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Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’

I am on vacation.  That is, I have a bit of time off between my summer job and the opera.  I am spending it by cleaning up the cat hair and cat gack that accumulated in my apartment over the summer.  That and napping.

Yesterday I accomplished part of my to do list by cleaning and mopping the bedroom and hallway.  Then I set out to run a few errands, kitchen restocking and whatnot.  I also planned to stop by the opera and check on some things and use the internet since I cancelled mine before I left and I needed to print out some receipts and that’s not possible at the other places where I can get online.  Then I was going to meet up with the Friday night knitters.

At the opera, my key would not turn in the lock.  This is not unusual because the door is out of whack.  But, it wouldn’t work in the other door either.  No access for me.  It is now past 5pm and if people are still there I don’t want to disturb them since I am not on contract yet anyway.

I head to knitting instead.  The coffee place we meet at is empty of knitters and there is no reserved sign on our table.  I am hot and bothered.  I order a smoothie and check Facebook on my phone.  Knitting cancelled.  I also attempt to check my opera email but either the password has been changed or I simply can’t type it in correctly on my teeny tiny phone keyboard.  Another fail.

I drive home.  It is hot and I have been in California all summer where it is hot but not so unbearably muggy.  My car works better if I don’t use the air conditioning in city traffic so I have the windows down, sweltering and breathing in car exhaust from the other vehicles.

Once at home, all I want to do is lie down in my cool apartment.  I proceed to the bedroom with it’s newly clean floor and behold:  fresh cat gack.

Clearly I was just supposed to stay home and nap.

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I originally started blogging because I wanted to write and blogging was less daunting than writing a novel. 

Now I know that writing a novel is a bit simpler than I used to assume it was.  Mostly you just need to do it and it helps to have a deadline.

This blog was originally about knitting in particular and life in general with occassional  interludes about my cats.  Because all the cool kids had knitting blogs and many of them had cats and some knitters with or without  cats are known to have exceptionally funny takes on life.

I still knit and I still have cats.  Sometimes I am even funny.  But I have come to the conclusion that what this blog is really about is Murphy’s Law.  Specifically, why this both amuses and befuddles me.

Why, for example, if I take my knitting, a book, and a bottle of water to the doctor with me, I am called to the exam room before I can even sit down but if I take none of these things I will be in the waiting room for 4 hours? 

If I take just the water, the bathroom will be around the corner and down the hall and I won’t be able to go because they will call my name while I am out of earshot.  I will then be there for 4 hours until I realize they thought I left and bring it to someone’s attention that why, yes I am, indeed, still waiting.

If I take just the knitting or just the book the nurse/office asst. will need to ask me lots of questions.  Or fill out lots of paperwork.  Or the office will be crowded with lots of sniffling but rowdy small children or some  loud family drama.  I will be interupted to give blood, get weighed etc as soon as I get into the middle of a row of knitting or after the first 1 or 2 paragraphs of the book.  I will have to frog everything I did while trying to ignore the family drama.  I will still have to wait to see the doctor.

I may have actually learned this lesson.

It only took you 60+ years

Because this morning I went in for a chest x ray.  I opened my bag and was deciding between reading and knitting when they called my name.  Less than 10 minutes later I was on my way.

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I brought knitting projects to California with me.  I have not knitted.  I have intentions.  I have at least one item with a deadline.  I am still not knitting.

I have a day off.  I am not knitting.  I am cleaning and doing laundry and clearing out my inbox.

and you did an Etsy treasury this morning…

I have not done a number of other things I intended to either, like walk everyday  and go to the bead store and take pictures of interesting things.

I only got this one because it was right in front of my door when I went out to the laundry room.

I am pretty sure that the reason why can be attributed to the fact  that this summer the schedule for the theatre has changed a bit which means I have less free time during the weeks my show is in production.  It’s a bit exhausting and  harder to maintain the rest of my life.

Then there’s little matter of your Etsy addiction.

After my Wild Bunch treasury went viral, this one, which I made that same evening was featured on the front page.  Score!  My obsession paid off.  The long nights staying up until my eyes can’t focus anymore was worthwhile.  I got positive feedback to continue.

Alas, I have not had the same success since. It was a one day, one time fluke.

The appeal is finally I think beginning to fade.  Maybe.

It’s about time.

Especially since my next show will be in full swing by the end of this week.

I am still not knitting but I have been to the beach.  Pictures soon.

It’s about time for that too.

The beach or pictures?

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It’s a Hat!

It’s done and I feel like I’ve given birth but  it wasn’t the labor it was the do overs.  I’m still not entirely happy with it- it seems big and floppy still and the gauge seem really loose.

But I’ve moved on.  Now that 50% of my immediate family plus a connection or 2 will be facing the winter with shaved heads, I’m getting a head start on Christmas and starting another hat.  Experimental design- for me anyway.  I’m sure someone has thought of it before.

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I finished my Pi Topper last night.  I bound off, tucked the end in, tried it on, and it fell down over my eyes and swallowed my head.

I suspected 2 days ago that this was the case but  in the beginning I thought it was going to be too small so I ignored my instinct.    Besides the pattern instructions say that gauge is not that important and really my 1 inch by 2 inch swatch was on the money.

So when the hat began to seem a bit big I wasn’t worried.  I thought, Ok well, it’s going to turn out fine, it won’t be too small.

The pattern also says to knit until the hat will stretch over your head from ear to ear.  My granddaughter’s head is bigger than mine so I ignored this too and knitted the same number of rows as the designer even though this about 2 1/2 inches longer than any hat I have ever knitted that wasn’t going to be felted.  That was before the band added another 2 inches.

It’s the right shape to be a beret, I told myself.  It wouldn’t, however, arrange itself on my head into any semblance of French Chic.  It was too floppy.  It was more like those oversized caps people used to wear in the 70’s…  like on Soul Train.

I’ll felt it, I thought.  A quick check of the ball band informed me that it was superwash and therefore un-feltable.

I have frogged it back to a row count that hopefully will be a better size and have less flop.  Then I’m going to decrease a bit before starting the band.  The stitches of my 1st band also seemed very loose  so I’m going to go down a needle size and see if that gives me a denser fabric as well as something that might actually work on a real head.

Note to self:  Pay attention to your inner voices even if you think they’re crazy.

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Last weekend I was rewarded for successfully completing my mission at the circus with not 1 but 2 days off.  I was able to justify this by arranging to pick up some things for the shop from a shoe repair supply in San Leandro.  I’ve never, that I remember anyway, been to San Leandro but it’s not very far from Berkeley and I could easily combine business with pleasure.

I looked up where I was going online.  I charted my course.  Once on the road I realized that an industrial supplier might not be open on a Saturday.  I called.  I got a fax.  I thought:  Ok so I maybe wrote the number down wrong?  What the hell.  I should go anyway.  It will be an adventure.

I went to San Leandro and there, in between a run down neighborhood of older tiny houses and a swanky yacht club, was a small industrial area.  The shoe supplier however, was no where to be found.  There was another business at that location and it was closed.

I headed back toward Oakland and Berkeley.  I was about to get back on the expressway when I saw:  an Eileen Fisher outlet store.  It turns out there are just a few in the entire US and one of them just happens to be in San Leandro.

Now before I became a knitter, I saved up every year to buy myself 1 Eileen Fisher sweater.  I could only ever afford 1 and I would haunt the stores in the Fall trying to decide which color I wanted most.

I don’t do that anymore.  I don’t do that anymore because I somehow can’t seem to come up with the money.  I suspect this has something to with needing to buy yarn but I haven’t actually proved this theory.  It could also be because I have sweaters waiting to be knit and/or finished but that’s another matter altogether.

The people who saw me turn across 3 lanes of traffic to get to the store are probably still in shock and muttering “I can’t believe she did that”.

So, it turned out to be an excellent adventure  after all.  I have a new sweater and a new pair of pants to show for it.  Plus, of course, the fabric I bought in Berkeley but shhhhh… some of that is for gifts.

I have finished the Scarf Cowl in Bugga.

I picked up the Merlot scarf to resume work on it.  Finished 1 lace repeat.  Broke one of my knit picks wooden needles.  I have other needles the correct size with me but, well, they’re bamboo ones with blunt tips.  I  want my nice sharp Harmony ones for lace work.  I gave up.  I ordered more.

While I’m waiting I used my useful, just not for lace, bamboo needles to knit  these for the Knit for Tibet group on Ravelry.

I am now in a holding pattern until the needles come.  I have with me: a sock project, a lace scarf with beads, and yarn for some fingerless mitts for which the needles are also in the order.  Clearly I should have brought more yarn.

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Fireflies and watermelon are the 2 things I miss most in California.  The climate there isn’t great for either one and while I can get  a weak version of watermelon there, fireflies are non-existent.

There haven’t been a lot of fireflies here in the past few years either-  pollution, insecticides, and the drought haven’t been kind to them.

So I have been on the watch for them-  hoping to catch a glimpse before I leave  the steamy South for a drier climate.  Up until 2 days ago, the only thing I saw outside at night was the biggest cockroach I have ever seen- really, it was a good 5 inches long- scurrying down the street like zombies were after it.  Then 2 days ago, I started my evening walk a little later than usual and as I was passing a small park near the Marta tracks I noticed that there were fireflies under the trees, lots of them.  I think they must have been attracted to the flashing yellow lights along the tracks.  So last night, even though I have a huge to do list that never gets any shorter no matter how many things I cross off, I sat on the bench in the dusk until it got too dark and too full mosquitoes and just watched fireflies.  I won’t miss the giant cockroaches and clouds of mosquitoes while I’m away.

I had a knitting agenda for California that was contingent on finishing  some items before I left.  I have to pack up the things I am shipping ahead today, including the knitting projects  I don’t need on the plane, and guess what?  My plan needs a bit of revision.

You’re really surprized by this?

I was sure I could finish the Merlot scarf and my sweater vest before I left.  This is my sweater vest today:

Note that 1 armhole is finished and 1 is not.  I don’t know if I’ll get it done before I leave.  Because picking up stitches to knit across is just a bit more fiddly than I have the patience for just now.

I don’t want to take it with me- it’s now a bit large to be comfortably portable and if I don’t want to pick up stitches here, I really won’t want to at the circus.  I am afraid if I don’t finish it now though it will be a UFO- forever taking up space in the bottom of my stash. It keeps nagging at the edges of my agenda begging for attention.

Math, it’s just some math.  So do it already.

Yeah?  Then who will do the other stuff on my list?

Your to do list makes my head hurt.  You could just pick it up and finish it right now.

Really?  It makes my head hurt too and trying to finish the vest in the minimum possible time will make it hurt more.

But what will happen to the poor little vest, shunned and put away for the summer….

Stop!

Ok, ok, I’m letting go of it…  but….

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