18 June 2007

Lions and Monkeys and Love

I have a friend that I’ve had since 1996 or 1997. I met her in my last year of college. I had been warned against dealing with her by some men we worked with. Initially we only had to work in the same place for about a week and a half, and I was on the second shift while she was on the first, so it was easy to avoid contact with her. Years later we were discussing those two weeks and she said she thought: Why is her skirt so short? And I thought: Why is she playing with her hair like that? Funny…nothing negative, just thoughts that crossed our minds at first sight.

About six months after that initial meeting I was transferred into her site permanently, but didn’t interact with her then because I was on the weekend/second shift and she was on the third….so I was always rushing out the door when she arrived. Then she started popping up on Saturday afternoons with the site administrator, and while he worked she chatted with me. Very light and shallow initially because I still had that “warning” guiding me, and was so caught up in my budding love affair with a Coastie and school that I couldn’t be bothered. Eventually, we became friends. She never judged me, never let me down, and she was there when I needed someone most and that gilded it for me.

She is the only friend I left in NY who has come out to visit. I’ve had others come for business and call me, but she’s the only one who has come out specifically for the pleasure of spending time with me. It took me a long time; way to long to begin to call her my best friend, but it’s what she is. She is the one constant thing in my life. No matter what I bring with me to the table she still loves me. She’s understanding and supportive in a way that I haven’t experienced before and she’s very worried about my impending surgical procedure. She insisted that she would be here for it, but she finally went back to college and I don’t want her to miss school for this so she sent me some love thru the mail. Please meet Magnitudes Guthrie:

I have a rather large collection of lions. So many that when I moved here and unpacked I made calls to the people who give them to me most and told them: No more lions. I can’t....people who visit are going to think I’m the crazy lion lady of Glassell Park! So, I have only gotten a few lions since I’ve been here, two of them from her. One functional: a bowl painted at a place similar to Color Me Mine (which I broke while washing one day...tears were shed!) And now Magnitudes. I rub him when I walk by and think of it. And no, I didn’t name him. Gund names all of their stuffed animals...I had another lion from Gund, a key chain—you’ve seen him, all ratty looking and bald, well, his name is Clarence.

I’ve started working on my grandma’s shawl again this weekend. I’m in a better place emotionally so I feel okay touching it, but in the interim I worked on socks mostly. I finished up the ugly brown Trekking socks and started this one:

I’ve obviously finished one of these. I started it when I woke up from the drugged sleep of the upper endoscopy....nothing like not being able to figure out a two stitch rib pattern and calling your own personal sock maven to ask her to explain it to you and figuring out while speaking to her what you’re doing wrong....she was very kind to me...thanks Dix!....the second one is on the needles, although this would have been an ideal situation to get the second sock syndrome. It’s a stunning sock, I’m just sick of working on it. My cousin is right, I’m project driven. I do enjoy the process, but I like having completed projects even more...even if they’re nothing but stockinette socks! So, I will finish my Monkey socks. I may even try them in a different yarn with the m1fb increase instead of the yarnovers cause I'm not a fan of the holes.

My favorite feature is the way the pattern points to the heel:

Anyway, the socks are lovely. The yarn was a gift from Daniella. It’s Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Aslan*. On the computer and even when it’s in the hank the colorway looks like a combo of taupe, cream and light peach, but it’s got more depth than that. It’s got lavender, a green and some sections that look a lot more pink than peach. All of the colors are muted and sort of delicate...hard to explain.

I tried to capture the colors here in the heel, but all I got was a clear understanding of the limits of my camera....you’ll have to imagine it or wait to see them in person to get the full effect.

That’s all the knitting news I have, and no surgery news at all. Well, I guess I have news but I’ve had no movement. The surgeon is on medical leave so I’ve switched to a different surgeon, but he’s on vacation for two weeks so I wait....

*You do know the Aslan reference, right? It's the lion's name in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. When Daniella saw the yarn she kept saying, but lions don't have lavendar! Funny....it's still pretty yarn. And a dream to knit with!

12 June 2007

Sock Woes...

So, socks have become my walk around project, and since I don’t have a whole lot of down time I’ve been making a lot of socks. Every once in a while I’ll muse about my first SnB meeting where I watched Dixie knit with clover needles and Grace yarn, and thought to myself: There is NO WAY I’d be doing that. . . My, how times have changed.

Anyway, in this recent glut of sock knitting all has not been well. Let me counts the ways in which my sock knitting has gone awry.

Things Fall Apart

I call these the Frankenstein socks. These are from Sockotta...the remainder of a ball after Christine made a pair. It was my first toe up pair and I though it was going well until I tried to put them on.

The leg opening wouldn't stretch around my heel. Undaunted I undid my cast off, ripped back and put in a bit if ribbing and it worked out. I did not, however, have enough yarn for the second sock. After much debate with Nic about stripping and other colors I decided to just keep going and not add another color of yarn...and this is why I called them Frankenstein. There are more joins in that one leg than I have put in the last four pairs of socks I've made...seriously. Anyway, the joining didn't work out well for me because look at what happened when I washed them the first time.

I don't think it's actually a problem with the joins, but with the cast off. WTH? How can a cast off come lose like that? I haven't decided if I'll fix them or not.


I ordered this Jitterbug all the way from the UK. I was super excited when it arrived...a base of orange and so many other colors in the hues I like too. It was marvelous. I waited until I finished that last wretched pair of Sockotta ones to use so that I could thoroughly enjoy the process. The yarn feels fabulous. The first woe with these is that they’re a little bit tight. I made a pair for a co-worker and they were a bit loose, so I decided to use a smaller needle, and these are a bit snug. Not uncomfortably so, but it’s noticeable. The main woe with these is that as I worked on the second sock it became wholly apparent that the dye job on the yarn had shifted...Can you see it?

One looks stripped** and the other not so much. Nic suggested sending a complaint to Colinette with a picture of the socks, but I don’t think that will work. What do you think?

Trekking XXL

I’ve been reading about this yarn for a while now. There was a big KAL, Mim has a free pattern for the yarn, and I saw it when I had a coupon & a hankering for sock yarn. I got this because I thought it was a nice color combination. As the socks progressed my thoughts changed a bit, and I made them a little too loose.

These may be the ugliest socks I’ve made to date. I think if the black hadn’t been thrown in the mix it wouldn’t have been so bad, but I’m not positive about that. Also, me = not such a fan of self stripping yarn. (**Please see above for complaint about stripping yarn.).

Both pairs are done, but not worn. I’m now working on a pair out of yarn Daniella gave me. The yarn is a dream to work with, but is a bit splitty; but I’ll get to that later. Grandma’s shawl is stalled. I don’t want to work on it when I’m not in a good place emotionally. I’m convinced that I weave my worries into my work and I don’t want that to happen with this piece...my grandma doesn't need to be wrapped in my worries, only my love. After tomorrow things might be better, but there are no guarantees…so the shawl is on hold until I feel better.

Happy knitting to all!

04 June 2007

My Brain

You Are 50% Left Brained, 50% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.