Where I Spend Three Days Knitting and Reading And Finishing Nothing

Blog pix 2179....typically. I did pick up approximately 810 stitches, knit 27 rows and frog about four times, if anyone else is counting. And I finally got the letters I'm going to use in Mom's vest on Exel and charted. More or less charted. I may change a few things there as well.

Finished reading In The Shadow of the Throne: The Lady Arbella Stuart by Ruth Norrington and meant to read Jack Higgins new thriller but.....Bess of Hardwick: Empire Builder by Mary S Lovell insisted I hear her side first. Bess really did have an interesting life but her 4th and final husband sounds like he had his hands full with Bess, Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots. Wife, queen, prisoner. Prisoner who might be the next queen if the current one didn't make it. That sounds like a thrilling tightrope to walk.

Someone thinks she should be an outdoor cat again. Someone who rolled around in the dirt.

She was not amused.


WIP Wednesday - wait, what?

It doesn't feel like a Wednesday. Possibly since it's Thursday. But it doesn't feel like Thursday either. It feels like next Monday. Why do short weeks seem so very, very long?

Blog pix 046 In the spirit of WIP Wednesday, and, to a lesser extent, rummaging for something I felt like knitting, I took a fearless and searching inventory of my WIPs.

Ahem. I started to. 

< - - - See that? There are at least three charts with highlights.

I do not want to "read" my knitting. I want to knit.

Maybe I should mark where I've STOPPED rather than where I STARTED.

Has anyone read any Alain De Botton? (Have I asked that already? He's my new litcrush). I'm rapidly aquiring all his books, the latest, How Proust Can Change Your Life. (That's a New York Times review that won't pop up in a link but can be Googled).   By george, I think Proust might. If, mind you, I actually read Proust.

(My other litcrush, Simon Von Booy has a new book out this week, Everything Beautiful Began After. He is the most lyrical writer.)

Uh oh.  Hez is inside.
I am out. 
Blog pix 047
Clearly I'm going to have to take Aldous Huxley's pretentious drug trip saga inside and.....watch TV.
 Hurray for Summer! I wasn't even planning on watching Necessary Roughness, the new USA series. Football? Even peripherally? But
Callie Thorne is a likeable, believable, semi-bitchy competent psychiatrist who lands a pro football player as a client during a messy divorce.
Besides. Marc Blucas (Buffy's old flame). Scott Cohen. 'Nuff said.
Switched At Birth (Monday 9pm ABC Family) has an interesting premise.

Blog pix 019 The child that they raised IS their child. Just one that they, horrifyingly, somehow have to share, and the have just met their own child on the verge of adulthood. Just thinking about it makes me slighly teary.

It has the obligatory opposites, wrong side/right side of the tracks, married vs single, recovering alcoholic vs socialite, deaf vs hearing but it's all so seamlessly woven. Lea Thompson and Constance Marie play the mothers.

Life is Just a Tree of Cherries

If only I was participating in Project Spectrum.

Blog pix 2067 Our fruitless cherry tree! may not be named correctly. Kind of like Hezekiah being a girl.

Too bad I don't like cherries. At all. Probably stemming from a sickly childhood. Who thought putting cherry flavoring in medicine made it better tasting? It just ruined cherries proper.

We had quail visiting us too. They used to wander our street all the time but as the houses have been built in the hills, they came by less and less. Do quail lay eggs and then leave? Hopefully not. Hopefully she was just resting and Daddy Quail was merely being a lookout because the blue jays live in the oleanders she was resting under. I went out and advised them it would be injudicious but they ignored me. Birdbrains.

Poor Hez went to the vet on Thursday and currently hates me. It looked like her left front paw "thumb" had the claw growing into it - luckily not quite and she did need her annual shots but....she remains unconvinced it was for her own good. The vet tried amusing her with laser chase but she just stared back implacably. Like this.

Blog pix 2069 

Math Trumps Blocking.

Blog pix 1976Birdsong of A View From Sierra County has a new venture, natural dyeing, she's named Nature's Cauldron. This intrigues me, I've always liked natural colors - undyed wool mostly but dyeing with organics is a nice alternate. (Possibly there are exceptions to the natural rule.)

My adorable brother calls me up Saturday to check to see if I was raptured (alas no) but also lets it slip that he'd gone to the Prosperous and Beautiful Sheep & Fiber Fest that day and had bought Nerissa (one of their kitties) a sheepskin rug but his own sister??

Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Darn. I've been collecting natural wool as souveniers from various places - I'm planning on making a Cowichan style sweater out of them eventually, or possibly a Lebowski style pattern

Literary-ClockStefanie of So Many Books has a nifty link. The Guardian UK is (was?) asking for help building 24 hours of fictional time using lines from literature. Here's the link to the Literary Clock to date.

(entirely different literary clock link - picture used without permission so it's possible I'll have to remove it. But isn't that cool?).

Blog pix 2048  

When the Boogyman goes to sleep at night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books, he stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

Guns sleep with a picture of Chuck Norris under their pillow.

Crop circles are Chuck Norris's way of saying to the aliens "Don't make me come up there".

Chuck Norris is what Willis was talkin' about.

The only thing fear has to fear is Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris can roll a stone and make it gather moss.

Chuck Norris can stand at the bottom of a bottomless pit.

Chuck Norris made the forest petrified.

I may have spent all day last Monday knitting the final interminable rows of my Curve of Pursuit watching Walker, Texas Ranger.

Math trumped blocking but it came out pretty nicely. Oh phooey, that's a picture of the first felting go 'round. The wrinkles have been erased and it's felted to a more consistent blanket-like texture AND the washbasin in the garage is sparkly-clean, not that it helped, I had to toss it in the washing machine and dryer again.

  Blog pix 2051 Mom's project continues apace. One of the downsides of using a cross stitch pattern for a chart is that not only do you have to repeat every third row but it's not set up to knit easily. I've been wrapping the yarn a stitch or two in advance of a color change on some of the return rows - one advantage is that I'm going to felt the whole thing to make the book bag sturdier. Felting means that I can whack the occasional (see pic) loose end.

READING: Not so much. I've started and stopped a number of books (Here, There & Everywhere, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (which I hope and pray portrays them as such imcompetent evil buffoons because Tim Weiner as biased as the CIA says or the good stuff is redacted and protected by secrecy acts, because otherwise we are doomed).

I'm cheating on both of them with Juliet and despite the fact that it's a pretty sure thing that it's going to be a love story, (I'm psychic that way) I think Juliet is going to get read more or less in one sitting. Wow, it looks like it's going to be a movie. (No. Book trailer). Weirdly I don't have a copy of Romeo & Juliet in my bookshelves. iPhone to the rescue! Online text. I was looking for the forward but I'll pick up a copy somewhere today.

Blog pix 2052 LatelyI have had this strange feeling that I'm not getting anything done.

Strange because normally, outside of work and its incessant deadlines, I rail against the mindset that one has to accomplish something every hour of one's day.

But there it is. My stash isn't discernibly diminishing (and considering that wool prices are about to rise and the economy continues to flounder, that may be a good thing).

My bookshelves are spilling over with books I haven't read yet.

Oh no. I just realized my entire problem with that is that I have no good excuse to buy anything new. Sheesh. I do not need/want anything new! Plenty on hand! I've beeen brainwashed by my culture.

Hez sez, "Shhhhh. You will fix me tuna, draining the tuna juice into a small glass bowl when I awaken. And be quiet about it."


At last! The Longest Ten Weeks of the Year Are Done

  Yay! Yay! And whew. 

Blog pix 1979 Another view from Mt Diablo - I think I was only 2200 ft up. 

Blog pix 1955I'm on the final border of my Curve of Pursuit!! Woot!(That's not my CoP, that's Monika's.)

I'm partially frogging/redesigning my Lace Edged Elegance - if a pattern calls for cotton - there might be a good reason. Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool is beautiful and feels wonderful but it's not a warm weather sweater and short sleeves are, ah, dumb, in the cold weather we've been having. It's getting long sleeves as we speak and I'm trying to think of what to do with the inset square neckline. A ribbed split collar, maybe.

All My Children & One Life to Live - cancelled! I'm in shock. I don't actually watch them anymore - me and apparently hordes of other former fans - but I was glued to them for a.......hmm. Couple of decades. Yowza. I'll still spot a cast member on other shows and squeal like a cousin made a TV appearance. They were family.

I'm at peace with Detroit 187 most likely getting cancelled - I love the show but the numbers are abysmal - it's been pre-empted umpteen times and the replacements did better in the time slot - ouch. It was quirky but compelling. Now I'm really hoping that Chicago Code makes it. New favorite. (Warning: The site talks but it took a minute).

Chris Jericho should win Dancing With The Stars this season. Maybe Romeo. Maybe.....

The Sex Life of My Aunt by Mavis Cheek was.....eh. Dillys is having her adulterous dalliance and adulterers and mid life crises evidently bore me but Mavis Cheek's writing kept me going. There was just enough personality and truth to the book to keep it somewhat engaging.

Time Spike by Eric Flint & Marilyn Kosmatka was his typical fun romp with semi-serious overtones - his out-of-place worlds - this time, a maximum security prison, conquistadores, Cherokees walking the Trail of Tears with the soldiers on duty and the Mound people of Missouri all end up in the Cretaceous period. It's pretty simplistic but they do try to address the wrongs that have been taken for granted over the years.

Hez sez "Who are you again?"

6th Annual Brigid Poetry Festival

Today! Feb 1st.........

The 6th Annual Brigid Poetry Festival

Anne's set up a Facebook page for Brigid this year. My poem is by Judy Grahn from her book, The Queen of Wands. (Her own website doesn't look as if it has been updated lately.)

You really have to say that poem out loud a few times to understand it but once you untangle your tongue, it's amazing. (Found at So Many Books)

Blog pix 1906 Judy Grahn

Knit the knot: a riddle

The directions said:
to knit the knot known and
not to knit the not known,
knit the knot known
to the unknown knot
and not the knot known to
unknot the unknown
and knot the knit;
to unknot the known and knit
the unknown, unknit the
knot known and know the knit;
to know how to not know
the unknown, knit the knot.
Gnaw your fingers to the bone
until you understand the plot.


For Love of the Glove

Blog pix 1856 It begins.

It began well enough too. Look at the darling beads and how nicely the rosewood dpn's (double pointed needles) look with that stitchmarker. Sweet, eh? 

(The beads are left from my Georgia O'Keefe Beaded Scarf kit I won (and have already knit up, thankyouverymuch) in a contest at The Fairy Godknitter's - she's now got an Etsy site, btw, Cupcake Fiber Company for "beautiful batts of hand dyed spinning fiber".  (I quote because that's a perfect description of those lucious swirls.)  Hmm. I think I need a closing parenthii. Parenthesis? Parenthetiwhatchacallit? Yeah. I do.)

Blog pix 1858

Uh oh. The beading - that originally I hadn't planned on doing - is coming along nicely. It only took me approximately two weeks two days a couple of hours to figure out how to get the beads on the yarn (Cabin Cove's Merino/Nylon in Olive). 

Julia's instructions for using thread & a needle to place the bead on the stitch as you knit (and not pre-stringing) is probably faultless but.....it took me long enough to realize I could use a bead needle, much less something new.

So. Where was I? Oh yes. The two stitch bead cable is winding nicely and I'm clipping along......uh oh. After the hem turn, there's a four stitch bead/cable. As the pattern reads. It appears to be missing.

Hmm. Anyone seen any good movies lately? I can't wait for The Mechanic  to come out (Warning: a slightly starling clicking noise but no music, thankfully. Why do sites do that? Do they think we're all at home surfing the net?), even if no one can replace Charles Bronson and they've already tried in the Christian Bale version - whoops, no, I'm thinking of The Machinist.

Blog pix 1879


  Sigh. Do I always do this? Is it on purpose? It is fun to unravel the stitches and then work them back up differently - it's a small version of magic -  but it's got to be faster to do it right the first time.

So. Read any good books lately? I finished Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities by Martha Nussbaum. I agree with her premise but.....I started arguing with her in the margins. It was taking me weeks to finish a 158 page book. (Actually, I think it was 143 pages but who am I to argue with the Library of Congress?)(Incidentally, awesome link to find out the actual published date of a book. It's maddening to look up say, Pride & Prejudice and read that it was published in 2004. Really? Really?

Blog pix 1880 Oh sure, re-published. I want to know when it was written. Voila, Library of Congress catalog.)

Anyway. Not For Profit...I completely agree, we need to have liberal arts/humanities in the schools. It's important for scholarship and citizenship. I'm not sure where anecdotal evidence vs a representative sample falls on the proof side but I concede her point. We shouldn't teach solely for the profit of the economy. Society needs more than that. I'm just not sure how far we'll get if we don't have jobs to support our philosophical pursuits. I'm sure the target audience travels in more rarefied circles than I do in any event.

Blog pix 1887 There are the followers and the followed. The sheep & the shepherd. The wolf & the lamb. The fiber & the dye.

The metaphor and the muddle.

(I admit, the point where that might have come close to making sense was rewritten but I'm too enamoured of it to edit it out. Yeah, I'm like that. It was deliberate. So there.)

Now I'm reading Eifelheim. Cool! Takes place in the present and 14th Century Germany, I'm not quite sure how yet.



A New Year

Blog pix 1793It feels like a new year. I can't decide if I should make resolutions (which I'm making anyway) but should I Write Them Down? Will that help or hurt? Does wondering that mean that I'm trying to assert some control over an uncontrollable life?  Oh yes. Will it work? Yeah, probably not. Magical thinking, it's my mode of thought.

That red in the picture? It's exactly that color. Neon.