Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's all relative

So I've made a giant design with some Kaffe Fassett patterns. It was going to be the back of a sweater but if I'm going to intarsia and fair isle at the same time with 4+ colors per row on occasion, it's not going to be hanging around on my back and I'm certainly NOT going to be trying to figure out sleeve decreases.

I've decided it will be a work of art worthy of hanging on the wall- or in the closet. 130 stitches by 109 rows. I can do one or two rows a night (the bottom of the chart is particularly complicated) as long as the phone doesn't ring and Mr. Sophanne isn't watching t.v. I foresee completing this sometime in 2012- hopefully before the end of the world as we know it.

The bonus of something so ridiculously impossible that may still end up looking like crap is that it makes that Brandywine shawl seem easy peasy and the malabrigo wool peddlers shawl feel like stockinette. It's all relative.

Brain A was defeated again this morning but didn't give up trying. I was dressed and drinking coffee and it said "hey you don't really have to go to the gym. It's not too late to go back to bed." Seriously? I might buy that if I'm still laying in bed but it's lame to try to pull that when I've already gotten up. Pathetic, brain a, simply pathetic. Liza Jane's been pulling a fast one on Brain A as well. She's been whimpering for walks around 7:00 pm each night and there's an extra .5 mile added to the daily count. No tangible results but it's better than feeling like crap for doing nothing.

In a crack me up moment- I have a friend in medical school who recently posted that getting a headache while studying neuroscience leads to all sorts of false diagnoses. I told her that such occurrences were endemic to becoming a professional in the world. I can't go past a farm animal without breaking into song.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

my brains

At 9:00 last night my brain said "You could really use 2 or 3 macadamia nut cookies."

I had to ignore my brain.

At 5:00 this morning my brain said "Sleeping in with the cuddly dog is much better than the treadmill. You don't have to go."

I had to ignore my brain.

I want to know what it is that is doing this ignoring. Is my brain so smart it can ignore itself? What is this brain that wants me to become like a giant hog waiting for slaughter?

This fight with my brain- at least I know what's going on now and know that my brain (let's call it Brain A) isn't always right. Sometimes though, it is so very powerful.

In fact, early this morning Brain B started telling Brain A that it wasn't going to get a garlic/tomato/feta white pizza at knit night tonight no matter how hard it tried. Brain A, it seems is addicted to carbs and sweets. Small amounts do not satiate it. They only whet the appetite.

It's very possible that Brain A will concede defeat on the pizza, only to order 3-4 pastries at knit night or possibly stop for donuts on the way home. Brain A is a wily sort.

Anyone have any thoughts as to how to go about tricking Brain A?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

as if I needed more opportunities for chaos

This is just a picture of the mess I've made with that small messenger bag and color play. Somehow I know for sure that if I pursue the fabulous Kaffe Fassett patterns in my head, things are only going to get worse. I could pretend that this concerns me, but given that much of my knitting without fancy color changes ends up looking like this as it lies in wait tells me that secretly I'm not really all that concerned.

I ordered this book last week. No garment patterns. Just patterns and designs.

Oh the possibilities. There are 190 of them.

I've learned to knit with ease. I've learned to purl with ease. I've learned to knit fair isle with relative ease. If I want to do something more than in a circle I'm going to have to learn to purl fair isle with relative ease and make friends with the concept of just grabbing a length of yarn and sticking it in there intarsia style. I cant find the exact quote but somewhere in this book it says if you're not sure of the color combos- add 20 more colors. Somewhere else it also says start small and simple. As if.

Kilkenny is soaking preparing for blocking- soon my friends- soon. And by "soon" I mean "Soon it will be folded up and put in the closet.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ribbit (really)

So today in kindergarten I wanted to play a "magic trick." All kids turned their backs to myself and Hunter. When I played magical music, Hunter was to run to the corner and hide. I would replace him with a frog (fake.) When the kids turned around it would feel like he turned into a frog.

I was trying to quietly explain this to Hunter while their backs were turned and said, "They'll think I turned you into a frog!" He said "but not really, right?"

Them kids are fun-nee.


I've been playing with the persian poppies and a mini-messenger bag- look! No Pattern! Garter stitched the bottom- picked up around the rectangle- poppies poppies poppies (though Mr. Sophanne says they look like aliens.)

The green in the bottom poppy is not such a good design element but what the hell ever. I like the way the other two turned out. I did an i-cord bind off on the front and sides and am left with the flap which I may or may not enjoy doing because it means stranded purling- something I've never been really thrilled with.

Three. More. Rows. on Kilkenny- then I have to find a place to block it. Then it will be all malabrigo all the time as the 2nd wool peddler's shawl and Brandywine are next in line to be finished.

Friday, April 16, 2010

thanks after hours clinic

I got the zpak and had an extra unplanned day off. After about 18 hours of sleep I'm compelled to share some stuff.

First - about my friend Chris- we are the same and the opposite so much that it is delightful.

This is Chris's workspace. Note the neatness of yarn, pattern, and pencil. She knows where stuff is at all times.

This is my workspace. The pattern is not to be seen- the strands of yarn in the distance are a part of my work area. There are no pencils or scissors anywhere in sight.

What you don't see is that we are both sitting on the floor rather than in the chairs provided. We can pretend it's for comfort or ease of getting at the yarn but I secretly believe it's the anti-social tendencies that we both share that sent us to the floor. Being a part of the chair conversations was just a little much perhaps.

I can't really tell you what Brandon Mabley taught but I can tell you that we all got better at playing with color and that is certainly not something I would have done before attending the workshop.

In this photo, his hand is on Chris' sample and mine is diagonal to the right.

He suffers fools lightly and it was interesting to see as needy women started whining for attention how he bluntly said what he thought. Go Him. I worked quietly and in the afternoon when I had a chance to say "what about this?", Brandon Mabley called me a "show off." So I think I passed the colored poppies exam. Words like Sassy and Daring and Snappy and Jewel-like were also heard. Come on Mr. Sophanne- we're moving to work at Kaffe Fassett studios. And if you don't want to go, Chris will because she got some pretty astounding compliments as well. I was so self-absorbed with my success, I failed to take note of the exact words he used with her.

If inclined to attend, you'll enjoy this workshop more if you already know how to trap stitches in Fair Isle and how to weave in ends as you go (there is a video of him demonstrating this somewhere on the internets). You don't have to know either of these things to play with color but if you have a chance to take the time and figure it out before you go, you won't be bogged down in strings and things.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

sick day

A person shouldn't have to be sick just because they took a sick day. Stupid Strep. Anyone who used my yarn at the workshop- you've been warned. More later when I'm not stupid sick.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


2 days 5:00 a.m. not really worthy of a full yippee- maybe just a "yip." Thank you thank you thank you for the you can do it comments. I've seriously considered printing them out and putting them next to the alarm clock.

This morning, as per my request, Mr. Sophanne walked into the sleeping place at 5:00 a.m. and said "Hey Old Lady, Get Your Arse Out of Bed." I did indeed request that particular phrase. I wanted to get up laughing.

Yesterday I was on that treadmill, cruising at a cool 3.2 mph when a young kid came in, got on the one next to me and started speeding along. He was going at least 4 mph- maybe even 4.5. It cracked me up! There we were-he was running like crazy and he never got ahead of me- we stayed perfectly even. There's some kind of time-space continuum joke happening there.

re: knitting- does anyone remember whether I "used smaller needle for border and switched to larger needle size" for the pattern on that Kilkenny shawl? No? Bueller? 28" later and it seems to have slipped my mind.

re: the unexplainable- yesterday 2 parents came to school and asked if we were having a moment of silence "for the homosexuals" on Friday. Because if we were, their kids weren't coming. One clever tech teacher said (in the privacy of the lunchroom) "Oh was that this Friday? Shoot. We did that LAST Friday... oops." Anyone have any idea where this came from? I know we're pretty close in the calendar to Yom Hashoa (Holocaust Remembrance Day) but that's quite a stretch.

Tomorrow is the Brandon Mably workshop- now that's worth a full YIPPEE!

Monday, April 12, 2010

short unassuming post

i joined the gym again today-all encouraging words accepted. we'll see, we'll just see.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Knitting Blogging and Compassion

I can tell you about my blog friends. I can tell you the ones who suffered tragic loss, life-threatening illnesses, incapacitating accidents and downright scary stuff. When I read their stories, my heart fills with compassion, I want to reach out and hug them. I search for the magic words to make them feel a little bit better. I know this works because when I've needed their compassion for things not nearly so heart-wrenching, they have been there to make me feel better.

What I wonder about this evening is what makes this so much easier to do this in blogland with "strangers" than it sometimes is in life with real people. The "real" of a person telling the story and the fear of not having the right words in real time makes the same kind of compassion much more difficult face to face. I can't "click to the next blog" in real life. Once there is compassion in that moment, what else can meaningfully follow? And yet day to day conversation returns. There are the rare moments in real life with friends where we share our stories, our deepest exposed feelings- and then we laugh at Chicken Bob. Not because we're irreverent or lack compassion, but because we have to. The duality of this is a mystery to me and I suppose that is as it should be. I don't have to know everything.

Is something lost in faceless communication with people I've never met, or is something gained. Am I really feeling compassion for their circumstances- I believe that I am- or is it just easier and safer than listening to someone face to face.

Tomorrow I will try to be as compassionate in real life as I often feel in blogland and see what happens. Throw some insight my way if you have any thoughts on this, would you?

Saturday, April 03, 2010


she's at the top of the steps waiting for us to join her.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

What's Up?

It's the movie I just watched. Liked it.

It's Spring Break here in these parts. We've had the whole week off. I used to be able to explain how that can happen while missing the month of February, but the logic of the WV state department eludes me. (this is also the state department that said schools would start earlier next year and then forgot to legislate on extending the contracts of all of the service personnel.) The weather has been friendly. The dog has been walked. My allergies/sinuses kicked into high gear so there was plenty of rest for the weary.

Come to find that the Brandon Mably workshop is on a THURSDAY. I've paid my money- I've purchased my 12 skeins of light and dark yarn. Looks like I'll have to take a personal day. Sometimes I'm just calendar stupid. I think my friend Chris may have given me the date and omitted the day so that I wouldn't realize it until it was too late. Now that's a good friend.

( and while I realize that the colors don't pop in this shadowy picture, there are daffydils and LizaJane so it had to make the cut.)

There's some malabrigo buttercream on the needles to become another Wool Peddler's shawl. I hope I don't see anyone who I think it will look beautiful on. Also on the needles is Romi's Brandywine in some malabrigo chocolate sock yarn. I've shifted my shawl knitting from chart reading to text reading and seem to tink just a little less. That pattern is written from the bottom up and is clever clever clever.

Now lets talk Swallowtail.I made it through the first three charts- nupps and all- with the correct number of stitches. And now, as I start number four I've tinked nearly every row at least once. This due to my overconfidence when finishing a row- I don't need to count stitches- I'm sure I've concentrated enough. Some of the nupps are nuppettes- either I forgot it on the make a nupp side or dropped some stitches on the purl a nupp side. yea, yea, whatever. (Kauni on the swallowtai- Blackwater Abbey on Kilkenny)

Kilkenny is in the background- while I had other pictures- this one most reflects the color and the vastness of it. One and a half skeins to go until it's done.