Weather

The seasons are confusing me this year. Did I miss spring? Somehow summer seemed to follow winter in my neck of the woods. Then, big surprise for me, as I had given in to missing spring and had planted tomatoes et al., someone noticed and slapped some spring on us. Now, I’m not sure, but looks like summer again. I like a rhythm in my weather and watering. Back to watering and summer it is. But stop confusing me!

Last night I heard a snippet of news and that 60% of U.S. citizens don’t think that climate change will have any effect on them. Ha, keep on dreaming.

Since I’m still in stealth knitting mode I have nothing to show for my efforts. I did manage to blow it last night though. I ordered a pattern via mail: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s baby surprise jacket. Apparently it is a mandatory project if I want to keep my knitting credentials. I have the book with the pattern in it. But the book is from long ago and the pattern had me confused. The pattern I ordered is new and rewritten to make a modern and simple person like me understand it. But, I was going to cast on and knit the first 6 rows in garter stitch to get ahead and be ready when the pattern arrived. Casting on 160 stitches is not for the weak, and 6 rows of that, well, you do the math of how many stitches I did. First off I cast on with too short a tail and had to start over. I counted several times and was content that I had 160 stitches. But just incase, I started counting along as I knit the first row. But then got distracted. That’s OK I thought, I’ll count with the second row. Again, some confusion, I did not get 160, but 162. How can that be? OK, count with the third row. Yup, 162 it is. Now what? Well, instead of starting over I could just knit two together at each end or, decrease in the back. Keep on knitting I though, this can be worked out.

Then at row 6 I’m starting to have knitter’s doubt. Better look at the pattern again. Perhaps I can even knit a little further. I read and reread and there was no denying it, there were no 6 rows in garter stitch. The project immediately starts with decreases, a very important design point. Where did I get the 6 rows from? Probably casting on too much lately and some other project had these directions. Darn, there goes my good idea. I will wait for the pattern at this point. 160 stitches are a lot of time to waste.

To give you a picture today, I’ll post a finished project from a few weeks ago. I liked it so much, I went out and bought two more skeins of yarn to make two more. I knew my lys (local yarn store) had two discounted skeins just right for the project.

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It’s a cowl. A very quick knit. And fun to do.

Excuse me while I go water and knit.

The Domino Effect

Or how I lost free will and learned to go with the flow.

A few days ago with the help of a little spring fever, I decided to wash our extra pillows, well, at least wash four of them. While they were drying outside, it started sprinkling and I had to move them inside into the dining room. At the best of times one has to negotiate around the dining room table that takes up most of said room (did I mention we have a smallish house?). After two days of maneuvering around the racks with the pillows I saw it was time to act.

A few years ago I bought these wonderful colorful plastic bags that one can suck the air out of and manage to store bulky soft items in less space. Me being me, I never bothered to suck the air out or for that matter even use these bags. But today was going to be the day. It worked beautifully. Why didn’t I do that before? Never mind, it’s me. I vacuumed the hell out of these bags, finding more and more items to store that way.

Even these compressed items need a little storage space of which we happen to have very little in our house, since I’m a collector of many things, not just yarn. I emptied a shelf of clothing I had not seen for years wondering what it was doing there. Ah, buttons missing, wrong size, but so pretty and could be used for….

Clothing that can’t be worn but using up space is of no use. I ended up sewing two buttons on shorts, two buttons on shirts, patches on two pants and another button on a sweater. Felt pretty good and proud.

In the meantime I had stripped the bed and the laundry was ready to be hung outside. Perfect outside laundry hanging day, sunny and windy. Darn, what’s that? A broken clothes line? Yup, apparently since yesterday our neighbor’s tree snapped a few branches and then snapped my clothing line. I had another clothing line and immediately installed it. So far so good. I’m several loads invested into this line now and am counting on it not snapping again.

Did I say I have not knit a stitch yet? That is correct. Tonight! I did finish my fraternal fingerless mittens. I’m not excited how the colors worked out, perhaps a hat would have been a better choice. Usually I love long repeating colors, but not sure it worked here.

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Instead I made the bed with new sheets (that’s sort of redundant, why make bed with old sheets? I mean dirty sheets. The sheets I used were old but not dirty). This was the time to switch sides with Stephen. My shoulder has been bothering me and in spite of a recent cortisone shot, the pain continues. I’m working on a new theory: it’s caused by holding books and ipad with my left hand that puts strain on my arm. We will see if I only get pain on the right side now or if the pain stops on the left.

This is when I discovered the box of assorted board games and pieces. Might as well deal with it now. After the massive heart attack and bypass surgery in October, I did not answer any emails or inquiries from boardgamegeek anymore. This is where I log my games and do trades or sales. If you are even slightly interested in board games, this is The Site to use. I updated my information and placed the games back neatly into the storage container waiting for someone to bite and claim them.

Toilets

It’s amazing the s#%^t life throws at you. It is that kind of day. Of course it pales in comparison to the people in Boston, so sad.

This morning I woke earlier than usual to make it to a 10 o’clock meeting of yarn bombers in our area. I delayed working on my second fingerless mitten last night, so I would have an easy project to work on and get to talk and know everyone. Of course there is always the never-ending sock project. I had both tucked away in my bag.

Every single person at the cafe was on their portable computer. No yarn or needles in sight. So I strolled through town, browsed the book store, talked to friends I ran into and eventually made a loop and was back at the cafe. Still no yarn, except what was in my bag. So I went home.

For a couple of days now I had the door to one of our bathrooms closed so no one would use the toilet. There was a little wetness that could not be explained by impaired aim. Somehow my thought is always: if I can’t see it, it might not exist. But in the back of my mind I knew I would rather live in a two bathroom house, especially after running into Stephen a couple of times while heading to the other bathroom.

So when our son Toby shows up and asks what work there is, did I ever have a job for him. It builds character to learn how to do improvements around the house, and who am I to stand in the way of our son’s character.

First go to store and buy new wax seal, most likely the culprit. Then remove the tank from toilet bowl. Well, how? Rusted on nuts and bolts did not budge even after many, many sprays of WD40. One more spray Toby? He was not convinced. Instead he talked me into removing the whole toilet with tank still attached. I know the danger zone we were in. Toilets are porcelain and can break. If that happened, well, new toilet. Then we thought it best to move the whole thing outside. Yes, good idea, more access all around, but bolts still not dancing, not even one partial turn. Now what? Well, I did have the correct little saw to threaten the bolts with. I must have bought that when I installed this toilet and removed the old one. The problem seemed familiar all of a sudden. Note to toilet hardware manufacturers: please use materials that do not rust since toilets have something to do with water, unless you don’t flush, but let’s not go there.

It took a while but eventually we succeeded. And managed to saw into the tank seal. No problem, it was not looking its prime anyway. Back to the store for new bolts and nuts and seal. Yes, I know, I said all we will need is a wax seal, but bear with me, we are building character here. The rest of the story went smoothly and after three hours we had the toilet installed, but I had not knitted one stitch.

But, this is what I’m going to do next, sit down, relax, and knit a while on the second mitten. Ok, I now have four mittens that still need a thumb, I’ll get to that too.

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Taxes

If you’re like me than finals during college days would trigger house cleaning, ok, apartment or room cleaning. No way to sit down and study without noticing every detail of dirt in the room. At first I would clean the parts that would draw my attention, but in the end I had to give up and just clean everything so I would stand a chance of passing my classes.

This is what’s happening right now. Taxes are due on Monday and it’s a major stressor for me. Though you wouldn’t think so considering I am here with my almost finished socks next to me, Netflix on, all my yarn nesting in ziplock bags in bins, all my patterns in sheet protectors in new shiny binders, everything but the stack of papers on the table relating to last year’s endeavor to run a food business. If avoidance were my goal, I’d get an A. Somehow this explanation might not work with the IRS. But look Mr.Taxman or woman, all the pretty yarn protected from moths and patterns organized in binders. Yeah, sounds lame even to me. I’ll get right on it tomorrow.

Did I mention I was looking for my book on mittens? Found it, right after asking two friends if they took off with it. That’s another fact of life: ask if someone has seen your missing item and you will find it within minutes and feel like a total idiot. I’m ok making a fool of myself, just wish I would have thought of it earlier. Unfortunately, the book did not have all the cool designs I thought it had.

It will be sock knitting taxes for the next few days, with sock knitting in between, to keep sane. One of the sock knitting books I keep on coming back to is Getting started knitting socks. If you are interested and can afford to, buy locally. It’s a pretty handy reference book by Ann Budd. I covet two books of hers: knitter’s handy book of top-down sweaters and the knitter’s handy book of patterns. I’m afraid I blew my knitting budget wide open lately and don’t see these books in my near future. But a woman can dream, right?

Catching up

Buying stuff in large quantities apparently makes me happy. Imagine me very happy having returned from a trip to Costco. Although, even large quantities of reading glasses are not enough for me. In the last 2 days I misplaced two pairs.

Alas, my Costco shopping might have reached its peak. I just got notice from my doctor that I can quit the Coumadin. No more biweekly Coumadin checks anymore for this woman. Instead I’ll come up with other age related problems. Shoulder problems. They are especially painful, right after lower back pain on the Marianna pain scale. Whereas my kaiser doctor recommended I see a chiropractor for my back, he did say he can help with the shoulder. After a painless injection of cortisone, and armed with papers for exercises, I’m hoping for the best. Add: Some happy pills for the pain on the way home and lest I forget, a trip to the yarn store and some extra yummy universal wisdom yarn called poems in my little hands.

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I did degrade the environment a bit by buying large quantities of plastic bags to keep my yarn stored. Somehow I’m starting to fear moths. Though apparently from the 15,000 species of moths, only 2 devour animal fibre. I wonder, do they attack sheep for their wool?

And to show you that I’m no slacker, here are the fingerless gloves I’m working on for Stephen.

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Told you, no slacking here. I did not get to do much knitting yesterday while out in the world. Short waits everywhere. No, I’m not complaining, just observing.

My friend does like her socks. They were just about the right length, a bit more and I’m ready to decrease. And then the other sock. I find it amazing that anything can grow visibly with number one needles. But socks re that way for me. Just when I’m about to complain and grow tired of the pattern, the colors, I’m at the tip of the sock. Of course there is another one waiting for me. In the meantime I’m knitting the second sock so Stephen has another pair.

Last night I noticed the possible cause of my shoulder problem. I read in bed, books and ipad. Holding all with my left hand, so perhaps the left shoulder problems stem from that little habit? Maybe it’s time to change places with Stephen in bed.

Today is a successful day. Partway done with taxes. But knitting calls. Especially the poems yarn. Making myself some fingerless gloves.

Let’s try again

I have knitting fever. Am in a knitting frenzy and am wondering how long that can last. As fast as I pick up an activity and totally immerse myself in it, I can move on just as fast. But knitting has been with me most of my life, and so has my stash of yarns.