Monday, March 31, 2008

simple is good

After a morning of research my brain is numb. It has occurred to me that I have spent the past 6 months cramming by brain full of new knowledge. Colleges, International Study, Non-Dairy Cooking, Computers, Blogs, wonder all I want to do is knit simple things.

The latest simple thing

Sock Pixie, #1 DP’s. One sock all done, the second at the heel.

We in our household are not good consumers. The living room chairs and sofa are hand me downs. The dining room furniture too. Come to think of it, everything but the mattress’ are probably second hand. We do not replace things, we fix them. We are conscious of the resources used to make things and we usually decide we can do without.

So how did it happen that we are about to have 5 laptops in a 6 person household? The last holdout being only 9 years old. And how crazy is it that we all need to work on computers just to get our stuff done? The kids for school, Husband for work, me for writing.

I know not everyone reading this blog is of my age, but the fact that I am sitting in bed, typing to a world connected by the internet is amazing. I remember the first time I saw a computer. It was housed in a 10’ by 20’ climate controlled room and it did not do squat. 30 years later and everyone has a computer that slips into a backpack. Wow.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

alpaca and silk

This is what the best mailman in the whole world brought to me Thursday.

Dragon fibers March Fiber O The Month Club.

2oz 70/30 Fawn Alpaca/Tussah Silk. You can not imagine the softness of this fiber. It makes butter feel grainy.

2oz Tussah Silk. Shiny, subtle, amazing.

I think both of these fibers will be spun and knit into a Kata scarf. I am saving them. They will be the first project I spin on my wheel. I do not know when the wheel will arrive, or when I will feel confident enough to spin for a project, but this stuff will happily wait for that day.

My little friend says, "yes".

Friday, March 28, 2008

oh canada

When Husband left for work this morning it was not snowing. 30 minutes later when I rolled out of bed, it was not snowing. 2 hours later when Oldest Daughter came upstairs, it was not snowing. We decided to go for it.

First stop, the grocery store for road trip supplies. You know the ones I am talking about, chips and red vines and the like. Second stop, the gas station. As we are leaving the gas station is begins to rain, there is a bit of snow mixed in, but just a bit. We make a decision to get on the freeway and see what happens. If it starts snowing we can always turn around.

There is a lot of rain/snow mix, this does not worry me. Once we get north of Everett the rain stops and it is just snow. It snows lightly for a few miles then stops. I am fine. 15 minutes later it snows again for a few miles and then stops. I am OK with all of this.

We drive right through Bellingham, all is well. 2 miles out of Bellingham the snow starts. Real snow. After a few miles it does not stop, in fact it gets heavier. I can hardly see. At some point we realize we are driving along side the ocean, but can not see it. This is bad. We find a diner and have some lunch.

Lunch is spent looking out the window and wondering what the hell is going on. It is the end of March and we are right next to the water, how can it still be snowing. It is too late to turn around, we are practically at the border. We eat our lunch very slowly and hope for the best.

The best happens! The snow lets up, we travel on to the UBC. We take a walking tour of the campus and remain dry! Cold, but dry.

It snowed again on the way home. At some point I thought about stopping and grabbing a hotel for the night. Talked myself right out of that. I was going home, no matter what.

While in Canada I realized that I am an American Idiot. I used to think only the Hummer driving, bomb dropping, Bush lovers were American Idiots. I am afraid I had more than my share of head shaking moments today.

First, we are waiting to cross the border and I see a construction sign for the Douglas Crossing. Douglas Crossing? That sign must have been erected by mistake. Turn the corner and there is another sign for the Douglas Crossing construction. What is the Douglas Crossing? This is the Blaine Crossing? Duh! It is only the Blaine crossing if you are from America. I felt so stupid.

We cross the border and see a sign that says Vancouver 50 km. This means nothing to me. 50 km could be around the next corner or 2 hours away. I felt so stupid.

About 10 miles later I realize that I have entered a foreign country, with a cell phone that may not work, with only a vague idea of where I am going, and it did not even occur to me to bring map. Oh yeah, I am that kind of idiot.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

not yet

Earlier I tried a post at Typepad. I was happy up until the final spell check. The spell check made my pictues and typing all wonky. More work needs to be done.

I moved over to Wordpress to try the same post and was immediatley stymied by the photo link. I guess I need to use Flickr with Wordpress, not a bad thing, just an unexpected thing. More work needs to be done.

Tomorrow - Friday - Oldest Daughter, Youngest Son and I have planned to drive up to UBC. We made these plans before the weather decided to snow, in Seattle, at the end of March. In case you skimmed right over that last sentence. Snow, Seattle, March. If it is snowing when I wake up, I am not driving anywhere! Which really is a shame because I authorized Oldest Son and Youngest Daughter to host a Rock Band party while I was scheduled to be gone. If I am here, I have to listen. OY!

Today Youngest Daughter informed me that Passover begins April 19th. I had not even thought about Passover. Considering that we have a dinner for 18+ to plan, I had better get busy.

Blogger's spell check seems to be down, again. I will not swear, OK, I did swear, but I will not share my swear with you. Please be kind with my spelling.

einy meenie miny mo

Thank you for your advice. I have registered Knit & Nosh with both Wordpress and Typepad. I will play with them both and see what happens. Whichever is easier and has the best Help section will probably win out.

edit to add

I spent about half an hour setting up Typepad. Pretty painless. The hardest part was learning the lingo. Lingo I should already know, but have managed to avoid.

I then moved over to Wordpress, but did not spend too much time clicking around. I am having issues with the word Blogroll. Yea, its stupid, but the word bugs me. I will head back over later in the day.

Meanwhile there is work to be done. So pesky.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


About a month ago I had reached the boiling over point with Blogger. If you were up late reading blogs you may have been subjected to my rant. I deleted the post the next day, it was SO not in keeping with the "not too much swearing" part of my blog title.

Right now my biggest issue is being able to respond to comments. Blogger does not give me an email address for people leaving comments. I would like to acknowledge them and answer questions. It may be time to leave Blogger and move to Wordpress.

I have registered Knit & Nosh over there, but am wondering if it will be a wise move. What do y'all think? Your personal dealings, anecdotes and advice about Wordpress is much appreciated.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Baby Surprise Jacket has been frogged. I know a million and one people have knit the darn thing, but it just does not work for me. If I had a schematic I would feel better about trying to guess what she means with her instructions. As I was reskeining the yarn I learned something important.

I am past the point of knitting for a challenge, or because I feel guilty about not finishing what I start. I knit to relax, to focus, to be at peace. I am at a point where anything remotely stressful, knit wise, will not be tolerated. Life is hard, knitting should not be.

Friday, March 21, 2008

happy purim

I was looking for a particularly funny Purim link to post and came across this. Big sigh.

This is my first Baby Surprise Sweater. I know I am probably the last person on the planet to make this particular pattern. I purchased the original pattern from Schoolhouse Press and am having a hard time with Zimmermann’s intuition type knitting. I am all for making things up as you go along, but my intuition does not match hers.

I am using Louet Gems Sportwieght. This yarn is spun so tight that it feels like cotton. It is washer/dryer safe, which is good for a baby sweater, but I do not imagine I will purchase it again.

We do not celebrate Easter, but the kids have always enjoyed an egg hunt. Yes, they are WAY too old to be hunting eggs, but they enjoy it and Husband enjoys hiding them in dastardly places. Tomorrow you will find the kids in the yard and Husband and I on the deck drinking Mimosas. Ah spring.

Happy Easter to all of you doing the Easter thing this Sunday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

stoic guilt

I was on the phone with my Mom this afternoon. She began the conversation like this.

Mom-“What does a person who knows about spinning wheels know about a distaff? Or, would a person who knows about spinning need a distaff?”

I explain what I think a distaff is for.

Mom – “So maybe this person could afford to purchase the $25.00 distaff at some point in the future?”


Mom – “Now, what would a person who knows about spinning think about the color choices of clear, maple or mahogany?”

I am laughing pretty hard at this point.

Mom – “No wait, let’s talk about your house remodeling. You put in a wall of built in bookshelves. What color did you stain the shelves?”

I painted them red.

Mom- “Perhaps a spinning person could be surprised?”


Oh my. I do not know what to think. A month or so ago she asked if I had purchased a wheel. I explained that it was more of a “some day” type of goal. She replied that I should talk to my Grandma about it, because my birthday is coming up. Before you start to think that I am a youngster because I can ask my Grandma for things, let me inform you that not only do I have one Grandma knocking on 100, I have two!! Anyway, I would never ask my Grandma for such an extravagant gift. Especially after she said she would be gifting Oldest Daughter a laptop to take to University. Looks like my Mom took the spinning wheel and ran with it. I am torn by feelings of unworthiness and guilt. It is the specialness of growing up Norwegian AND Jewish.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

a winner!

amysue is the winner of the 2000 anniversary skein. Miss amysue, I do not have an email for you, can you please email me with your address? If you would rather not send that info via email, I am dandelion on Ravelry. Congratulations to amysue and THANK YOU to everyone who checks in from time to time and keeps me typing.

What am I doing tonight? First, I am going to do a little writing, I have something in my head that I need to type out. Then, then I am going to put all my stash up on Ravelry. Husband is out of town. I had planned to do this the last time Husband was out of town, but he took my laptop. This time, he has his own laptop. So late tonight, or tomorrow, you will be able to see my stash, in all its glory. I have to admit that there is not too much of it, but it is all good.

Friday, March 14, 2008

bind off & cast on

Usually I start off my day by bringing a cup of tea and my laptop to bed, then I write before Youngest Son wakes up. I did not realize how much I enjoyed my little routine until yesterday. Yesterday is the day I broke the outlet next to the bed. My laptop’s battery will last less than 30 minutes. That only gives me time to deal with the email, read a couple of favorite blogs, (yh & sq) and do a quick blog post of my own. Then I will need to move to my desk. Don’t get me wrong, I like my desk, there is just something about typing away in bed, in my own little world.

Husband’s socks were finished yesterday.

Diagonal Rib Socks. Louet Gems Merino. Size 2 needles.

Before bed I cast on a plain ol’sock

Well, the pattern is plain ol’, the yarn is SockPixie’s, Merino, Love Letters. I could write a love letter to this yarn. You may recall that this is my February Sock Club yarn. It has been such a long time since I knit a plain sock. Not only does the flat fabric let the colors do all the talking, but it is so relaxing.

The design for March’s Sock Club has net been written. I will probably do that and then cast on this weekend. That will be more of a challenge.

Don’t forget to enter the contest. Scroll down to “2000” to see the yarny goodness I am giving away , then leave a comment to enter.

Happy Purim!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

What's wrong with this picture?
I have an ñ in my last name. To get Word to insert this character I use a keyboard shortcut. Fn and Alt the whole time, then 0241. When you lift up your fingers the ñ magically appears. Unless you inadvertently hit another key at the same time. In that case your display goes all sideways on you. The hardest part about your screen being sideways is that your touchpad mouse will not do what you want it to do. After 20 minutes of holding my computer sideways while trying to make the mouse work so that I could fix the problem I was getting a little nauseous. Now that the problem is fixed my brain is still having mouse issues.
Ah, technology.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

i love bluebirds

Please join me on a mental visual. Picture a path, a glowing, silver path with sparkly purple edges. This is the path of writing a book. Now put me on the path, I am happily skipping along, my hair is shiny and swinging from side to side. As I move down the path I turn my head to gaze upon a sweet little bluebird perched in a tree, SLAM! That slam is me receiving a full body check from the publishing industry. It seems I have a little work to do. A great book is all well and good, but I need to provide a "platform". Sheesh, I thought that was the publishers job.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I can not believe it has been a whole week since the last post. Have I ever gone a whole week between posts?

My beans had to be moved outside. They were so tall they had begun to spiral around each other and the “colortop icicles” hanging over the kitchen sink.

They now have a permanent home out on the deck, complete with a colorful wire to climb.

Saturday Oldest Daughter and I went to an International Recruiting event for UBC. They sounded very positive, which is good because today she received a rejection notice from St. Olaf. UBC is her first choice, but it would be nice to have a back up plan. Right now she is a few classes short of an AA. It would be OK with me if she sticks around another semester and tries again as a transfer student. There is a downside to that plan. #1: She is REALLY looking forward to going away and living in a dorm. #2: We have invested almost $500.00 in application fees. That is something I do not want to do again.

The blog counter is very close to 2000,that means it is time for a contest! Leave a comment before Saturday and I will draw a name from a hat for some yarny goodness.

Socks That Rock, Pink Granite. This skein is from the first year of the Rockin’ Sock Club. Yeah, the colorway is now available to the public, but this one has the cool sock club band.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

not smarter than yarn

Here is a cone (and bobbin) of Habu silk wrapped stainless. It is fairly generic. A gray lace weight. I have a design, and I thought this may be the perfect yarn. I did not write anything down, just an idea in my head. My idea calls for this yarn to be knitted double. No big deal, I will make half of the cone a center pull ball and get to work.

WARNING!! Do NOT take this yarn off the cone for any reason other than immediate and permanate knitting. This yarn is not really yarn. It is thread, with memory. You know how thread makes itself into a little knot? You pull gently and the knot undoes itself, you pull hard and the knot will never come out? Well, with this stuff the knot says "screw you!" and all hope is lost.
I spent a large portion of my afternoon trying to unravel a swatch that did not quite work. Thinking the whole time...I am smarter than yarn! At the end? I had to cut it and say uncle. I am not smarter than the yarn.

The worst part of this whole thing is that I still feel this is the right fiber for the project, so I will cast on and try again. I did not realize I was a masochist.

Send Karma.

Monday, March 3, 2008

today's mail

This is what Mailman brought today.

Spunky Eclectic Club, February's colorway. This is so not my color. In fact this is the third shipment I have received that is so not my color. I loved the colors she dyed last fall, and I love being exposed to different fibers, but I am done. This is the third bag of fiber that I will not be spinning. I have cancelled my membership. She has TONS of people in the club, she will not miss me one bit. If this is your color then I recommend the club. Very affordable and a wide variety of fibers.

Then there is this

This is the March instalment of my sock club. This is by Sanguine Gryphon. I new yarn for me, as per club rules. It is lovely. The base yarn feels very much like Fleece Artist. The color is Phardo. When I ordered it, my monitor showed it as a steely gray. When I opened the package, in bright sunlight, the yarn was surprisingly green. The next day it was sitting on my dresser, deep gray. Even when I held it and turned it over I could not find a trace of green. This is very tricky yarn indeed. I am looking forward to knitting it up. I will design something Celtic and cabled to match the moody sea colors of this yarn.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

a perfectly nerdy evening

Tonight, Husband and Oldest Son are battling it out in a game of Axis And Allies, They have been at it for hours.

Oldest Daughter returned from her shift volunteering at the local museum, to meet a schoolmate. They are using the garage to make arrows for their Archery class.

The whole crew convenes around the dinner table and proceeds to have a conversation about Lord of The Rings that is truly amazing. Truly amazing. These people know their stuff and they are having a great time talking, and talking, and talking...

It is nerd central at The Rockin' P.