt for yesterday was to write about a memory about yourself that you don't remember but you've heard so often that it seems like you do or should anyway. The only thing I could think of, that I know I don't remember except through being told it so many times was when Dad brought home a puppy and I was terrified. Her name was pronounced Pegeen, btw.
Lady Pequeen’s Arrival
Some fears are inborn
I guess. I am told
that the arrival
in the kitchen,
sent me, a two-year-old
from the floor to
standing on the table
in the blink of an eye.
Maybe I flew,
no one knows, I don’t remember,
but I’m still afraid of
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Excellent meeting last night. Jenny, your "box" exercise was fun and very creative. I like having things to touch as inspiration. Excellent words were written too. I think everyone had a moment of brilliance. We rock.
Since I'm going to Poetry Camp late next month and April is poetry month, I linked our blog to Poetic Asides, the blog of the poetry editor of Writer's Digest, who is publishing a month of prompts for a Poem-A-Day Challenge. I brought some to writer's last week (you remember) and I'm trying to keep up so I'll have some raw material for Poetry Camp. Here's what I wrote for the 15th's prompt:
Paying Our Taxes
the check's in the mail.
With privilege comes
responsibility, they say,
but I want a few more
privileges to equal out
the crushing amount of
"responsibility" we've just
I want Uncle Sam
out there mowing my lawn,
raking last autumn's leaves
that always manage to
overwinter in sheltered spots.
Maybe the governor will
drop by to till the garden,
the mayor may come to dust and vacuum,
or our alderman might fold the wash.
Judging by the amount of $$ I just mailed off
and what I get out of them
they're all overpaid.
There it is, such as it is, in all its first draft-y glory. Later, dude & dudette.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
These were a fast knit. I confess, I do love knitting with chunky or thicker yarn. Don't get me wrong, I like worsted and DK and fingering yarn, I do, but you need to use such tiny needles and it takes so long to finish things. *sigh* I'm all about instant-ish gratification. Love the Cozy House Socks. They're, um, cozy. See? I also decided I'm in love with the pooling on the feets. You can kind of see where I had to join the second skein on the left foot but really it's just not that noticeable in the whole swirly scheme of things. Next time I make them, and there will be a next time, I'll decrease to fewer than 10 stitches on the toe before Kitchener-ing to avoid the wide squared off ends.
Oh, and I cast on the second Red Licorice Swing Jacket sleeve last night.
See you guys tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
This story came from an envelope exercise -- I can't wait until this Thursday when we do some exercises again. Hope you both are having a good week. I'm off for a quick nap before a bowling banquet tonight. (I know, I know, slap a lycra shirt on me and call me Tina Marie.)
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I go back and forth feeling like I should have frogged back and fixed the foot of this house sock, but then I think it's just a house sock and it's for me so I kind of like how the color changed from the cuff & heel, to the foot, then back at the toe. Thankfully it looks like the second one's doing the same. Whew.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Signed the lease papers this morning. An enormous weight lifted. The landlords run a used car lot over on Velp, and seem like good people. So, let it rain, let it pour. Tonight I will sleep the sleep of the just.
Manning sat in his pickup on a hill overlooking Rincon watching as the Sunday people began emerging from their homes. Old women in somber dresses, prim hats perched on their gray curls, were paired with stopped old men in suits bought in more robust days. Middle aged women on their own wore a mix of dresses and slacks, the colors a bit subdued but not overly wild. Most of them were alone; no husbands and sleeping teenagers, Manning decided. The younger couples were brightest clad of all, wore jeans, pressed jeans but jeans and tight tops, their small children danced around their feet like flowers in the wind. Once they were all safe in their churches he slipped off the brake, depressed the clutch, and rolled silently through the tiny town and out to the coast road, his load of barnacle-encrusted shipwreck parts to be sunk carefully padded in the truck bed to silence any telltale rattles.
Hmmm, the plot thickens. Good luck moving in, Bob! Congrats on finding a place to live.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Real knitting content next!
I've been working on my Accidental Sock pretty regularly (it was a big help during my surprise root canal on Tuesday) but the yarn's so skinny and the needles are too. I knit and knit and don't get very far and get a little discouraged. I hoped that making the April KAL dishcloth would help, and it did a bit but not enough. For some reason I'm not quite ready to cast on the next sweater piece so I'm left with...nothing else to knit. *gasp*
Mary was knitting on a house sock last week and said it's really easy. I have the book with the pattern but didn't have any bulky/chunky yarn that I wanted to use for them. Solved that problem by going to Patti's after my haircut yesterday, mostly to show off David who I talk about incessantly (I talk about you too, Ann, but they hadn't met/seen David. Sadly Dorothy & Iris weren't there so David didn't get the full treatment, but it was spur of the moment. And don't think you won't get dragged in there one day, Abby. I'm just waiting for my chance to show you off too), but also to buy some chunky yarn (it's color #7128). Then of course I had to cast them on last night. Got the cuff done and I'm zooming through the heel flap. Knitting sock-like items is even better with thicker yarn and bigger needles!
Passed the halfway point with WLT yesterday. In this morning's reading Frank got his ashes hauled, and Patsy is getting ready to make her move.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Any apartment luck yet? See you tomorrow night.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Stormy weather flung waves up onto the dark ironshore. Rocks that looked like frozen sponge filtered the water so that it gurgled and hissed on its way back out to sea, only to be flung back again to shred itself once more. The wind used its muscle to bear down on the drops that leapt from the rocks splatting them on the patches of orange and green algae that dotted the jagged shoreline. Jack watched the spray leap upward thrust high by the ocean's force and wondered how he could get out of the tangle of Manning's deal and save some face. A pile of cigarette butts smoked right down to the filter grew on the ground below the open car window.
I discovered last night that it's difficult to instantly shift gears from prose to poetry or vice versa. So forgive me if my prose is too poetic and I'll apologize to the poetry people if my verse is too prosy.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Going to look at an apartment in De Pere this morning. Should be interesting.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
The pelican lands on the sea with all the grace of a crashing plane. Mona watches as it flies nearer and nearer to the neighbor's moored boat. The ungainly bird's wings shift this way and that looking like it's trying to slip between air currents. The pelican's oversized beak sags as it tries to sight in a landing place on the boat bobbing serenely tied to the float. The surface of the water is calm and the breeze feels light but the bird shifts position as if battling hurricane forces. As it nears the boat Mona sees the big bird almost shrug as it veers off to one side and lands untidily in the swells, swiveling around to see who noticed.
Looking like a pair of snooty maitre'ds standing with their hands behind their backs, the laughing gulls faced into the wind blowing through the mangroves. Mona lay on her rattan beach mat, bought at what was grandly named the Superstore. Once she stepped through the door she decided the name was appropriate. The store itself was bigger than it looked from outside and held something for everyone. Shoes were jumbled in black wire-grid bins, tags flapping out and smaller ones trying to slip out the gaps. Some hopeful soul had made big signs, hand lettered numbers on florescent paper, to stick on the bins but anyone with sense knew at a glance that the sizes and styles were hopelessly mixed. Next came the storage department across from shelves overflowing with bathmats and throw rugs. There were teetering piles of towels, bath and beach, curtains, blinds, and rods. She saw aisles of kitchen ware and dishware, all of it flimsy and some even broken.
It wasn't the writing weekend I hoped it would be, but it wasn't a complete washout either. I managed a little this afternoon. More to come!
When I get bored with the projects I have in progress I yearn for something fast and easy, enter the Yahoo Groups Dishcloth Knit-A-Long. First of the month's cloth is a picture and usually calls for solid yarn, middle of the month is a new technique or stitch and can be made with variegated. This month's cloth is what looks like four Dum Dum suckers with the sun shining down but is probably meant to be some sort of flowers. It has bobbles. Maybe you're not supposed to wash with this one, only admire it. Or maybe it's for exfoliating. I like it, especially the seed stitch border, I love seed stitch borders, it's just not what I expected, but it kept me amused for a few days.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
I like your last entry where Mona is listening to Bunny give his spiel. Please keep going with this. If you ask me, you're onto something hugely promising.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Thrust up by a volcanic stretch, not the sudden yawn of an eruption, but a flexing push from pressure, the terraces are nearly flat. It's easy to imagine a broad flat section of the planet floating to the surface on an ancient sea and freezing in place. One by one, blown by the wind or deposited by passing sea birds, seeds arrive and settle into niches and crevices with the tiniest bit of soil and infrequent rain barely sufficient for growth. But grow they do, slowly and somehow changed by conditions from their parents until against all odds the barest hint of green covered the island. At least that's what Mona thought the rasta-looking guide had said. She found the long view over the terraces and out to sea distracting.
See you tonight. I've got my exercise in my hot little hand and am looking forward to your writing tenets or 10 commandments or...oh yeah, prinicples. My mood seems to have lifted a bit with sunshine, warmish breezes, and the re-Wisconsining of David & Abby.
Just so you don't think I'm going to be a total wallflower in my pretty ecru dress at our son's wedding in six weeks (everyone knows the mother of the groom's supposed to wear beige and keep her mouth shut), here's a peek at my shoes and bag. RED and shiny and pointy! Also very comfortable, but that's not the important part--they're red! I have matching nail polish and have requested a red corsage. Now all I need to find is some jewelry...
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I'm not very patient. People who know me know this. So it should come as no surprise that as soon as I got back home from the successful Mother-of-the-Groom Dress Hunt...
I picked up my needles and decreased away on the raglan part of sleeve #1. I didn't expect to have to keep knitting on the last 6 stitches to make it as long as needed, but that's what the pattern said to do. See that odd little tab-thing on the top? I'm hoping that once it's attached to the other pieces it'll look normal.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
These old buildings are like rabbit warrens, Manning thought as he followed the signs and faded arrows to the department of permits. A person could get trapped in there, unable to make a quick getaway if the situation warranted it. No wonder Bunny refused to come in to apply for the permits they needed for their proposed salvage operation. Bunny had an aversion to anything official, anyone wearing a uniform, and any task requiring the wearing of shoes for long periods or spending extended periods indoors. Even the hours spent underwater helping Manning "discover" the artifacts left Bunny shaky and sputtering about how he felt oppressed by the weight of the water. "I needs to be free, mon," he said, shaking saltwater out of his dreads. "Just listen to Brother Bob's words."
I'll toss one of my many books of exercises in my bag, you bring your list of writing principles, I'll pass the word on to Jenny, and we'll have a fine old time. See you Thursday.
P.S. Another writing friend has challenged me to get off my lazy @ss and submit some things and keep working on Horizon even just one page a day. How about, since today's April 1, we challenge ourselves to submit something, even just one thing, this month? We can talk about it Thursday.
I never thought I'd be so happy to see an armpit, but I made it to the raglan decreases of my first sweater sleeve last night and I couldn't be more thrilled. I can't wait to get this sweater done (all I have left to do is finish this sleeve, make the other one, then knit the fronts, the back, seam it together, and add the collar) and wear it.
I could have used it yesterday at work. It was rainy all day and just above freezing so it felt extra chilly in the dive shop. Good thing I grabbed my Short & Sassy Shawl as I left the house. Who'dda thunk a webby triangle of fuzzy yarn with big holes in it would be so warm? Not me, but it was. And it didn't leave too many threads on my yellow sweater.