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!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Her Noble Excellency Lynn the Ebullient of Old Tonbridge Wafers

Thank you, Tola! Here's the link if anyone wants his/her own Aristocratic Title. [I guess it's better than being Her Blithering Idiocy Lynn the Obnoxious of Moldy Graham Crackers.]

I hereby rename and admonish my Three Musketeers:

Emperor Sushi the Inexorable of Bartonhurst in the River
Bishop Lord Stilts the Irascible of Chipping Sodbury
Venerable Lord Karitas the Amicable of Yockenthwait Walden

And I must I confess to reassigning certain adjectives or coming up with new ones entirely as inspired by the spirit of truth-in-advertising.

I became drowsy while driving home last Thursday, due to the excitement of BittyBubba's arrival and rather more celebratory chocolate throughout the day than was strictly necessary. And since I had about 20 miles farther to drive than usual, I thought it wise to ring up Brother Stilts to see what was new in his world. Much, it turns out; he has been having Adventures as only he can. The recounting of which, here, would get my head neatly handed to me the next time I meet up with him, so I will forbear. He summed it all up by saying that it was obvious that God must have thought he needed a little practice in the Patience Department.

He now has a supply far larger than he ever desired to acquire. And I find this hilarious, because he is 3/4 German and 1/4 Irish, and patient is not the word I would ever have chosen to describe him. Hrmmm, maybe I should scroll up and rename him Bishop Lord Stilts the Reluctantly Patient of the Ancient Chinese Curse?

Speaking of patience, I may be acquiring rather more of my own in the next few months. I have a new and experimental calling [responsibility] in the women's group of our church, and in the blessing given when I was set apart for the calling, I was counseled to be patient with the process.

Oh *fine*. This is obviously the natural and Heavenly consequence of snickering at Brother Stilts' recent adventures. I suspect that there is snickering going on, far above my own head, if only I had ears to hear.

As to knitting content, I am nearly done with the second Lily of the Valley border on my Swallowtail Shawl and hope to complete that portion this morning. Thence onward to mad increases and binding off. Lots of knitting yesterday, in spite of the cookie baking and the baby burping and three loads of laundry [two for the Bitties, one for me], and a brief nap on their couch while BittyBubba was getting his PKU at the midwife's, and a slightly longer nap on my own couch after dinner at home.

Six rows left, if you count the binding off. It might be a good idea for me to take the current incarnation of the Sabbath Sock along this morning, just in case. And there's Knit Night tonight!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


This one is going up on my computer at work. I have been younger and prettier, but I have never been happier or *felt* more beautiful. This is, bar none, the best picture that has ever been taken of me. Which proves that the best cosmetic for a middle-aged woman is nothing you can buy in a store; it’s love and happiness, which frequently arrives in 8+-pound portions.

And here we have the proud papa and a very new proof of affection.

Secondborn, looking impossibly trim and radiant for a woman who’d had a baby only 12 hours earlier, with BittyBit and BittyBubba.

I finished the last row of the Lily of the Valley Border 1 on my Swallowtail, just before going to bed last night. This morning I’ve done two rows on Border 2. I hope to finish that border before I crash tonight.

I’ve taken a week’s vacation to help out chez Secondborn. They won’t need me for much; he’s a good cook as well as a good provider. Maybe they’ll let me help with the laundry? Last night I did get to hold BittyBubba while Secondborn showered and her hubby helped his brother get ready to move. I took over some refrigerated cookie dough and plan to bake cookies with BittyBit tomorrow morning.

I should have a finished, blocked shawl to wear to work when I go back on the 7th. And since I feel the first flutters of finishitis, I don’t think there’ll be much progress on anything other than my own packing until Swallowtail is done. I’d give you a progress shot, but there’s a stack of newspapers where I normally lay things out.

Though I am taking a sock to work on at church today.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nups to you, SuzyQ!

I grew up hearing the expression “Nuts to you, SuzyQ!”. Nups are the little mini-bobbles on the Swallowtail shawl, in which I am joyfully embroiled. I sprung for an Addi Lace needle and absolutely love how it performs. I like knitting lace. Not to the point of not wanting to knit anything else, but remember what they used to say in the TV commercials on Saturday mornings? An important part of this complete [knitting experience].

I finished the 14th repeat of the second bud lace motif last night and began the first border pattern. I’ve done a lot of tinking to fix minor mistakes or dropped stitches. This is the first time that I’ve used a “lifeline” on a project. Thankfully, I haven’t had to rip all the way back to it, but it was close.

I finally got to the point where I just hunkered down and counted the stitches after every row. It slowed me down somewhat, but it prevented weeping in the long run. Now that I’m working on a more solid portion of the design, it’s easier to see if I’ve messed something up in the pattern.

Had my consultation with the podiatrist on Tuesday. On Monday the 6th I’m having minor surgery to remove both toenails. The podiatrist agreed that it would be less painful to have a dancing partner step on a nail-less toe than on one that is ingrown [left foot] or fungal [right foot].

He also told me about two home remedies that may increase my general well-being, with no side effects. I’ll have to see if they interact with my regular medications, but I am hopeful.

Brother Karitas sent me this link recently: “Typography”

He also emailed me yesterday because he lives about 200 miles north of me, and the excitement in Dallas made the news. A plant that filled canisters with compressed gases, such as oxygen and acetylene, blew up accidentally. They evacuated everybody in a half-mile radius of the plant [my office is 1.3 miles away, but the attorneys with southern windows got a good view of it all] and shut down the three major freeways near downtown all day.

The heat was so intense that firemen were unable to start battling the blaze for a good two hours after it began. Two men who were in the building when it happened are in the hospital, severely burned but expected to live. Another man injured his back while escaping. Nobody was killed. Seven or more cars in or near that parking lot got flambéd. There was a column of flame as high as the top of Reunion Arena.

I had to take the scenic route down I-45 toward Houston, then west on I-20 to Grand Prairie and up Carrier Parkway to 303 and westward toward home. Normally I get on I-30 and barrel west until I reach my exit. Normally it takes roughly 45 minutes to get home, though on Federal-holiday mornings it can take as little as 25 minutes, and during an ice storm it's more like an hour and 15 minutes. Last night it was just a hair over an hour and a half. But folks were really “driving friendly”, letting people in, and being uncharacteristically patient.

Secondborn called me a little before 6:00am and said that it looked as if today would be the day. Sure enough, at 8:11 BittyBit got a brother. And I have been over the moon all day! She has better pictures than I took and will email them to me; my battery is about dead.

Meet the newest little nut on the family tree, BittyBubba until I think of something better to call him, 8 lbs 14 oz, 21 inches long with a 14 inch head. Oye! Mama, baby, sister, and proud papa all doing fine.

Monday, July 23, 2007


And what a year it has been! I didn’t realize until a few days ago that my initial post was on Firstborn’s birthday. [Happy Birthday, Sweetie!] They were still living in Florida at that point and making plans to move back to the Lone Star State.

I was dealing with Katrina refugees upstairs; they were letting the good times roll 24/7. And management was fixin’ to kick them out.

I had not met Brother Abacus; my heart and my leg were yet unbroken. Both are fine again, thank-you-very-much.

I was just getting to know my Sisters of the Wool and gathering the courage for my first pair of socks.

BittyBit was remembering me from one visit to the next, lurching about on tiptoe, and formulating her first earnest but unintelligible sentences.

And now I read something like four dozen blogs a day, and post several times a week, most weeks, and listen to the KnitPicks podcast, and borrow audiobooks from the library.

My stash is growing, my repertoire of cast-ons and bind-offs is growing, my impatience with apartment management is growing, and I’m seriously thinking of buying a house *before* LittleBit graduates high school, rather than after. Three small bedrooms are all I ask: one for me, one for her, and one for an impeccably organized studio. Oh, and a kitchen that I can eventually remodel to incorporate a Viking stove and a freezer and a refrigerator big enough for tribal feasts.

Secondborn’s husband is a real estate appraiser, and he’s been deputized to look for fixer-uppers within three particular local ward boundaries. [I love the ward I live in now; I also like my best friend’s ward and the one where Firstborn and her hubby live. I want to stay in this school district so that LittleBit can graduate from her present high school.] He and Firstborn’s husband have volunteered to help with any repairs that need to be made.

What I’m hoping for is a repo that has a solid foundation, good roof, working plumbing and AC. I can pull up carpet, replace sheetrock with some help from the guys, and I love to paint. I would like to take an eyesore and restore its dignity, sell it in a few years, and buy or build a Craftsman-style cottage.

Here are the promised pictures of the yarn for MS3 and the beads. Top to bottom: KnitPicks Shadow in “Lost Lake”; Mill Hill 8/0 Glass Beads, color #18831; KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in “Moss”.

And an extremely fuzzy close-up of the beads, to give you an impression of the “peacock” effect.

I know that MS3 specifies dark beads with light yarn, and vice versa. At the moment, I'm not sure which yarn I'll use; both are luscious, and the beads work with either.

When we were having our second Knit Night last week [a/k/a “Woohoo! Jo’s Here” Night], Jeri came over to meet my new yarn. She looked at the yarn, and then at me, and commented in a slightly puzzled tone on the sudden influx of green into my stash.

I can’t explain it. My personality is anything but subdued. My car is red. My tote bag is red. My planner is red. My nails and my lips are red. My kitchen is red. My closet is red and fuchsia and turquoise and plum and that bright marigold I adore, and lots of black, and an increasing amount of greens and browns and pale banana yellows.

It’s more than the simple fact that these new colors are what’s available where I shop for my clothing. There is just something about them that I find appealing. I'm wondering if this is a visual manifestation of readiness to move into a new phase of life? A home-owning phase of life?

I met the manager of a new apartment complex on Saturday; the daughter of one of my dear friends lives there. And that might be where I need to live, in the interim. But part of me is thinking, Umm, no, *house*.

When I drove home from church yesterday, I suddenly realized that I was noticing how certain houses were landscaped and thinking, “I could do that.”

We’ll see.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Two Surprises!

I would have called this post “heart attack!” but didn’t want to scare anybody. This is the box that arrived in the mail on Thursday. It was *supposed* to have a book inside. I think it might be the first time I’ve ever been thankful to have something I ordered, be out of stock.

I’m positive that the last thing on KnitPicks’ list was not “have Clydesdale step on one corner”. I think it’s safe to say that this is the result of a love-pat by one of the USPS’s pet gorillas. You’ll be pleased to know that the contents were unharmed.

I’ll save the photos of my yarn for MS3 for another post; I found the beads at a LXSS [local cross-stitch shop?] yesterday, and I think I’ll start sometime today; that is, if I complete the 14 repeats of the second bud lace pattern on my Swallowtail.

Yarn was not the only happy surprise to arrive on Thursday night. Some of you will recognize the face on the left: it’s Jo, all the way from Ireland for an impromptu Knit Night with the Sisters of the Wool. This is us, in Borders. I’m wearing the scarf made from the yarn that she sent me. Thanks, Julia, for taking the picture!

Jo stayed with another of the SOTW, and I only got to chat for a few minutes because it had been an exceedingly long day and my body was screaming for sleep. If you’re wondering “can she possibly be as nice and as smart and as funny as she is on her blog?”, the answer is absolutely, positively, go wake up a notary public but preferably not the one who works at Hellbent Tattoos, YES!

And she gives world-class hugs. [Even the East German judges would have been impressed.]

Saturday, July 21, 2007

She rambles. She knits. She ponders.

Referring back to the mismatched-yarn adventure of last week, I think Tan and Jo are both right. I think the only sensible thing to do is make sure that I have all the parts that I want to match, with me or on me at the time. Brother Sushi said the same thing at dinner that Friday night.

That’s how I got the beginnings of the Rust Fibonacci Sweater: pants on a hanger with the top over them so the cuffs hung out and the scarf that tied their colors together threaded through the gap at the neckline. And the rest is knitting history.

There are several excellent reasons why this is not likely to happen. [This is where the Jo-is-right comes in.]

1. I wear separates, which gives me an effectively huge wardrobe from relatively few pieces.

2. I am forevermore seeing combinations that would work and trying them out, which means that the likelihood of my wearing the green top with the green pants is so small as to be homeopathic.

3. Hope is not the only thing with feathers [my apologies to Emily Dickinson]. Knitting inspiration rarely waits for me to be sartorially coordinated. It typically strikes when I’m under the influence of wool fumes at the LYS and I have the makings of the intended project in one hand and my debit card in my other, and an entirely different yarn starts batting its plies at me from across the room. In my defense, those are usually the stash additions that *work*. They work because I’m responding to something more subtle than chromatic vibrations interacting with the physics of my eyeballs.

Tola’s right, too. More pink is always a good thing. Also red, fuchsia, magenta, plum, vermilion, cerise…

One of my Sisters of the Wool posted this in our group. The comic strip Pickles had a knitting storyline the first week in July:


When I joined the LDS church 32 years ago next month, there was a monthly meeting for the women which was called Homemaking Meeting. That was where I learned how to keep house and raise my tribe and maintain some semblance of sanity in the process. [As Merle Haggard once sang, Momma Tried. For reasons known only to Heaven, the church has more or less succeeded where her best efforts only bred mutual frustration. I was not an easy child, and it is a testament to the greatness of her spirit that I am here to enjoy my children and my grandchildren.]

The meetings were very craft-oriented in the mid- to late-70's; over time there has been a greater emphasis on spiritual underpinnings and correct principles. Because of Relief Society Homemaking meetings, I know how to do calligraphy, check the oil in my car, communicate better with my children. The list goes on.

A few years ago they changed the name of the meeting to Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment. And at the beginning of last year, they abandoned the traditional monthly meeting in each ward for several ward meetings and two stake meetings per year, with the slack being taken up by interest groups. We have book groups and gardening groups, and last year for a few months I led the knitting group.

The point that I am ambling toward with all the haste of Somerset Maugham in January, is that a week ago Thursday night was one of the two meetings on a stake level. So women from all over our immediate area met together for workshops and classes and a service project. [And food, of course. It's not a Relief Society event without a tablecloth, a centerpiece, and food.] As usual, it was impeccably planned and lovingly executed, and I came away with several new insights and some great hugs and a bit of quality time with my best friend.

I love how, when I make the slightest effort toward obedience and understanding, the blessings are frequently overwhelming in their speed and abundance. In one of the classes that night I gained a fresh perspective on the law of carnal commandments given to the Children of Israel by God through Moses, things that were observable and measurable as indicators of personal righteousness, as contrasted with the law of the gospel given to the children of God by Christ when He walked on the earth, where it was far more about internal motivations that produced behaviors that were desirable or otherwise. So the progression is something like [1] do as I the Lord tell you, [2] do as I the Lord do, and [3] love as I the Lord love and by so doing become as much like Me as humanly possible.

I’ve gotta tell you: there are some aspects of simple obedience that I continue to struggle with. And there are some days where I have wonderful moments when I know that whatever little thing I just did, I did well in an eternal sense, even if it made no earthly sense. I have far more moments where I know that I blew it. Which, as my Mom would have said, just shows that I’m human.

You know that alleged prayer that makes the rounds of the Internet, which begins with the person saying that so far he/she has not lied or stolen or cheated or dug a pit for his/her neighbor, but that pretty soon he/she is going to have to get out of bed and will need a little help?

Oh yeah. Bigtime.

And now for a sobering statistic: the good brother who taught the class where I got the fresh perspective, asked us if we had any idea of the ratio of righteous, active*, worthy age 30+ single women in our church to men who were equally righteous, active, and worthy [Ed note: and would therefore deserve the company of such women]?

Thirty to one, my friends. Thirty to one. This confirms my suspicions that I am not excessively picky, but that the pickings really are that slim. And it would also explain why I'm not attracted to any of the guys who show up for our local activities, except for the handful who are my acquired-brothers, who have amply demonstrated their decency and trustworthiness.

I shared that stat with LittleBit after family prayers. Her take? “Looks like you’re going to have to find a good guy who’s not LDS and dunk him.”

*Active, in the church, does not refer to how much literal physical movement is manifested, but whether one attends church meetings and makes oneself useful.

And I’ll finish with a couple of inspirational quotes from pages in my planner.

“The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better.” ~ Barbara Pletcher

“To be surrounded by beautiful things has much influence upon the human creature: to make beautiful things has more.” ~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Does my left arm look 50# longer than the other one?

It is very early Thursday morning. On Saturday I put LittleBit on a plane for her sister’s in Virginia, just in time to help Middlest celebrate her 24th birthday. The apartment was astonishingly quiet all weekend. I finished listening to Frankenstein and am well into one of the Cat Who… books.

We had something of an adventure at the airport on Saturday. I wasn’t able to pull up online which gate we needed, just the terminal. So I parked at one end, and we discovered to our dismay that she needed to be at the other end. Mr. Murphy and his law must be back from their summer vacation.

We had to walk back outside and lug two suitcases about twenty-five miles, and we got her checked in just minutes after the deadline. This meant that after I waved her through security, I got to lug her big suitcase twenty-five miles back to the car and decant the contents into a box that once held 10 reams of copy paper.

Brother Sushi was kind enough to send it on its way for me Monday morning; there’s a lasagna dinner in it for him, as well as whatever he paid for shipping. After I dropped the box off at his place, I drove around the corner to the bookstore, where I had a coupon that was about to expire. I came home with Eat Pray Love and The Hitchhiker’s Guide.

My social calendar is filling up rapidly in her absence: dinner Monday night with my best friend and her family. Knit night on Tuesday. Ratatouille [the movie, not the stew] with a girlfriend last night. Church work tonight, and one of my friends is going to be in town. We are hoping to get together for a quick visit after that. A quiet evening at home on Friday, and Firstborn’s birthday party and karaoke-fest to kick off Saturday night, with an old-folks’ dance for dessert.

I think that ought to keep me out of the pool halls, at least for one week!

LittleBit and I had a mother-daughter moment at church a couple of weeks ago. She doesn’t like animal print fabrics and accessories any better than I do. I know maybe half a dozen women who can wear them without looking “hey sailor”. Mostly we just roll our eyes and try not to giggle.

But about six months ago, I saw one of the most proper ladies at church accessorizing a tailored denim dress with a surprisingly conservative leopard print scarf. And I thought, “Hmm, that actually looks good. And I have that brown silk georgette skirt and that denim shirt jacket, and maybe I can find a scarf that pulls them together.” I found it on eBay, a Harvé Benard scarf in aqua and pale yellow and several shades of green, primarily paisleys with just a bit of leopard print meandering through the middle of it. And I won it!

LittleBit ran into Fourthborn and her fiancé while shopping one weekend; he bought her these on clearance:

Looks like we need to take a few minutes to sweep the carpet [*blushing*]. I’m really old-fashioned about what is an acceptable gift from a man. I wouldn’t have let one of her guyfriends buy shoes for her, but the fiancé is family and has been for years, and they were on sale for $10. So this satisfied the “not-boyfriend” and “not-expensive” rules.

I wore the scarf and top to church that Sunday with my basic black skirt; LittleBit wore the shoes with a classic pencil skirt and her [bought on clearance] silk/cashmere sweater. It’s *cold* in our chapel, so we are the Queens of Layering. Probably nobody else noticed that we had a subtle mother-daughter thing going on, but we had fun with it.

Oh. You want knitting content? How about this?

Just a wee bit of Swallowtail Shawl; not so much as you’d notice. I drove to the LYS after work yesterday and picked up an Addi Turbo in their 47” length, and an Addi Lace in 32”. At the moment I'm using my Clover 16” needles, which are behaving better than you would think, though I think I’ll bypass the Clover 24” needle entirely. This, for those of you who tuned in late, is Schaeffer’s Anne, and I’m knitting it on 4’s.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cats, Dogs & Little Fishes

The monsoons that graced North Texas this summer seem to have abated. [We have been having rain, rain and more rain. I may have mentioned this.] One night when I was less than a mile from home, the sky opened up as if some heavenly Hand had grabbed a zipper pull and hollered “Just kidding about the no-more-arks!” I sat in the car for at least fifteen minutes, waiting for a break. Stepped out into four inches of running water. My shoes took two days to dry.

This is a picture of sunshine, in case anybody reading this in North Texas has forgotten what that looks like. It's not the one I *want* to take, but it will do.

This is the view, looking up through the skylight at 5:15pm last Thursday.

As I walk toward the ladies’ room every weekday afternoon, I remind myself that I want a snapshot of the golden warmth that streams down from this skylight above the atrium and onto the hardwood floors. At 3:45 or so, there are a series of bright squares smiling up at me along the balcony.

I want to lie down on my back, my face drinking the light, and stay there until it is time to go home. This is impractical; I would be trampled by attorneys powered on cappuccino, paralegals dashing to the courts to file one last pleading, and a myriad of couriers anxious to complete their routes.

And the ringing of my switchboard, twenty feet away behind the glass doors, might disturb my slumbers.

The Monkey socks are done; I was minded to wear them to work yesterday with my bright red T-shirt, and they fit like a champ, but I took my second dose of diuretic rather late Sunday night, and my ankles were correspondingly swollen, so I could either fit hand-knit socks into the shoes, or feet into the shoes, but not both.

Here are two different takes. The dark ones are at the regular setting. The light ones are at the novice photographer setting. The real colors, as I've mentioned before, are somewhere between.

Speaking of somewhere between, I literally stumbled over this ball of Schaeffer's Anne, leftover from making all those teensy earrings in February and March. Notice anything?

Of the original 560 yards, I probably have 475 to 500 left. I attempted to measure via ballwinder but forgot that mine has a smaller capacity than the commercial jobbie at the LYS. I lost track around 225 yards when the light, fluffy ball I was winding started snagging on the eye of the tensioning thingie. So I have lovingly and loopily finished winding the ball by hand, and it's huge; I can just palm it.

I'm thinking Swallowtail Shawl, if I can lay hands on that issue of IK.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Meme, myself, and I -and knitting at the end

What to my wondering eyes should appear on Ladylungdoc’s blog back in April, but this:

The original instructions:
Look at the list of (100) books below. Bold the ones you’ve read. Italicize the ones you want to read. Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in. Movies don’t count.

"Here's where [she added her] personal spin: Parentheses around the ones that I have partly read. Asterisk the ones that I wouldn’t read if I were stuck on a desert island. Comment on the books if moved to do so." I’ve done the same.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)*
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) I *love* Jane Austen
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) “I also read Anne of the Island. A million years ago.” (Me, too, Ladylungdoc)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)*
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)*
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)*
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) [**Hated** it. False Doctrine 101 as far as I'm concerned.]
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)*
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)*
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. [The Count of Monte Cristo] (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) [My favorite living author, except for his short stories.]
54. [Great Expectations] (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. [Interview With The Vampire] (Anne Rice). [I think I read this one. I know I read one of her books and part of another.]
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) [In fifth grade.]
70. [The Little Prince] (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) [I might like it better in French?]
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)*
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) [I think; it’s been a long time.]
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)*
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. [The Good Earth] (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield) [**boring** and not at all prophetic]
100. [Ulysses] (James Joyce) [squick, as my kids would say]

Will add Eat, Pray, Love to my list. Oprah’s list is about 50/50 with me; I’m just glad that she’s gotten people reading who weren’t. I tend to shy away from anything that’s on the NYT best seller’s list. I find most “literary” novels utterly unappealing.

Why is Anne Tyler not on this list? Or Chris Bohjalian? Or Laura Kalpakian, who used to be LDS, and writes of the Saints with mostly-affectionate detachment? I loved Steps and Exes, even if I didn’t care for some of the language and situations. She has an eagle eye for the intricacies of broken and cobbled-together families that speaks to me.

There's your culture [or near-cultural experience] for the day. Here's your knitting content:

The colors are nowhere near true; I will see if I can scare them up on the Sherwin Williams website. Click on the Launch Color Visualizer button. The shirt is, more or less, Jadeite 6459; the slacks are, more or less, Oakmoss 6180. Because I don't have the facility with a camera that I do with textiles, and because I do not wish to acquire the patience to gain that facility. And here, with the yarns:

The one on the left is Jitterbug in Olive; the one on the right is their Leaf. [I do not get that logic at all, because the one on the right looks way more olive to me, and the one on the left is what malachite would look like if it veered toward teal.]

I'm wondering if that hollow-square pattern that the Harlot is using on her new sweater would work with these yarns?

Coda on Moth!
The little wiseguy finally stopped flitting around the ceiling and came to rest on my monitor yesterday morning at dark-thirty. I introduced him to a fast-food napkin, which made a lasting impression on him. Thank heavens I'm too broke to have one of those delicate flat-screen monitors. Mine functions very nicely as an Immovable Object to intercept my Irresistible Force and dispatch interlopers to moth heaven.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Topic the First

According to the 2005 Urban Mobility Report of the Federal Highway Administration, the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I live experienced the fifth-highest economic impact from congested roadways for a “very large urban area”, which the report defined as having a population greater than 3 million. “Congestion costs include value of travel time delay (estimated at $13.45 per hour of person travel and $71.05 per hour of truck time) and excess fuel consumption (estimated using state average cost per gallon).” The cost for our area in 2005 was estimated to be $2,545,000,000). [And gas was considerably cheaper then.]

Based on what I earned when I first went to work 35 years ago, that would keep LittleBit and me in Nutella for nearly 606,000 years! Based on what I earn now, which is considerably more than when I first stepped out of secretarial school, I would nevertheless be older than Methuselah before the money ran out. [There are some who say I already *am* older than Methuselah. We shall poke them with our knitting needles until they desist.]

Topic the Second

After a hiatus of nearly two months, LittleBit and I worked out at dark-thirty on Wednesday morning. I did about two and a half miles in twenty minutes on the recumbent bike, without breaking a sweat or re-injuring myself. She pedaled to Oklahoma City and back and then ran halfway to Houston in the same time frame. My mother was right: youth is entirely wasted on the young!

Topic the Third

I have quieter noisy neighbors than I did last summer. Last year, it was Mardi Gras 24/7 upstairs: loud music inside and out, insistent bass percolating down the walls, drumming on countertops in their kitchen that likewise echoed down through the walls, people coming and going at all hours, and loud happy voices on the balcony at 2:30am. And the occasional miasma of funny tobacco.

Yesterday morning, I was awakened a little before 3:00am by several annoying but harmless physical symptoms that threaten to be “the new normal”. After I’d sorted them all out and gone back to bed, I became aware of two female voices conversing a few feet away from my bedroom window. They weren’t arguing. They weren’t any louder than a normal daylight conversation between two friends. But they were just sufficiently audible that I couldn’t go back to sleep. After ten or fifteen minutes, I got up again, put on my robe and my glasses, turned on the porch light, and opened the door. I asked them politely, and quietly, “Ladies, please take it inside.” They apologized profusely. I locked the door and turned off the porch light. Poured myself a mug of milk. They continued to talk for another *five minutes* before one of them got in her car and left.

I think there’s an excellent chance that I’m going to turn into one of those cranky old ladies who has 911 tattooed on her fingertips.

Topic the Fifth

I tried on Monkey 1 yesterday morning [since I was already up], and it fits like a champ! On my breaks at work yesterday, I completed the gusset on Monkey 2. I figure that three more rounds of pattern will get me to where the toe decreases begin. The socks were just long enough that the needles hit squarely in the middle of my arches.

Topic the Sixth

Remember my saying yesterday that there are some color clashes that make my fillings hurt? I took back the wonderfully brassy green yarn after work and brought home the bluer green, which works with the new green top. I was not, however, wearing the dark green pants with which the first yarn more or less coordinated when I did so.

You guessed her, Chester, the bluer green yarn does not work with the pants. The top reads slightly-blue; the pants read slightly-yellow. They look terrific together, an example of that rich monochromatic color scheme that I love so well. The yarns are significantly more blue and significantly more yellow.

I think the solution is to go back and buy the original two hanks, because I am not sure that even I have sufficient chutzpah to go in and ask if I can re-exchange one skein, and because with four skeins I'll have about 1100 yards, which should make a pretty impressive shawl and maybe a pair of coordinating anklet socks. I think if I do stranded color-work, but on a lacy scale where you see the carrying threads looping and swirling, or perhaps something Bohus-inspired with the occasional purl stitch, I can get these two sisters to play nicely together.

Or at least speak civilly to one another.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It followed me home...

Actually, *they* followed me home. First, the skirt [bias-cut, tiered, with tucks above each tier, in a brown/black/grey/cream irregular plaid, marked down $20 plus I had a 40% off coupon] and the top [tunic length, decorative stitching at the neck, and also on sale; I bought this one in taupe and another in a medium mossy green]. That was Tuesday night. I wore this to work yesterday. And after work, as it’s been quite a week, I hied meself to the LYS to show off the Monkeys-in-progress and to see if they had sock yarn that would coordinate, and 8/0 beads for my MS3.

Remember the lacy hose of 20 years ago? I do, fondly. We were so broke back then, poor as Job’s turkeys, that I could only afford a couple of pairs. And wept when they wore out. I would love to have a nearly-solid lace pattern in cream or ecru to wear with this. So it was with that in mind that I went to the LYS and uttered the magic words, “Do you have anything that would match this?” Before the shop owner and I had walked the ten feet to the knitting table, one of her staff had reached over 18 inches to the left and come up with this:

Is she brilliant, or what? I commented to my friend Punkin that the OnLine she’d bought looked a lot like my Ditto [or vice versa]. Now she can see for herself! The shop owner showed me a picture of the yarn knitted up. It’s my first self-patterning yarn, and I think its dark Faux-Isle-ishness will work nicely with the skirt. I bought three skeins so that I could make them gloriously long.

Here’s a close-up:

That’s not blue in the middle of the skirt. It’s a wonderful clear grey, and this plaid has some black in it as well as multiple shades of brown. I have an old silk scarf that’s a standby, and I wore it yesterday. The taupe circles exactly match the top.

I’m one of those people who carries colors in her head, and it only works if I’m *not* trying to match something. If I buy something because I love it, it will go with several items that I already have. If I deliberately try to match something then it will clash like the Hatfields and McCoys.

I will spare you a picture of the two skeins of Jitterbug in “Leaf” that I brought home last night to go with my green slacks and the new top. So dissonant are they that it makes my fillings hurt; I will be taking them back on my lunch hour and exchanging them for something more seemly. And I will be taking the new shirt with me when I go. I was thinking of something like the Swallowtail Shawl, just a waft of lace across my shoulders and the nape of my neck.

Am nearly done with the gusset on Monkey 2; took it with me to the recumbent bike and had to rip out every stitch I put in while pedaling. And then I zigged when I should have zagged at lunch or on one of my breaks yesterday, and I had to do more frogging. But we're back on track again, and I’ll probably start work on the straightaway on both socks sometime today. Jeri was kind enough to bring her scale on Tuesday night, and I had 39.01 g left to work with. So I either just will or just won’t have enough to finish the socks. I want to get cracking on the Faux Isles.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Weighing the Monkeys on my back

Jeri asked, “Nice monkeys. Are you weighing the jitterbug as you go along?”

No, I am not. I have not yet acquired a cool digital scale like hers, so I am flying [knitting] by the seat of my pants. If worst comes to worsted – couldn’t resist – then I will pick up some Claudia or similar grist and knit up the toes. If I come up *way* too short, I’ll frog back to the heel flaps and work the heels in Yarn #2 and resume Jitterbug-ing until I get to the toes.

I have been having so much fun discovering new blogs. I was reading Chocolate Sheep [what’s not to like about either topic?] when I saw a link to Three Sheeps to the Wind. Which links to a hilarious YouTube. Go see for yourself. Or click here: Anita Renfroe. Thanks, Beth!

In the meantime, I’m having all the fun the law and the commandments allow. I was a knitting fool all weekend, particularly after church. When I went to bed that night, I was half a dozen rows short of a completed heel flap on Monkey 2. Yeah. That’s right. [When I went to church, I had completed 11 of the 12 rounds of ribbing on the cuff. When I came home, I had completed nearly three full repeats of the pattern.] I finished the cuff and started the heel flap *and* managed to get a three-hour nap and listen to four hours of the Frankenstein audiobook.

I had meant to go to a fireside [inspirational address] on Sunday night but got so into the book and the knitting that the fireside was over before I realized that I’d missed it. I don’t feel too guilty, though: I was improving my mind by listening to classic literature, and I was really going to town on that sock!

Another hour of quiet reading and listening last night brought me to this point:

Very dark; sorry. It’s dark-thirty outside as well. Here’s a fuzzy closeup:

At least you know I wasn’t kidding when I said that these weren’t Pepto-Bismol pink!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Snickers and Snickerdoodles and Sock Hops and Socks

My friend Mariomom [sadly, blogless] sent me the following:

A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre. After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings and made it safely to his van.

However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas.

When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, “Monsieur, that is the reason I stole the paintings. I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh.”

...(and you thought I didn’t have De Gaulle to send this on to someone else!)

Well, I figure I have nothing Toulouse.

OK, that was the snicker. Here are the snickerdoodles:

I was absolutely delighted yesterday morning to see them fresh out of the oven at my friend’s deli in our building. Still warm. Washed down with a pint of milk. *Heaven*.

I rode to the dance with Brother Sushi last night. I had told him earlier in the week that I was only interested in going if he went too, because I wanted to make sure there was at least one person there I knew I’d enjoy talking to. I’ve been having successively less fun at each dance for the past couple of years, and I am not one of those women who Requires Entertaining. But this whole pulling a muscle while line dancing, and then breaking my leg because of the limping, has taken the starch out of me. The bone is healed, the bells and whistles that move the bones are well on the mend, but I’m not as limber as I used to be, either physically or emotionally. And if I can’t do foot-stompin’ rocknroll, or East Coast Swing, then pretty much what’s the point of going?

Brother Sushi has had his own run-ins with the Decrepitude Fairy in recent weeks. And his job is quite physically demanding, so there was a better than even chance that he’d have been too pooped to polka. I told him I would be quite content to stay home with my knitting and an audiobook, and I meant it. I was even a little disappointed when he called to say that we were good to go. But I got in 2.5 hours of quality time with Monkey 1 before he arrived, and a little over one pattern repeat while at the dance.

I had a really good time. Got one lovely, swirly slow dance with my favorite dance partner, got a bearhug and lots of line-dancing time with his girlfriend, and did not tear up my knee or any other body parts while dancing. I’d call that a success.

And there was a new guy at the dance, age-appropriate as near as I could tell, who spent the evening visiting each table, introducing himself, matching names to faces, and going back to check his memory. I didn’t feel any spark when we chatted, or any sense that he was flirting with me, but neither did I sense any overt lunacy on his part. So I will be interested to see if he’s at the next dance. And if he can dance; neither Brother Sushi nor I could recall having seen him out on the dance floor. Meanwhile, I’m not holding my breath.

I have now used up all the frogged yarn from the ill-fated Sabbath Sock 1. And here is Monkey 1, with its heel flap completed, and the first bit of ribbing on Monkey 2:

I am *so* feeling the knitting love today. But I have to tell you, the colors are not at all accurate. This looks like an explosion in a Pepto-Bismol factory. The socks look like someone melted all my lipstick samples from my days as an independent beauty consultant.

LittleBit had an unaccountably free social calendar this afternoon. We went to Big Bookstore, got foofy crème-based drinks, split an herb and cream cheese pretzel, and read books. Oh, and I got ogled while there. I managed to keep a straight face until I got back to our table, and then I told LittleBit, who immediately but quietly demanded to know *by whom*. She is so much fun to tease!

I came home with the summer IK and this bookmark:

Which says, “Live your beliefs, and you can turn the world around.” [Thoreau]. I have it up on the wall, not stuffed in a book. In a book, it would get lost or broken. I've not broken or mislaid a wall, so far.

I almost got to act out my beliefs at the bookstore. I was sitting there, reading, getting a little drowsy from the carbs, when the guy sitting behind us took a call on his cell phone and promptly started dropping F-bombs. Not loudly, but persistently. After five in rapid succession, I did the Mom Spins in Her Chair and Raises Her Eyebrows bit, and opened my mouth to speak. While he wouldn't meet my gaze, he did have the grace to get up and take his potty mouth outside.

What people say in the privacy of their own homes and in their own cars with the windows rolled up, is between them and their upbringing and their individual consciences. But what they say in what is supposed to be a family-friendly forum, with my babygirl sitting six feet away and little kids a couple of tables over, brings out Über-Mom, complete with superheroine cape.

Man, I need a bigger knitting bag. That cape is *bulky*; maybe it's the asbestos?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Loose wenches, no! Clown barf and MS3, yes!

I work in a law office. I enter almost all of the non-suit tasks and minor settlements into the system, and when we are slammed or the data clerk is out I also enter lawsuits. This, in addition to answering the phones, pulling the faxes, opening the mail and pulling staples so the person who scans it can do her job efficiently and effectively, and [best of all] flirting with the UPS man.

Sometimes, in order to glean enough information that I can do the conflict-of-interest checks, I have to skim the claim file. By and large the claim reps are careful, meticulous spellers and typists. But every so often there is a typo that makes me giggle. Like the reference to a previous claim where the claimant sprained his wrist tightening a loose wench.

I love language. My native tongue, and others’. Isn't it amazing that you can take a word that signifies a simple, useful tool, drop one apparently insignificant letter, and get a word that signifies something else entirely? Or Spanish, which I know just enough of to not utterly mangle the pronunciation of the names of some of our clients, and to take the word for rabbits and Scrabble-ize it and get an extremely masculine noun.

Tan, you asked about the yarn I’m using for Monkey. This is Colinette’s Jitterbug, and it is [thus far] my favorite sock yarn because of its liveliness and forgiving nature. I foresee much Jitterbug-ing in the future.

I wore the new scarf with the new and fortuitously matching T-shirt to work yesterday and felt mahvelous, dahling. My shoulders and traps stayed comfortably warm, and I did not come home all clenched from the draft that eddies around my desk. It’s cold enough that -- how to phrase this delicately? -- I’m a bit of a Momsicle all day, and the scarf was just long enough to effectively camouflage that.

I was amused to read the phrase “clown barf” to describe some of the vividly hand-painted yarns that are on the market. Now, I’m not crazy about clowns, and after raising 4.9 kids I’m definitely not crazy about barf, but I do admire a well-turned phrase. And that one just tickles me. If you were to peek into my stash, which you'll be able to do once Ravelry sends me my invitation, you would see not a lot of the tastefully subdued yarns you would expect from a non-wench such as I. You would see a whole lot of certain sections of the color wheel, particularly in the yarns that date back to when I was a weaver, because I love richly monochromatic color schemes. And in sock weights you would see an amazingly [some might say apallingly] large selection of the clown-barfiest of yarns.

I make no apologies. I have made do most of my adult life with basic cotton socks from Wally World. I’m a little older now, a lot more sure of myself, and I’m almost finished with the 24/7 aspect of parenting. There is a modicum of discretionary income, most months, and I make sure that some of it gets spent on *me*, not just the home or the kid still in the home. Loud socks are one way of saying that I may no longer be young and perky, but neither am I dead.

Barf on, ye dyers of the wool!

I laughed so hard at the Harlot’s post yesterday that I went and gone and done it. I signed up for MS3, even though I have *no* laceweight yarn, nor beads with which to bead it. [Yes, I have beads, but not enough leftover from the recently-completed scarf to do the job, and way too many from leftover sewing projects.] But there are some items in the new KnitPicks catalogue that I want, particularly their new sock needle sizes, so I'm sure that I can figure out how to spend $45 in a Noo Yawk minute. And by the time I place the order next Wednesday, and it arrives the week after that, I should be done with my Monkeys.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Monkeying around

So I found myself getting woozy about 3:30, and I sacked out on the couch. Woke up at 8:00 or so, knowing that I had just wrecked a good night’s sleep.

I spent a couple of hours catching up on blogs, visiting and commenting on new ones, and just generally puttering around. Finally, around 10:00pm, I was ready to knit. Put in disc #2 of Season One of Gilmore Girls and picked up Monkey 2.0. Three episodes later, I checked the time: 12:27 on a Thursday morning, and the alarm goes off at 4:00. Oye!

Here’s what I accomplished yesterday. An empty bread maker. The loaf is bagged and in the fridge for sandwiches tomorrow.

Two loaves of pumpkin pignola bread.

What’s left of the pineapple upside down cake. No, I didn’t eat half of it myself. I took some to Firstborn’s house earlier today. Umm, make that early yesterday afternoon.

And your obligatory knitting content.

OK, sports fans, I’m logging off and resetting the alarm for 5:00. Or possibly even 6:00. [Alert the media, she’s sleeping in!]

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Just saw a *moth*. Panic!!!!!!! I dashed into the kitchen to get a plastic cup and something non-flimsy from the junk mail to cap it off so I could release it outside. And now I can’t find it. All this wool. Aughhhh!

Have been exchanging rather more emails than usual with my good friend Brother Karitas. He has been working on genealogy and has found several possible relatives, all of whom are as creative as he. One is an opera singer, one an interfaith minister, and two are fashion designers. I find it fascinating how talents are transmitted through the generations like a spiritual DNA.

The girls get musical talent on both sides of the family. Their paternal grandmother wanted to sing opera, but everybody told her that nobody from that Midwest state had ever sung opera, and to give up the idea. So she moved to New York and worked in the rag trade [fashion business] and took up smoking and ruined her voice. Their dad sang in the Bluejacket Choir in the US Navy. My mother played in a dance band when she was a young woman in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. She played the saxophone, the accordian, and a mean ragtime piano. And I have loved music all my life. Back when I was a child and gas stations were service stations, one of them gave Dad a booklet of Christmas songs as a premium. I sat in my room with my Barbies and sang them for weeks and weeks and weeks.

Poor Mom.

I sing. Small s. In the car, in the shower, in the congregation at church every Sunday, and in times past in our ward and stake choirs. I have a nice, clear, comfortable choral voice. I do not think that I have a solo voice, though I have had some vocal training. And I cannot sing over accompaniment. I've tried singing karaoke, and no matter how they crank the background down, I cannot sing over it. This is clearly psychological, because when I was learning a Streisand song for a class assignment in college a decade or more ago, and singing along with the cassette in my car with the windows down, I got non-sarcastic applause from the next car over at a stoplight. I can sing loudly if I am singing along with Streisand, Celine, or Martina McBride. Go figure.

The girls? The girls Sing, capital S, in Lapidaire Monstre typeface, though some of them choose not to. Firstborn sang with the Southwest Florida Symphony Chorus in recent years. Secondborn got the lead in the school musical. LittleBit was recently one of the two youth music leaders at church camp. And she's in the top choir this fall, which necessitated the whole extremely expensive undertaking with All State Choir Camp. She also has played the violin and the trumpet, and has taught herself piano. And drums on things constantly, and breaks into song in restaurants, quite unconsciously.

It is not at all unusual to have her and Fourthborn spontaneously singing “Loathing” from Wicked. They do it well, after spending so many years battling, though they get along famously now.

What has this to do with moths? I am distracting myself by thinking of pleasant things, that's what.

Here's how the scarf looks, after blocking. Note that I did not opt to knit two halves and weave them together in the middle. How uncharacteristically non-OCD of me!

So you get one end:

And the other:

LittleBit's been out of pocket, so her gallon of 2% is going sour. At $4.18 [what do they think this is? gasoline?] for the replacement gallon -- and a gallon of 1% for me -- I am not going to pour the souring milk down the drain. So it looks like baking is on the agenda today. I'm thinking a loaf of buttermilk oatmeal bread, and a pan of cornbread, and maybe some pumpkin pecan bread and other quick breads until it's all used up.

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Yanks.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Irony (n)

The experience of feeding [almost] the last of one’s quarters into dryers while watching the cloudburst in the parking lot outside the laundromat. I would have taken pictures of the rain dancing merrily sideways, the ripples and eddies in the water as it flowed north to the street, but I had just taken my tote and the camera out to the car not five minutes earlier.

I did catch a break when the dryers stopped. I shoved the dry stuff [none of which will require ironing] back into the laundry bag and mounded the still-damp stuff into the plastic hamper, where it resembled nothing so much as a 40 pound rectangular ice cream cone. And put all of that into a cart, which *just* fit under the eaves. Three quick dashes to the car in the finest of mist, and one last dash to take the cart back inside, and I was done!

It must have taken half an hour once I got home to hang all the shirts and five or six pairs of pants on hangers and suspend them from shower rods, towel racks, and sundry doorknobs. It’s a good thing that LittleBit won’t be home from backpacking until tomorrow night. Otherwise she might balk at how I have taken over her bathroom as well as my own.

I have an inch of ribbing and five rows of pattern on my first Monkey. On 000’s. Not really worth grabbing the camera for. Oh, how I wish that I’d had these needles when I was knitting Barbie clothes 45 years ago! I am rather enjoying working such tiny stitches; ask me again when I’m midway down the second sock!

The Nutella went backpacking, too. It must have. It's not on the counter, and I don't remember seeing an empty in the trash. I'll have to ask LittleBit the next time she checks in. But I suspect that the Nutella is traipsing about the mountains near Ruidoso, while her Nexium is languishing on the kitchen counter.

OK, so the Bill Bryson audiobook is history. I flew up off that couch, scattering yarn and needles, at hearing the F-bomb dropped twice in quick succession. I am *so* disappointed. I have a couple of his other books, and I don't remember language like that. Yes, he was quoting somebody, but really...

Frankenstein it is. Mary Shelley may or may not have known those words, but I'd bet the rent I won't see any of them in print! I listened to the first CD on Sunday night but was too tired after doing laundry last night to sit and knit. Some people have Frankenberries for breakfast; I'm going for a second course of the original.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Finished Object!

Here's where we were at 7:33am. A golf ball sized puff of yarn remained, and it's obvious that I won't be using all 679 beads that I laboriously strung onto this yarn two weeks ago. Which means that soon, very soon, I will be slipping beads off the end and shepherding them back into their box.

The scarf was approximately 39” long, unblocked, and I'd used 352 beads to that point, or just over half. [Which means that I can knit another scarf using some sort of denim-colored yarn to further coordinate my coppery-gold-stitched denim shirt-jacket with my brown paisley silk skirt. I think the leftover slate blue Gloss from Brother Sushi's tie might be the perfect yarn for the job. Maybe I should just slip the leftover beads off this yarn and directly onto the other?]

And here's where we were at 12:32pm, after three hours of church. A total of 384 beads; approximately 6” in width and 44” in length before blocking.

It took me less time to transfer the beads from from one yarn to the other than it did to remember where I had stowed the needle threaders for safekeeping. And what was my mental soundtrack while searching? Oh, Where is My Hairbrush? from Veggie Tales.

Was that close, or what? That, my friends, is one measly inch of yarn gasping for breath at the end of the binding-off. Yes, it needs its ends woven in. And yes, it needs a good blocking. But to all intents and purposes, this scarf is done.

And no, I'm not starting the other one today.

But at Tan's request, here is The Birthday Meme:

This is The Birthday Meme. It isn't knitting, but it's educational.Go to Wikipedia and into the search field type the month and date of your birthday (not the year). Then share with the world:
  • Three events
  • Two births
  • One holiday

  • She finished with “You are actually supposed to tag five people. So all five of you who read my blog, consider yourselves tagged.” Silly girl, there have to be way more than five of us who read her. I think I found her from a post or comment on Mason-Dixon Knitting.

    Here are my three events:
  • 1397 - Geoffrey Chaucer tells the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. Chaucer scholars have also identified this date (in 1387) as when the book's pilgrimage to Canterbury starts.
  • 1521 - Martin Luther speaks to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.
  • 1964 - The Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Mustang at the New York World's Fair.

  • And my two births:
  • 1837 - J.P. Morgan, American financier (d. 1913) [with whom I have nothing in common, other than that he died the year my mother was born].
  • 1918 - William Holden, American actor (d. 1981) [Anybody besides me remember that scene from Picnic where he was chopping wood, and all the biddies were scandalized because he'd taken his shirt off? *fanning, fanning*]

  • And my holiday:
  • World Hemophilia Day
  • Easter, every few years. I love it when that happens!
    • Church today was even better than usual. One of those days when the Spirit was very much present, and I spent half the time knitting and the other half wiping my eyes.