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December 2006
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February 2007

Is It Possible I Have Two Left Arms?

Mmip_377 Because I have two left sleeves.

ARGH. ARGH. ARGH. (Also, bad word, bad word, very, VERY bad word.)

So. I now pretty much hate this project. Even if I do frog one of the left sleeves and make it a right sleeve (or possibly vice a versa, but if you value your life, don't point it out), I still have to, well, knit the other sleeve, sew the raglan pieces together, pick up the neckline and knit the collar. Oh, and hem the frakking thing.

I'd ask if you all think I should frog it, but it's pretty much a done deal. I just need to knit up something where I can use that collar. Mmip_289 Love the collar. Not so crazy about raglan style, particularly raglan style in pieces.

Hmmphht. I think I'm going to go make up with Nygard.

I want this. I can't really afford it now, but I really, really want it. Any good justifications? Please?  I'll start.

  • My arm and shoulder are killing me and I think it's because my currrent (darling) purse can't be slung over my shoulder if I'm wearing a jacket.

"That's the best you can come up with? And excuse me. I am invisible. "Mmip_369

  • mrspao suggested that I buy it as a reward for finishing the From The Stacks challenge, but since I think I'm going to be two and a half books short, it might make a better consolation prize.

I've just discovered that Mary Tudor is Fair Isle and the Norwegian Vest and Dale of Norway are stranded. Possibly the Norwegian vest will become Fair Isle because I'm not sure I've got enough dark brown yarn to knit the whole vest. (Oh, probably. But if not, I've got gray or black in the same yarn.) So for my Fair Isle February group, I'm pondering the difference.

And here is Her Majesty to date. I figure it will take me approximately the length of her reign to finish.


I am having the WORST urge to cast on something new! Anything. Well, notably a smoke ring from Knitting Across America, probably because I saw one on blog.

Stupid bloglines. It's continual updating always causes my computer to freeze and then close all the open windows. I had a lovely post complete with links about television tonight that I absolutely don't feel like recreating. Watch Part Two of Jane Eyre tonight, 2057 (a new series on the Discovery Channel and The Dresden Files on the Sci Fi Channel.  (All at 9pm thankyouverymuch.)

Tomorrow Digging for the Truth on the History Channel is digging for the truth about Genghis Khaan. I have to watch. I've got a fondness for the old boy.

On Jake 2.0 (another show cancelled too soon) I spotted Dr. Carson Beckett (aka Paul McGillion) of Stargate Atlantis is a guest spot.


"Dr. Beckett? It's Ronon that's totally hot."

(My cat is a valley girl! Good grief.)

(And Dr. Beckett is plenty hot.) 

Booking Through Thursday

Books_by_color Booking Through Thursday

1. How many unread books do you have in your house, right now? (Your own books, that is--not ones that belong to other family members--and not counting things like school books, if you have them.) Clearly, an estimate will do.

Oh my. I would say, maybe a hundred, more or less. It's the library's fault. I see a book on a reading list or a review and if the library has it, I either pick it up or put a hold on it. And then, well, it's a library book. It has to go back in 3 weeks. I have to read it first. Civic duty.

So many books. So little time.

2. To the best of your recollection, what is the OLDEST unread book in your collection? How long has it been waiting?

There's a book of Elizabethan fiction I bought in Oct 2001 that's the oldest I can think of off the top of my head (since I ran across it last night). But it's possible there's something older. I'd have to check the shelves.

3. Do your TBR books (that's "To Be Read," if you didn't know) haunt you, make you feel guilty that you haven't read them yet?

The only thing that makes me feel guilty is when they come out in paperback and I haven't read them yet. Unless, of course, they're hardback worthy.

Review: Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham and the Birth of Modern Espionage by Stephen Budiansky. I give the book a 4.5 out of 5.

I enjoyed it but it didn't reach my (admittedly completely subjective and unlearned) criteria of establishing modern espionage possibly because I personally think that's been going on since man began. I would have liked more of the man than the details of plots, but on the other hand, the book wasn't called Walsingham, A Biography so that could be a bit unfair. I might have enjoyed it a bit more if I'd just sat down and read the thing too, but I kept picking it up and putting it down so the thread of the narrative got lost occasionally. I didn't realize he and Leicester were so entangled or know anything about his daughter, Frances.

Reading: A Blank Slate by Stephen Pinker. (And not, say, Jane Eyre as the sidebar says because that's a reread and because there are only seven days left in the From the Stacks Challenge and I have that and 1968 to read by then. Hmm.)

Knitting: Not Nygard,Nygard  the bad thing. I think I've got the 'suggested' chart figured out, but to teach it a lesson, I worked on Mary Tudor yesterday. Twelve rows! Whoo! Too bad that's only something like an inch or two and I have a repeat (48 rows) to go before I get to the armscye steeks.

Should I be worried that I broke the second circular needle in a week? The Norwegian Vest is getting a little big for my purse, but I was sitting on the couch knitting quietly and demurely away when I broke the other one.

Blog_pix_057 "I am comfortable. No, I don't want to sit on your lap. Ditch Mary Tudor and we'll talk."


This is how Nygard looked Monday night:Blog_pix_257

I know. The progress is breathtaking.

This may be how Nyard will continue to look.

Evidently Dale of Norway patterns are not so much instructions as charted suggestions. The stitch counts don't match up to the designs. I have to finagle the pattern to fit the back and the sides of the cardigan and figure out what to knit with those extra stitches. I'm not sure I'm up to the brainpower (and time) it's going to take, with my busy season kicking in. OTOH, it might just be a matter of figuring it once and then knitting it, so we'll see.

In sad news, Cleopatrick's (Cleo for short)  Daddy came by to let me know that Cleo passed away last Friday. He was the sweetie cat of the neighborhood. I used to see him on walks and pet him a bit and then try to walk on. He'd run in front of me and then roll over on his back to get his tummy rubbed again. Blog_pix_208Blog_pix_146For he last couple of years, until about a month ago, he'd been coming over to have breakfast and dinner at our place. Hezekiah, I'm sad to report, does not miss him in the slightest. But I do.

Booking Through (last) Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Grab the book closest to you.
  2. Open to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence.
  3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
  4. Include the title and the author's name.

From Her Majesty's Spymaster by Stephen Budiansky:.

"Hear all reports but trust not all"; the parade of the "hired Papists," as Walsingham once termed them, and of disreputable Scotsmen, and of prison conmen who had served Mr. Secretary in his search for privy information were all liars of a lesser or greater sort. They lied to inflate their own importance, or to fill in a slack period when they hadn't found aything genuine to sell; they lied in hopes of playing both sides of the street; sometimes they lied for no reason at all except maybe that they were in the habit of lying and couldn't help themselves or wanted to stay in practice.

And when they weren't lying they sometimes tripped over one another.

Heh. I thought I had run on sentences.

And an actual tag for a meme (thanks, Marji! And I mean that in the most insincere way)

  • Get tagged by someone
  • Write down 5 things that have never been revealed on your blog before
  • Tag 5 others

Never been revealed? Other than my big dark secrets I'm taking to my grave? I think I've babbled everything else, if not in a commentary than in a meme. Hmmm. Well, brace yourself for the tedium. And I don't guarantee they haven't been 'revealed' before, when you babble as much as I do, it's hard to keep track.

1. I was hit in the head with a basketball  during a game in the 8th grade I never saw coming. (Yes, big orange sphere - but I'm blind on my left eye) giving me a black eye, a huge cauliflower ear (at the time, and that's what they called it) and broke my glasses.

2. My dad took exception to the PE Teacher insisting I needed PE when he came down to find out what had happened - there were words to the effect that I spent a third of my life sleeping - where were the classes for that? and got me pulled from PE permanently. (8th -12th grade at least).

3. I used to consider 132 pounds to be unbearably fat. Now I'd kill to be that weight again. (Kill, mind you. Evidently not control my food intake and exercise to be that weight, but I've considered it).   

4. Of the.....five pairs of socks I've knit in my 10 year knitting career, I've felted one of out existance, almost felted two others into oblivion and have to felt the last pair in the hopes that it will fit. But I like thick wool socks, my feet are always so dang cold.

5.......I have to have a cup of coffee in the morning. Not necessarily to function, I'm one of those annoying people that pretty much wakes up thoroughly right off the bat, but my day just goes south if I don't get a cup of coffee.

I'll even tag. Jenni of Alum Creek, Diane M of Needles on the Move (payback!), KSD of hand eye crafts, NeedleDancer of Knitting in the Shadows and Bookfool of Bookfoolery & Babble.

Dale of Norway KAL started at 6pm Friday night. And after hours of knitting - I've done the hem. Phooey.  Mmip_366 (Saturday night)

And Sunday night's progress: Whoops, no picture. I'm into the black and white portion of Chart A (which is basically the bottom band).

TV: Anyone catch The Dresden Files last night? I was a bit disconcerted to see Bob the Skull played in the flesh (more or less) by Terence Mann, but it works better that way, I think. Paul Blackthorne made a great Harry. I'd been thinking Jim Caviezel, or Clive Owen (because I always think Clive Owen) but he did good. They got a bit of the backstory going too. I don't remember Murphy having a 9 year old, but then I might not have noticed particularly. Or she doesn't and TV added it in.

That I watched this morning. Last night I watched Jane Eyre. I spent the first part of it cringing in horror at the callousness of Jane's "guardians" and the latter half at Rochester's behavior. What a boor. But I suppose it can be excused a bit under his circumstances and era. Hard for a man not to fall in love with the governess when he can bark "sit!" at her and is checked only by his own conscience.  Amy thought that Clive Owen would be a great Mr. Rochester. Wouldn't he though? Toby Stephens played him well, even if I was a bit underwhelmed by him at first. And now it's ruined my reading schedule because I had to dig up my copy of it and reread it.

In gratuitous cat pictures, RheLynn sent me this little bird, but Hezekiah has adopted it.


Television; Or Don't Bother Reading This Post, Chris

Quick post re: the idiot box:

PBS is airing Part 1 (of 2) Jane Eyre tonight at 9pm.

Alas for Jane Eyre, The Dresden Files premieres tonight at 9pm on the Sci Fi Channel.

Heroes is back on Monday night - and Christopher Eccleston (the late lamented Niiiiiine of Dr Who)is starting his guest appearances. Sorry, Jack. Heroes creator that Tim Kring is a local boy, raised in Pittsburg (no "h" so that would be CA and not PA). He also created Crossing Jordan. I wouldn't have linked the two. Oh, and Damon Lindelof (Lost creator) wrote for CJ! (CCTimes TV Critic).

Tuesday, still no House. One more week to go (after this.) NCIS at 8pm.

CSI-NY on Wednesday, Gray's Anatomy on Thursday - I hope next week isn't such a tearjerker! Poor George. I sobbed through half that episode. But his brothers turned to him for advice! Yeah, that part made me cry too.

Not much knitting news. Cast on Nygard, at least I've gotten farther than the hem, but not much. Did a single row on Mary Tudor so she'd stop whining. Worked a bit on the Norwegian Vest. Finished nothing. Cast on nothing else either though, which is good. Oh! And did not buy more yarn. Which was hard. Not that I'm stashbusting but I'm trying to finish something before I buy for something else. (Even though there is plenty there for something else in my stash). Darn you stashbusters. You're contagious.


Blog_pix_252 Look what Julia sent me! Traditional Island Knitting! Just because I offered to send her pink elastic. (She needs green for her tam and scarf set. Well, for the tam of the tam and scarf set.) It's got a lot of really classic cable sweaters patterns, along with ganseys, vests, cardigans and a bit of Fair Isle included and a nice historical blurb on each of the islands and their knitting traditions. Silly me, when I think of Island, I think Hawaii, not the Ireland/England area so it was a nice surprise, particularly since I've been dying to knit up a lovely (warm) cable sweater. You know, in my free time from Mary Tudor, Nygard and oh yeah, work. Work that is about to shift into overdrive.  But hey, nothing like too little time to focus efforts. Last year I managed to knit up Adamas.

Hmmm. Instead of knitting Mary Tudor or the Norwegian vest, or swatching for Nygard.......I started a watchcap because I was freezing (and I wanted to finish something in this lifetime and because Elizabeth Zimmerman mentioned Mary Tudor in the instructions) and as I was knitting it I thought - what the?  Blog_pix_246 This doesn't match my jacket (rust), my newly finished Pink Cabled Scarf (uh, pink), my coat (black, although I suppose it goes with it) and then I realized - ta da! It matches my purse. Blog_pix_248 Good gravy. (It actually matches it a lot more closely, the purse washed out a bit in the pic.)

I tried three seams before I settled on the single crochet . I should've taken pictures of the mattress and the pseudo kitchener but didn't, but neither of them looked quite right to me. Blog_pix_254 Not that I'm entirely happy with the final version, but it's adequate. And done. And warm! Wow, did we have a cold spell.

Also Brioche stitch is lovely and fluffy but there's a lot to be said for knitting a cap in the round and not dealing with seams.

Another UFO got tossed into the Frog Pond. It was actually an FO once upon a time, but the neckline was more suited to a giraffe and I've come to the conclusion I hated the raglan shaping which does not bode well for my Retro Cardi. I had a picture of it "finished" somewhere, but I can't find it. I think my challenge with Kat with a K's UFO Resurrection challenge is going to be to slow down.    Blog_pix_241

Blog_pix_255   Blog_pix_242_1 

The Norwegian Vest's progress, my carry around knitting. It's a lot less dangerous knitting this in the car (at the lights) than the watchcap - this is on circs and the cap is on straight needles. Talk about an easy to memorize pattern! But it looks so deceptively complicated.

My overseer, snoozing on the job.Blog_pix_245 

Ads I Could Happily Live Never Seeing (or Hearing) Again

1. That little kid shrieking with glee on the BMW commercial. Seriously, he starts off excited (and a little annoying) opening his presents but it devolves into such hyper excitement I'd medicate him and plop him on a shrink's couch.

This is an enticement? Spare me.

2. The Pizza ad where the grown man goes dashing through the house chortling that he's put one over on the pizza delivery guy by getting three for one. Seriously? I'm supposed to want to take advantage of what's probably one of the most underpaid jobs in the workforce? He doesn't try to pay the poor kid? Just let it get taken out of his (meager) paycheck and boo hoo for the kid and whoo hoo for him. What a creep.

3. The Credit Card ad where a man tries to use cash and the dancing and joy comes to a grinding halt. Folks! Charge up those cards recklessly! Life is but a dream! Cash isn't king, credit is! So what that the credit card companies CEO's will be basking in one of their vacation homes in their old age and you'll be huddling under a bridge.

Nothing is on TV tonight. I missed 24 last night because I couldn't bear to watch Peter MacNicol's character spew that gibberish one more second. However I'd forgotten I'd taped House and hadn't watched it yet (it was that kind of a week) so I popped that into the VCR and then watched Elizabeth I on PBS again. Knitty Gritty is on HGTV now so I've been taping it, Simply Quilts and the sewing show and knitting through them at night, not that I'm getting anything done. Mary Tudor continues to languish, I picked up the Norwegian Vest and did a bit on it because it's a good walk around knit.

Ufochallenge Jan_06_024

I'm thinking of frogging this. It was really badly thought out, he's had the nerve to lose weight, and it was going to be too big even before the button bands. Not to mention I haven't touched it in over a year. Actually, I ran across it while looking for watchcap yarn. Whoops.   

Winter Flu Season, bah

For the computer, that is. It's official, my home computer has a virus. Hopefully the thing didn't wipe the hard drive. It's at the Doctor's (Hi, Johnny!) getting medicated. (At least he thought it was a virus when I dropped it off yesterday).

On the plus side, I wove in the ends of the Debbie Bliss Cable Scarf and redid the cast off to my liking. I used a double stitch bind off I found in the Vogue Knitting Book, it looks quite nice. Blog_pix_240 See? The scarf measured in at 87 inches! Blog_pix_239 27 more than I originally estimated. And incalcuably longer than the "finish up these extra balls of yarn" that I originally intended. (Well, clearly not incalcuable, but hyperbole rules.)

And is that not a fabulous shot of the office floor?  Oh, darn, I thought I got a long shot of the length of it. The sheepie tape ran out at 60 inches. I should really block that scarf, shouldn't I? [sigh]. Finishing. It's never finished.

Here's Hezekiah, "helping" me make the bed. Blog_pix_234

And here's the Where's Waldo shot, after the bed was made..... Blog_pix_236

(Upper left corner......nice thing about a feather bed, eh? Good thing I knew she was there. She wouldn't come out either. That cat likes it hot.)

The promised pictures of the EZ mittens - the pattern was from Homespun and Handknit. It's more of an engineering marvel than a good mitten pattern. Maybe I'd like them better the next pair I knit - I had a big gap at the split where you commenced knitting the cuff that I essentially wove the heck out of and the seaming! They're serviceable, and more so after I felted them, but not my favorite. It was an interesting construction, I'll give her that. Blog_pix_232 Blog_pix_237

Gray's Anatomy on tonight! I hope I'm home in time. Dinner out - it's Dad's birthday today. He went to bed in one decade and woke up in another. (Mom's is 11 days from now, and she's having the same birthday.)

Liev Schreiber is starting on CSI tonight replacing (temporarily) William Peterson. Taping one, watching the other. I've always liked him. Hmmm. All these Serious Actors on television series lately.

Showtime is going to be running The Tudors starring Henry VIII soon! Finally Elizabeth's Daddy is going to get a little (more) press (than his six wives). I hear it's going to be his Catherine of Aragon/Anne Boleyn salad days. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays Henry and Sam Neill, Jeremy Northam and Gabrielle Anwar are also in the cast. I might have to break my No Showtime rules.  

My Very First FO of 2007

Debdeclogo2_3 I'm done! I'm done! The Cable Scarf is done! I think it only took a little more than a year. But done! (well, other than weaving in the ends and doing something more creative with the final bind off because I'm not happy with how sloppy it looks). But otherwise, done! Four plus skeins of DB Baby Cashmerino yarn (the plus being what was left over from making these)First_pictures_006_2

and naturally, my computer at home is deader than a doornail - it was fine in Sunday morning but less than two hours later, nothing but a black screen and a system config error, so no updated pictures until it's fixed (or I have time to sneak them on the computer at work).

Not the most flattering hat on the doll, eh? I'll have to dig out the picture of the Christmas I got her. She was taller than I am.

You know what? I just realized I've never named her. I name stuffed animals. Strays. My cars. But the doll has no name and I've had her since I was two. Pre-language, maybe?

Oh, and I did knit up a few more items - those mittens for Ann of Sheep Shots Six in 2006! Since I hadn't finished EZ's mittens (I recommend knitting them only for the "oooh" effect. What a pain, all that seaming) I hadn't mailed them off or counted them. In fact, for the Six in 2006, I knit Four pairs (the fire enigne red ones,  the multi pink in garter stitch -in the round, also not recommended, the groovy pirate mittens and the green EZ Check-This-Method-Out mittens)  and sent them in 2007. Today in 2007. At least it's still winter and I still had the address. And yes, I finished knitting & seaming them. Last night. Felted them a bit too, because I thought they'd be more mitteny that way. I'll post the before and after pix when the computer's fixed.

So the decks are more or less clear for Mary Tudor and Nygard. Well, Nygard as of Jan 20th.

Books: Finished Gerard Manley Hopkins, Lit Crit from The Kenyon Critics, which was quite illuminating. No wonder I had to repeat Carrion Comfort aloud so many times to thoroughly fall in love with it, Hopkin's poetry is meant to be heard, not read. Evidently he was influenced greatly musically and had aspirations he never fulfilled in his lifetime. 

Is February Poetry happening again? Anyone heard? Too soon?

I'm dying to start the next Harry Dresden book, but I'm going to finish 1968 first. Must. Finish. 1968. What a terrible disservice to this poor book! Making it sound like a boring chore. It really isn't, I think it's just one of those books I can only read in bits and pieces to assimulate the information properly.

Argh. Mass mailings. Sorting, printing, weighing and stamping. What could be more boring? Not a whole lot.