About Me

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Six years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Brother Abacus meets M'sieu Clapotis and the Sisters of the Wool

Talk about having one's cake and eating it too! There I was, knitting away on M'sieu Clapotis when on a whim, or perhaps by inspiration, I checked my cellphone [*bucks is a noisy venue, between the clicking of the needles and the pandemonium of the coffee machines] and discovered a VM from Brother Abacus.

I treated my Sisters of the Wool to a brief reprise of the Rupert Everett "Kimmy! Kimmy" chorus and took myself outside to talk and laugh and pace about while he and I chatted. We settled whether we wanted to go on the singles' field trip this weekend to the outdoor craft festival and flea market, with the storm front moving in sometime today, and my knee still wonky, and his place needing a vacuuming [not! you could do brain surgery on his kitchen floor, LOL] before LittleBit and I go over to help him decorate, and whether I should double-dip a full slate of church meetings on Sunday -- three hours at his ward in the morning, and three hours at my own in the afternoon -- and what we came up with was this: no to First Monday in Canton and yes to six hours of church.

Then he came out to *bucks and met my Sisters of the Wool and took me to the ice cream and dairy shop just down the road for a cone and one of the best and most fascinating doctrinal discussions I've had in a long while. Man oh man, I have missed that in my life every bit as much as the flirty stuff; the children's father and I used to have wonderful explorations of the gospel, both the theoretical stuff and the practical applications. Brother Sushi and I have far-ranging discussions but they tend to be more oriented toward how to reconcile a warrior spirit [his, mine] with the Savior's perfect example of the balanced, righteous life.

But I digress. A lovely evening, last night, graced by time with my girlfriends and crowned with the companionship of the Spirit. And a short one; I was home by 10:45 I think and asleep soon thereafter. Wakened two hours later by my cranky knee; I forgot to take my evening dose of anti-inflammatory before leaving for Knit Night and am presently waiting for it [and a mug of warm milk] to kick in and send me back to tryst with the Sandman.

I got to demonstrate to Brother Abacus how the stitch drops in M'sieu Clapotis, and I have one more repeat on the straightaway before I start the decrease section. I weighed the scarf at the grocery store yesterday morning after dropping LittleBit at early morning seminary, and I did major number-crunching on my lunch hour. I suspect that I'll finish it tonight or tomorrow.

Pictures, most likely, this weekend. And now if you will excuse me, I'm going to limp back to bed for another hour and a half of sleep... Or maybe I'll be slothful and reset the alarm for 5:00.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Holy Cow!

Zero knitting content. Zero apologies.

Date #2 with Brother Abacus on Wednesday night. Chinese food and a video. Met both of his [grown, delightful] kids, who were bunking down en route to a football game elsewhere in TX on Thanksgiving Day. I was home at a reasonable hour after a lovely evening, with my virtue and dignity intact.

He flew out on Thursday morning to visit his brothers, leaving me a sweet and chaste text message. He'd told me when I left that he'd call me when he got home again.

Brother Sushi spent part of the late afternoon and early evening [yesterday] with us, helping us reconnect the TV and peripherals after we dismantled our old, ugly particle board entertainment center. We took him to dinner in thanks, meeting up with a good chunk of our extended family. When we got home, I was surprised to find a VM from Brother Abacus, saying that he was driving home from the airport and just wanted to say hi.

Brother Sushi, being nobody's fool, grinned and said, "This is the part where you take me home so you can call this guy I approve of, right?" Parnelli Jones would have been so proud of me!

He was home from his trip to AZ a day earlier than I thought he’d be. I told him that LittleBit was expecting a callback and late date from her new interest. We decided it might be interesting to double-date and would certainly solve the chaperone problem, LOL.

I think that LittleBit and I set a new Olympic speed record for apartment straightening!

Her guy was stuck in Dallas, so we consoled her with a trip to Sonic for some dessert, and the three of us watched “Take the Lead”. She and I had family prayers while he sat there on the couch, and then she looked him square in the eye and said, “It’s a quarter to one. You have 15 minutes.”

I plead the Fifth as to what time he left. But let the record show that no commandments were broken, bumped, bruised, spindled, mutilated or folded.

Have I mentioned that I really, really like this guy? Pure class, pure gold, in a distinctly non-boring way.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Frogging M'sieu Clapotis

I looked at it this morning and realized that I was more than halfway done, and that the finished "scarf" would be more suitable as one of those ritzy lumbar pillows that they sell in my favorite stuff-for-the-house-that-I-can't-afford catalogue.


I had better luck than I'd feared, un-laddering three columns of dropped stitches. And by miracle or serendipity, I re-inserted my needle on row 6 of the increase pattern, precisely where I needed to stop the increases and begin the straightaway. So it was just a matter of fiddling with the beginning and ending stitches on that row, and I'm off to the races again.

I don't remember if I've shown pictures of the yarn, but I bought it from a Sister of the Wool at Knit Night. There was too much turquoise in it for her taste; she doesn't like "blue" any better than I do, but lucky for me I don't consider turquoise to be blue. It's in a glorious category all by itself, and it's welcome in my world.

I'm totally drawing a blank on the name of the yarn, or the artist, but it's 65% wool and 35% silk, approximately worsted weight, and the color is "Midnight". I'll come back in awhile after my brain-f*rt has finished and insert the name. [Brain is currently non-f*rting; the yarn is Lotus Blossom, and my friend is knitting an amazing shawl from another colorway.]

Here's another shot:

These are very dark and mysterious-looking. The actual yarn is somewhat lighter and has a little of everything except orange in it: turquoise, a lush warm rose, mossy green, a bit of indigo but not enough to make me crazy*, plum and purple, and tan-to-caramel. I only had one small pool, and it was of the rosy tones, so I didn't mind all that much. I'm re-knitting that portion now, and I suspect that the pool will have evaporated.

What's on the agenda today? An oil change for Lorelai, a de-thugging of my living room, and the hanging of the moosletoe holder in the doorway betwixt kitchen and dining room. LittleBit has a new boyfriend, and I strongly suspect that Brother Abacus will be making an appearance chez nous in the very near future.

[*crazy being a relative term, LOL]

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Weekend of Finished Objects

OK, so it's not "The Year of Living Dangerously". She had a better agent than I do!

The weekend per se was 3.5 weeks ago. The pictures, however, are the result of this afternoon's tryptophan-induced wooziness, compounded by a very pleasant Date #2 with Brother Abacus last night.

For your viewing pleasure, we present:

Samhain Splendor.

And a detail:

Feather and Fanning Myself [a shrug for the perimenopausal woman who likes to flirt nearly as much as she likes to dance]:

With a close-up of the buttons I went back to JoAnn's to buy, grand-opening madness notwithstanding:

Me, laughing, with bad hair from post-turkey napping on the kids' living room floor while BittyBit tried to figure out if I was really asleep, or just playing.

And a back view. I know, I know, all these weeks with only verbiage from me, and now comes the deluge.

October's quilt blocks, stitched up just in time for our monthly run to the quilt shop, shown with the finished blocks for November:

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good news, bad news

In which your intrepid heroine wonders if someone has invoked that famous Chinese curse "may you live in interesting times".

First, the good news:
Better-than-OK food at the dinner last night.
An interesting [but not in the Chinese sense] pair of speakers for our fireside, or inspirational talks. The first one encouraged each of us to make our own Thanksgiving proclamation each year: things we are thankful for, and blessings we would like to receive.
The second one was a little more dynamic, and I took notes because the tryptophan from the turkey was kicking in. For reasons that will become apparent shortly, it is not convenient for me to fetch the notes and share them with you. Trust me, he was good.
Brother Abacus kept his promise to come to the dance. And I did get to dance with him.

This is where we detour to the bad news:
I re-injured my leg dancing with Brother Yummy before he arrived and was only able to dance the slowest of the slow dances with him, and no fun spins and twirls. Very frustrating for both of us, because it was quite apparent that he'd rather be dancing with me.

I was thinking I had absolutely blown it with him, and that he'd waltz off into the sunset with another of the sisters...

Back to more good news:
...when he said he wished he could drive me home, and I handed Brother Sushi my key and limped off to the chariot.

And the bad:
Completely oblivious to the fact that I’d left my knitting behind.

And the good:
He drives as smoothly as he dances.

And the bad:
I am going to the after-hours clinic today to get this leg looked at. So I may or may not be at church, because the clinic is open from 12-3, and church is from 1-4. Life is too short not to be able to boogie.

Particularly with him.

And the silver linings:
Because my sock that only needs a 3-needle BO at the toe is approximately 45 miles away from home, I get to start my clapotis with stash yarn while waiting for the clinic to open.

Because I can barely walk, I can gracefully accept my older daughters' offers to help me set the house in order so as not to scare off this good brother.

Because I think he likes me as much as I like him.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I only write poetry when I'm trying to figure things out. Last one I wrote was when an old friend and I reconciled, four years ago.

The first line came to me earlier this week, when I was picking up dropped stitches in my sock after talking to Brother Abacus for two hours on the phone.

Like knots slipping in silk,
this merciful unskeining of the heart:
Hands serving as swift
to hold it steady as it spins;
winding, curving into usefulness,
motes flying giddily aloft
as stitches of remembrance form,
one over one cables take shape,
and the dust of forgetting dances away.

© [me] 18 November 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Knitting content today is purely subliminal. I won't even pretend to be apologetic! I appear to have a major crush on a minor politician.

Talked with "the boy" for two hours last night. I have a church meeting tonight at 7 and a cosmetics order to deliver after that, and then we will be meeting at a mutually-convenient restaurant for dinner...

The knitting muse has decided to punish me. I know I was knitting while I talked to him, because I messed up the lace pattern on my sock and completely forgot to keep track of my row count. Can I find that bag this morning? That would be a "no".

So before I dine with Brother Abacus, I will be breakfasting with Kermit... Assuming that I can find the sock.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yee Haw Crawdaddies

This will be largely, or perhaps entirely, a non-knitting post. Unholy glee may well be involved. Prepare to rejoice and sing along, or just scroll on down in hope of sighting a knit or a purl or a wanton yarnover.

When I woke yesterday morning, there were potentially interesting developments on the topic of Brother Abacus. No personal sightings, but one of my friends spoke with him recently and came away much impressed. There was a good chance that he would be at the Fort Worth activity last night, and if so, he would almost certainly have a date. So the challenge was to get on his radar and stay on his radar, without triggering hers.

That, to me, suggested a judicious use of the color red, coupled with vivacity and keeping my distance physically. I hurt my knee line-dancing last weekend, but dance I would, and with my usual sass. The idea was to be having so much fun without him, that he would remember what a nice visit we had last month and want more of the same.

But first, another "drive-by-fooding" of the elders. I dropped off their dinner on the way to pick up Brother Sushi for the drive to Cowtown. They were much appreciative and asked if there were anything they could do for me. I said, yes, as a matter of fact there was; there’s this man I like who lives in Fort Worth, and I was hoping to see him at the dance, and hoping to get on his radar screen.

I remembered to find the missionaries at stake conference today and thank them.

I wore my red long-sleeved knit top over my red and purple Indian print skirt. Says he during our first slow dance, "red becomes you". Yes, it does, that's why I chose it, and woohoo! it worked! I think three slow dances, and five or so fast dances. Yes, I got to dance with Brother Abacus. [I do believe that he danced with me more than with his date. I am trying to feel guilty about that, really I am.]

I tore up my knee again, and it was well worth it. Thanks to my good friend Brother Yummy for making me look good during our traditional swing dance, and please sir may I have some more next weekend at the Thanksgiving dinner dance? That will be me with my knee taped up under my white slacks and my black linen tunic. PT friend thinks it may be a hamstring.

Oh BTW, I did wear my new red shrug, my Red Sweater KAL, to the dance last night. No pictures anytime soon, as LittleBit is getting over strep so no trips to Secondborn's, and I have postponed my camera purchase in favor of a few new items for my wardrobe.

There's your knitting content. I'm off to take a nap.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

First Knit Picks Order

After finishing the brown Felted Tweed socks, naturally I needed more yarn. And when I saw the deep discount on Nancy Bush's "Vintage Socks", I sent a post to my Sisters of the Wool. Did they want to join in for the free shipping? They did. But more than half the order was mine, bwa ha ha ha ha!


And this, because I loved it in a different color in my friend Jeri's Swallowtail Shawl and thought that a pair of dressy socks would tell me if I wanted to make a Swallowtail for dessert:

I'm making the "Child's First Sock" on p. 60. It is such bliss to knit that I'm seriously thinking of acquiring enough [in a different color, most likely black] to knit a fairly traditional cardi. Madness, to contemplate several months of knitting on size 0's!

And this. LittleBit loved it; I've cast on a sock for her and will order more for myself. I have about six rounds worked up from the toes, on size 0's, tried Magic Loop with a 32" needle and think I'll be happier with a second needle, knitting both at once á là Cat Bordhi. I've noticed that I get a slightly tighter gauge with the Addi's than I did with the Crystal Palace bamboo DP's. Pictures of these 2 WIP's to follow **when I have my new camera**.

I can't believe I said "when I have my new camera" with a perfectly straight face. Or keyboard, as it were.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fetch this!

OK, patience is sometimes rewarded. I was about to close this post in exasperation when my photos leaped onto the page.

Here is Fetching.4. The *third* green pair in designer-specified Cashmerino Aran; after the first pair in leftover brown Felted Tweed that went home with my girlfriend for her flautist daughter. The first two green pairs went to my best-friend-at-work and my best-and-only-sister. If you look carefully you will see the needle still tucked inside from sewing in ends.

And here is the ball that followed me home on Monday, for another pair, for me.

It was red. What can I say?

That same trip to the LYS also yielded another ball of the brown Felted Tweed, because I *will* have another pair to match my socks.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It's a Red Letter / Sweater Day!

This is all Anne's fault. And maybe a little bit mine, after waxing rhapsodic over her red Malabrigo, if I remember correctly. Red something or other, that's for sure.

From the stash: nine balls of vintage Columbia Minerva Reverie, a mohair/orlon blend that surely must date back to the Sixties, in the most lovely "hey-sailor" red. [Two other yarns of equal quality and lesser quantity and similar carbon-dating, saved for other projects.]

Five balls of Crystal Palace Waikiki, bought a couple of weeks ago because I thought I only had half a dozen balls of assorted red mohair, instead of fifteen.

What to do?

This, which is actually the start of the second back, in our old friend Feather and Fan:

And this, the back and the start of the [first] sleeve, in profile:

And this, showing how I merged the two edges and phased out the two-stitch garter border:

So what is it going to be when it grows up? A shrug or cocoon; the plan is to join it at the convex edges and embellish some or all of them with really cool buttons from Benno's Buttons in Dallas or The Ribbon Gardner here in Arlington. Which I will probably acquire tomorrow. I'm either taking two hours of PT tomorrow afternoon, or the whole day off. I'll decide once I get to work this morning.

The goal? To wear this to the dance tomorrow night, blocked or otherwise, in the hope that Brother Abacus will be in attendance and will say, "Oh my goodness, m'dear, that's lovely, and so are you! May I have this dance?"