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January 2007
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March 2007

This And That Thursday

Book picture courtesy of my stack for......the Summer Reading Challenge? I've read three of them. Possibly.

Knitting_099 Booking Through Thursday

A couple weeks ago, we asked about how you take care of your books, with one of the questions asking whether you write in your books. Well, what about books that are meant to be written in? Like, say, a journal or diary? Do you keep one? Obviously, if you're answering this, you have a blog--do you just let your blog be your journal? Or do you also keep one for private stuff also?

Funny, I don't consider my blog a journal. I think of it more as an open letter.  As for diaries and journals, I've kept them over the ages but none survive. One of them I burnt when I found my first husband reading it. NO ONE needs to know the idiot things I thought as a teenager! Ever.

The closest to a journal I keep is a spiral notebook of knitting projects, most of which is supremely unhelpful when I reread it. Blog_pix_312

This is the (blurry) Joan Vass top I've been babbling about. Cute, eh? I can't believe it's ribbon and knit on a size 9 needle. I suppose I could refigure it but it was supposed to be an easy knit! Otherwise I might as well work on Nygard and Mary T.

Mary T is making one row a day other words, impossible to see to the naked eye. Once I finish the one border band for Nygard, I'll post a pic of it. Only a couple of rows to go! It actually looks like the graphing will turn out okay. On the band. The body of the sweater? Let's just say that Marina isn't going to mistake it for one of her knit sweaters.

Oh, and I started this. Blog_pix_314

Mirthless Monday

(Warning. This post will undoubtedly be filled with television spoilers, although I'll try not to name names. But I might.)

House is gone for three weeks, starting Tuesday. Boo! Tonight, Heroes. I hear they're going to kill off one of the heroes on March 5 and then another at the cliffhanger. I really hate the "one of the cast will die" thing they've got going on television lately. There will be no Friends-like bonding between the actors and getting paid a fabulous salary these days! Step out of line and whammo! "Realism" "Edgy" or possibly "Stingy".

Also tonight, the History Channel is running Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier at 9pm (what happened to Digging For The Truth?), a tribute to Star Trek, hosted by Leonard Nimoy and featuring appearances by many cast members associated with the show's legacy, not to mention convention footage. This should be fun. It's new, so it's not the How William Shatner Changed the Universe special from awhile back (possibly not the title.). Oh, it's probably holiday scheduling.

Tuesday is NCIS, I'm happy to have Mark Harmon back but I'm finding Tony's romance/side job boring as all get out. With House on hiatus, at least I can watch Law & Order: Criminal Intent in real time. Goren's mother and brother are in this episode! I can't wait to see how that plays out.

Jericho starts its new episodes Wednesday night! 8pm. Whoo! They did a catch-up episode last week that was really helpful because I didn't start watching it until 6 or 7 episodes in. Jake was in San Diego the day before the bombs went off. Why?

And then CSI:NY. I completely don't care about Lost. (Except if you hear that Sayid is actually going to have more than a line or two, let me know because he's the reason I got hooked originally. Well, Sawyer too, but he's too tied to Jack and Kate. If Lost really wants to be edgy, they'd kill off Matthew Fox.)

I can't wait for Thursday for Gray's Anatomy! There's no way they can kill off Meredith. It ruins the pun in the title. She's the center of the relationships. Can you imagine how they'll all relate without her? She ties the emotional aspect of them together. It was very kind of ABC to run the Coach Tyler episodes on Friday night but I completely forgot about Psych and Monk. Grr.

Not much knitting. I did a bit on the sock but still have to do the heel. I did two rows on Mary T and another row of Nygard. One day I hope to finish this border pattern bit. After all the time I spent calculating out where the motif will start and stop, I'm just crossing my fingers that it works out.

I spent a lot of my (not very much) free time trying to find for Frarochvia a lampshade pattern Nicky Epstein designed but didn't find it. I know I have it and I know she designed it. It's in one of my magazines, but which one? Vogue? Interweave Knits? Knitters? And when? Before her Knitting For Your Home was published? After? Argh. I've got to start a list somewhere of patterns I want to knit someday and where I can find them when I get around to them. I also warned Frarochvia that it was on her head if I ran across any pattern I absolutely had to knit and I did! And it is on her head, her wrenching post today notwithstanding. The pattern is a Joan Vass designed fencing top that uses size 9 needles and ribbon tape. Naturally I want to knit it up in the Hempathy from Elsebeth Lavold or the absolutely freaking glorious yarn I got from Lisa Souza a year (or more) ago. Both seem to knit up a whole lot better with size 3 needles. Which means, the math, it must be done. And so the pattern, it waits again.

Also, I need a swift. A ball winder. A staff of twenty. That aforementioned gorgeous yarn has been languishing for so long partly because I was dreading winding it. I did break down Saturday night and hand wound it. It was huge. Huge. Not huge enough to cover my head (because I tried to take a picture of it) but huge. Also absolutely gorgeous.

Mostly I need to get back to work. It seems to be multiplying like Tribbles but not as cute and fluffy.

My (so far) two squares for the Blanket of Hope Rebekah is hosting for Sonya's hubby. The first is Rose With Thorns because it's pretty and so very appropriate. The second square is supposed to be Searchlight, a lovely meaning in the abstract but doesn't translate all that well to a knit square, particularly a knit square knit by me. But there's love and hope and frustration and perseverance in every stitch, which is pretty much life. Blog_pix_290_1 Blog_pix_291_1

This is the Magic Cast on for toe up socks Blog_pix_284 via Monika's Smoking Hot Needles to knit her Smoking Hot Socks. I can't believe that cast on actually worked. Well, to be more precise, I can't believe I managed to do it. Look at that! It's all twisted!

Blog_pix_285_1 And yet. The unmistakable top of a sock. (Hmm. I suppose it could be mistaken for something else.... a hat perhaps. A change purse. My mind.)Blog_pix_287_1

And then the actual patterning of the (top of) the sock.....

Blog_pix_293_2 Whoo hoo! My only quibble is that this gorgeous variegated yarn doesn't knit up as fast as the single color Cascade 220 did. What? Stitch gauge? What? No, no, it's the colors. Everyone knows that.

Laura at Knit a Life sent me a cute little scrubbie that is currently hard at work in the office kitchen. I'd take a pic, but I'm tethered to my phone because evidently I'm going to spend this season on hold.

Hezekiah says "Shhhhhhhh."


Booking Through Thursday

Medieval_heart_book (Picture from Reading the Book of the Heart from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century)

From Booking Through Thursday:

So, in honor of Valentine's Day . . .

  1. 1. Love stories? Yes or No?
  2. No. Not usually anyway. Romance. Bah.
  3. 2. If yes, "romances" as a genre? Or just, well, stories that have love stories? (Nobody's going to call "Pride & Prejudice" a "romance," right?) I did say, Romance, bah, right? I seldom (I'd say never but there've been a book or two over the years) read a book from the Romance shelves. There's enough love stories in the classics.

Finally finished Jane Eyre last weekend, she's not as modern as she thinks she is, but at least she is aware of her personality flaws. As usual for that era, I spent some time reading the book wanting to clock various men upside the head. Much, much nicer than Wuthering Heights.

I'm reading The Blake Slate by Stephen Pinker and Feeling Very Strange, short stories supposedly in the slipstream genre, something I've never heard of and am not that convinced exists - this labeling that goes on! It's pervasive.

I'm also reading Immoral by Brian Freeman because it sounded pretty interesting the way Chris described it. Creepy so far, but I've barely started.

Started and abandoned 1968 by Mark Kurlansky and How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch. The first is interesting but I can't seem to read more than 20 pages at a time without wandering off! The second is written far too strongly in his voice for my tastes. I really didn't feel like reading all about how Edward Hirsch felt/thought/dreamed/whatever about a poem. The glossary in the back makes the entire book worthwhile though, and I'll probably pick up the book and enjoy it some day.

There is knitting, but that's another post.

As A Public Service....

I just want you to know, those of you who staple papers, and then staple on top of those staples will come to a bad end. Possibly from me.

Here are the Log Cabin socks I finished (all but the 2nd sock toe grafting. Still). I used Cascade 220, a skein and........maybe a third of a second skein knit on size 5 needles, the foot quite tightly. My feet are wide, but short. Between my feet is the yarn left over from frogging and reknitting the foot more tightly. (Click the pic to big....ger pictures)

Blog_pix_280 Blog_pix_266 And here's the Country sock from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks I finished awhile back - or at least the foot. It's WAY too big in the instep and I idiotically did not make it longer, so when I felt it to fit, it probably won't. I used Elann's Peruvian wool.

As there is nothing but work, work, work forever, there's not much else happening.

OH! I forgot! That d*!#% Daylight Saving Time is going into effect March frakkin 11th. Fabulous. What do I care about daylight? I'm working sun up to long past sundown anyway. Poor pitiful me.

Ever get the feeling someone is watching you? I'm across the living room knitting away on the couch. She's outside the kitchen window on the fence. Blog_pix_277

Booking Through Thursday 2/9

Bustwithhat (Bust With Ice picture from The National Ice Carving Association)

From Booking Through Thursday:

What kind of care do you take of your books? Let's review, shall we? (Uh oh. Some of you who are faint of heart may not want to read the answers to this one.)

1. Are you careful with the spines? Or do you crack your books open to make them lay flat?

Crack them open, eventually.

2. Do you use bookmarks? Or do you dog-ear the corners? If you do use bookmarks, do you use those fashionable metal ones? Or paper? 

I do dog ear. Sometimes. I would've said I never dog ear the corners, but the copy of Jane Eyre I picked up is in such terrible condition anyway, and I'm reading it so slowly, that I'm finishing off the book as I go.

I use paper or material bookmarks, metal slides out too easily.

3. Do you write in your books? Ever? If you do, do you make small marks, or write in as much blank space as you can find? Pen or pencil? Highlighter? Your name on the front page?

I really don't write in my books, but I'm always intrigued by annotated copies. I'm just not convinced that my annotations are the least bit helpful. I usually don't write my name on them either.

4. Do you toss your books on the floor? Into bookbags? Or do you treat them tenderly, with respect?

Toss my books on the floor? I treat them nicely. Other than the cracking spine and dog earing the occasional corner.

5. Do you ever lay your book face-down, to save your place?


6. Um--water? Do you bathe with your books? Hold them with wet hands? Read out in the rain? Anything of that sort? I've been known to read books in the tub and while sunbathing. But not my brother's books. Not anymore. Not after that time.

7. Are your books lined up on a bookshelf? Or crammed in any which way? Stacked on the floor?

Lined up, by category (mostly), but also on my wardrobe chest, in and on my rolltop, on the coffee table.....

8. Do you make a distinction--as regards book care--between hardcovers and paperbacks?

I'm usually nicer to the spines of paperbacks because they're more fragile, but honestly, I want to keep all my books in reasonably good condition.

9. And, to recap? Naturally, you love all of your books, but how, exactly? Are your books loved in the battered way of a well-loved teddy bear, or like a cherished photo album or item of clothing that's used, appreciated, but carefully cared for?

Probably more along the lines of a beloved teddy bear, but they're not missing limbs or their stuffing.

10. Any additional comments? Nope.

In Knitting news - there isn't any on an existing project, which I threw over for a pair of Log Cabin socks. Finished! - all but the kitchener stitch of the 2nd sock - but I didn't have time to snap a pic of it this morning. Mind you, I finished it on Monday, but I knit the 2nd sock foot with a much, much looser gauge and oddly enough, it was HUGE. Naturally I didn't try it on - the first sock fit, right? until after I'd done the kitchener stitch (uh, sideways) and had wove in all the ends in. Whoops. So I unwove the ends and frogged it back to the 2nd skein join around the gusset. It took a little less than a skein and a half of Cascade 220. They're so cute!

2nd Annual St Brigid Bloggers Poetry

Root Down is hosting  the tradition that Reya started last year. It  was lovely. There was poetry everywhere online. Here are the specs:

WHAT: A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading
WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2007
WHERE: Your blog
WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Brigid, aka Groundhog Day
HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to post February 2nd.

RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on this post. Last year Reya put out the call and there was more poetry in cyberspace than she could keep track of. So, link to whoever you hear about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.

Feel free to pass this invitation on to any and all bloggers.

And my contribution:

                                    Believing In Iron

                                                          by Yusef Komunyakaa

The hills my brothers & I created
Never balanced, & it took years

To discover how the world worked.

We could look at a tree of blackbirds
& tell you how many were there,
But with the scrap dealer
Our math was always off.
Weeks of lifting & grunting
Never added up to much,
But we couldn't stop

Believing in iron.
Abandoned trucks & cars
Were held to the ground
By thick, nostalgic fingers of vines
Strong as a dozen sharecroppers.
We'd return with our wheelbarrow
Groaning under a new load,
Yet tiger lilies lived better
In their languid, August domain.
Among paper & Coke bottles
Foundry smoke erased sunsets,
& we couldn't believe iron

Left men bent so close to the earth

As if the ore under their breath
Weighed down the gray sky.
Sometimes I dreamt how our hills
Washed into a sea of metal,
How it all became an anchor
For a warship or bomber
Out over trees with blooms
Too red to look at.Blog_pix_273_1

And there must be knitting content:

Winding Wool

by Robert Service

She'd bring to me a skein of wool 

And beg me to hold out my hands; 

so on my pipe I cease to pull 

And watch her twine the shining strands

Into a ball so snug and neat, 

Perchance a pair of socks to knit

To comfort my unworthy feet, 

Or pullover my girth to fit. 

As to the winding I would sway, 

A poem in my head would sing,

And I would watch in dreamy way

The bright yarn swiftly slendering.

The best I liked were coloured strands

I let my pensive pipe grow cool . . .

Two active and two passive hands,

So busy winding shining wool. 

Alas! Two of those hands are cold,

And in these days of wrath and wrong,

I am so wearyful and old, 

I wonder if I've lived too long.

So in my loneliness I sit 

And dream of sweet domestic rule . . .

When gentle women used to knit,

And men were happy winding wool.

Books. And Cake.

Book_cake_1  (The picture of the cake books are from Colette's Wedding Cakes. Last week's picture of the color coded bookstore was (temporary) performance art from Adobe Books in SF.)

From Booking Through Thursday:

  1. What are your reading habits? Do you tend to read at specific times during the day, or does it vary from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute?

It varies. It used to be every spare moment, but since I've taken up knitting they vie for attention.

I read at signal lights sometimes (or sometimes I knit - signal lights are insanely long), I usually read before I fall asleep and depending on the book, I read every waking moment I can snatch. Ufochallenge_2

Thank you for your condolences on the late, not so great Retro Cardi. Can I count it as my February UFO? Not that I don't have plenty - ah, more to choose from. Dressmaking details on a knit raglan. Sheesh. Blog_pix_275_1

Oh, and thank you for all the lovely excuses er, reasons for buying Scout's Messenger Bag! You have all been entered unknowingly in a contest for a Nicky Epstein book. There will be two winners, to be announced shortly.

Speaking of cake, Blog_pix_269

Oddly enough, there was no mention of Brigadier-General Jack O'Neill in the article.