Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saving face

So this Weight Watchers thing is working and my face is starting to show it.

To celebrate, I got new glasses: wide, rectangular ones - red, with a swooping silver architectural accent at the sides.
It's also time for a new haircut, so I had a consultation with a stylist. The topics ranged from bangs to color to growing out strategies. Scintillating stuff, I tell you. But I've had the same damn cut, in varying permutations, since 2006. I hoped to walk away from the consult with direction - a change to look forward to based on professional direction. But alas, it's still up to me.

So I searched online... for bangs, for bangs with glasses, for side swept bangs and swooping bangs. For fringe bangs and blunt bangs, even hipster bangs.

The question they all posed was the same, "What shape is your face?"
I don't know.
Face-shaped, I guess.


I measured.

But... I'm in good company.
Kristin Scott Thomas.
Isabella Rossellini.
Jodie Foster.
We of wide, angular jaws and broad foreheads.

And I have a fabulous forehead (all the better for protecting my amazing pre-frontal cortex).
Can I really make a case for covering it up with bangs?
No lines to speak of (yet). No cystic acne scars.
Just a vast, clear plane of lily-white smoothness. And I say this with such poetic fervor because I am only now realizing the worth of such a feature.

But I also know the worth and power that comes from drastic external change. Given the breadth and depth of the mental and emotional changes I experienced 2010, it's fitting that I find a way to present them to the world.

I spilled into 2010 as an almost amorphous thing, my edges blurring into the people and world around me. But I've since laid out stricter perimeters, gained edges, and know absolutely where I end and others begin.

So. How do I translate that into a haircut...?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A pretty good week overall...

I finished the lion's share of the Urban Mandarin Sweater.

It's been a hell of a slog... through Spring's upset, Summer's uncertainty, Autumn's changes and now that Winter is settling in, I'm eager to face 2011 with a sweater born of persistence and patience.

And even a little destruction. See, you have to steek it, or cut it, before you finish it.
Scary business, steeking.

In other news, I weighed in today and learned I was a mere 3 oz short of my first goal - losing 5% of my starting body weight. I won't share what that actually was (a lady has to keep some things to herself).

To wrap up, this week there is 5% less of me, but at least 5% more of the sweater.
And I think that's an excellent trade off.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


One of the perks of working for a healthcare institution is that they prioritize preventative care and wellness - so much so that it's harder work to make unhealthy choices than healthy ones.
There's no sugar soda available, and the on-site options stress whole grains, low fat and low sodium. And they offer free Weight Watchers.

Ok, so a bit about me and size. I have been of greater than average size for my height since I was about 9 years old. I was never athletic, but I wasn't a slug, either. I've always been active, and relied mostly on activity to keep my weight in check, since I never really felt that I ate an unhealthy diet. In fact, I've often been somewhat proud of my weight, since 98% of those who find out what it is blanche because it's a number we have incredibly low expectations for, expectations that I shatter.

So I carry it well - yay me.

When I get tired of it or stumble into some motivator for change, I would join a gym and live there 4-5 days a week. Elliptical, weight training, 2000 meters in the pool - I would do it all and put everything else on hold for 3 months to lose a hard-earned 15-20 lbs.

So I joined Weight Watchers at work to see what it was all about. I had low expectations for losing weight through diet and figured if I came out 5-7 lbs smaller in January, that would be good enough.


I'm midway though week four and have lost 8 lbs without single visit to the gym. Yoga, of course, continues twice a week - and since I've been at it long enough for the flexibility stuff to be easy, I've asked my instructors to challenge me to gain strength (it's totally working, too. I can get into, hold, and come out of wheel pose without shaking. My goal... firefly.)

I found a pedometer outside my building (with instructions!) and have been making an effort to get to the suggested 10,000 steps. I average 7,000, but I can get to 8,200 without trying too hard. And I think that's the point. I want to make a change, but one that doesn't hijack my existing stable of interests.

I value my time and the things I normally do with it: knitting, reading, exploring, spending time with friends, cooking, and tinkering - all things that are generally at odds with being at the gym or highly active. I'm sure I could listen to books on my iPod or get my friends to go on a long hike with me - but history tells me that's a long shot.

I value Thin, but inconsistently. I highly value it when I come back from a store where they didn't have my size or the things in my size were unflattering. Or when I thought that Thin would make my life better. But that was a different time - pre-Physicist, pre-career-change, and pre-Oh-my-goodness-my-life-is-really-pretty-great-what-am-I-complaining-about. Lacking that high value on Thin, I just haven't had the incentive to sacrifice all that other great stuff to a gym membership.

Surprisingly, Weight Watchers allows me both: I clearly see the road to Thin without sacrificing the things I usually give up to slog my way to a measly 10% reduction in body mass. Based on how I'm doing so far, the ultimate goal they set (based on BMI - but don't get me started on that measure) seems totally doable - scary as hell (because what happens when you actually get the thing you thought would both a) change your life and b) be impossible to achieve without fundamentally changing who you are.) - but doable.

Here's to shattered expectations...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Random act of Charming

This afternoon, I needed to run a cross-campus errand. It was a clear, crisp fall day - full sun and blue sky. I was wearing my sweet knitted beret and my blazer that invokes a 1960s boys school uniform. Perfect. Collegiate. Lovely. I likely had a spring in my step and twinkle in my eye.
As I crossed the street, there were a couple of landscaping fellows on their industrial riding mowers and one nodded to me, so I smiled and nodded back.

He was ahead of me on the sidewalk and kept looking back, which was cute... and flattering... and evidently filled me with hutzpah - as well as a bit of cheekiness to boot.

I came up the crosswalk and stood next to him while we waited for the light to change, so I turned to him and made some comment about wishing I had my rollerblades so I could hitch a ride. His reply was to offer me a ride across the street (the seat was a bit of a bench, room enough for two).



I had my own Patrick-Dempsey-on-a-lawnmover-"Can't-Buy-Me-Love" moment... (sans cowboy hat and sunset)

We got to the other side, I disembarked, laughed, thanked him and walked on.

In the middle of the work day, sometimes a girl just needs a blue sky, a lawnmower and a mysterious chauffeur.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting settled

I'm finally digging into my new home, getting things put away and tinkering with my environment.

I want my little cottage (850 sq ft) to be homey, but lack much of the clutter than plagued me in my teeny apartment (485 sq ft).

A great deal of this was achieved through deaccessioning - it felt great to get rid of this and that - although I have the heirloom guilt in spades, exacerbated by being the child and granddaughter of makers.

Knowing I was coming into a large space, I braced myself and made it very clear what I would and would not accept, and so far, it's working.

I'm attempting to make due with mostly used or family items (sectional from Craigslist, Knoll chair from my old office, etagere made by my grandfather, rocking chair from my great-grandparents'), but I'll admit I have purchased a few new things as a result of the drunken fog of aesthetic reverie (curtains, lamp, dreaming of a rug from CB2).

The fun has been in finding ways to showcase those items I've had squirreled away, unsure of how to work them into my life but hesitant to release them back into the free market.

This kimono, for example.

Lovely, handpainted silk; I purchased it a Unique Thrift on Half-Price Monday for about $5. I was working at a museum at the time, and my urge to save all the poor helpless items of beauty was in full effect. It was folded in tissue paper with almost maternal affection and put in the closet, safe from rays of light, degradation of acid, and all the things that break down organic material (e.g., everything everywhere).

I couldn't give it up, so I was determined to bring it out in the new home. Somehow, I managed to amass a collection of thing accented in red with a vaguely Japanesque quality, so those things went in the bedroom. Among those items were two vintage Japanese paper lanterns, and Kt-friend suggested the following course of action:

Yeah, so that's a branch.
Screwed to the wall.
With lanterns.

Kind of college-sophomore crazy, but I dig it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Random things I learned at my new job

1.0 Toward is American English, Towards is British English.
2.0 The grant review processes for research dollars is not exactly what one would call "objective."
3.0 There is more jargon is the world than my mind can possibly process.
3.1 Social determinants of health
3.2 Endpoint
3.3 MUA/P
3.4 Overweight as noun, as in "to decrease overweight and obesity."
Endless alphabet soup: NIH; CLABSI; Rx, Dx, Tx; M&M; BRCA1; MMTV-neu mouse; etc...
4.0 U.S.News & World Report always, always, always looks like a typo.
5.0 Doctors don't hold elevators - even in the parking garage - after work.
5.1 Nurses always look angry. Now I understand why.
6.0 The Shoreway is the best commuter route in Northeast Ohio.
6.1 We have the best sunrises and sunsets in October.
6.2 There are always kite fliers at Edgewater - even at 7 am.
6.3 I still haven't seen the surfers, but I'm optimistic.
7.0 Dansko clogs are not considered work-appropriate attire.
7.2 But cowboy boots go unmentioned.
8.0 The money really does go to patient care.
8.1 Because we're still working with an early 90s donor database that reminds me of the Flying Toaster screensaver.
9.0 Despite warnings that it would, my printer does not actually jam when I re-use paper.
9.1 It's called recycling.
9.2 Deal with it.
10.0 If things that cured cancer in mice could cure cancer in humans, we'd have that checked off the To Do list by now.

Monday, November 1, 2010

My new life

My goodness...Is this thing still on?

So I have this new life now.
New job in a new sector, new home in a new neighborhood, and new habits that go with my new surroundings and I am about a billiondy times less anxious because I proved to myself that the status quo I was mired in could be escaped.

So now, my lazy butt gets up at 6:15, out the door at 7:15 and is often the first one at work (!).

I'm back to regular yoga, at work this time. We have class in a pavilion 9 floors up overlooking the city and lake - I actually get to do sun salutations toward the sun.

I started walking with the Cleveland Hiking Club - with a goal to be capable of handling some significant hikes in the next few years.

I also started Weight Watchers at work, because hell, it's FREE, and since my working environment is generally lacking temptation, it's that much easier to stick to the plan.

I chose my neighborhood because it's walkable and can you believe it, actually I walk a good deal of the time. I am a bit concerned about winter - not because of the cold and snow, but because I haven't yet gauged how safe it is to walk alone after dark and I know it will soon be getting dark at 5pm (shudder).

The thing I lost in all this is flexibility. I can no longer adjust to work flow and take care of this and that during the work day. My evenings are for errands and paying bills, making lunches and ironing. My weekends are for all those things I couldn't dash out at lunch to do because it would take longer than 1 hour.

So it's certainly a trade off, but in this city and in this economy, I am happy to have a job I enjoy at a place I respect with perks I could only dream of (Did I mention yoga!). So I raise my glass to change, and hope I'll be posting here a bit more now that things have settled into a very pleasant routine.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Because starting a new job in a completely different sector isn't change enough, I decided to move within the first month.

I've been in my tiny apartment for 11 years - ok, 1 month short of my 11 year rent-a-versary in 400 sq ft of urban treehouse.

But living in a destination neighborhood has finally worn me out.
Parking's a pain, my stairs are too much for my family and the whole dang place smells of the steel mill and the asphalt factory.

And it's become painfully clear that my neighborhood values the transient visitors' experience over the residents' (Where else would they fail to figure out resident-only parking. Little Italy, Cleveland Heights and Lakewood figured it out... Tremont, not so much.)

So I'm done - I planned to stay put for a bit and see how the job went, but once I got my offer letter, pretty much nothing could keep me from getting the flock out of town.

I am moving to a place with far more practical things within walking distance - things I do on a regular basis, not once in a while: a grocery store, an artisan bread shop, a yarn store, a yacht club, a natural food store and an entrance to one of the best hiking/biking trails in the region.

I'm still keeping to my small house style, as it's a whopping 850 sq ft.

But it has a porch and a dry basement - newly redone hardwood floors and an Energy Star programmable whole house furnace and AC. A peach tree, grapes and raspberries, lovely natural wood built ins and a DRIVEWAY.

Somewhere in my youth or childhood/
I must have done something good.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Random acts of leafing

I start my new job in a week - until then, I seem to keep stumbling into people and projects.

This week, goldleafing for the iconographer I worked for years ago.

I forgot how enjoyable (but tiring) goldleafing can be.

And how much fun it is to come home with gold on my forehead.

You swipe the brush across your forehead before you grab the leaf - the oils are just adhesive enough to allow for secure transport of gold from book to canvas (or wood, as the current case requires).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A good day

Today is a good day.
I just got back from a long weekend in Erie County, visiting my grandmother, picking blueberries and lounging by my cousin's pool each evening.
The best news is that today I got an offer for the job that I have been hoping for.

For better or worse, I've placed a good deal of expectation on this new position.
It provides me the opportunity to switch from art to science.
It focuses my currently broad set of skills into ones that I am keen to hone.
Its (relatively) secure status means that I should be able to finalize my debts pretty much on schedule (March/April now, instead of January/February).
This opens up a whole new world to me.
And the experience of busting my ass to pay off debt makes me that much more hesitant to take on any more.

I feel a sense of freedom mixed in with a healthy dose of security that I haven't felt in a long time. I feel good about my ability to get on with the next phase of my life and grateful that I was able to find employment that - well - kinda changes everything about my career and the direction of my life.

So, today is a good day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

State of Stilgenblogger

I know that it's been very quiet around here. But it's been a cacophonous madhouse in my head.
2010 is now going to have title, "The Year of Loss" when I'm melancholy, "The Year of Change" when I'm optimistic.

A year ago, I could have sworn I was on a path to follow another person's necessitating moves - and I let my adaptability float to the surface and authentically committed to the notion of being the person who would find work where I needed to, assuming I would be ultimately protected by the inherent safety net of couplehood.

A year ago, my employer had, under the watchful eye of an amazing leader, transformed from an organization with a $300k deficit to one with a $11k surplus - there was no fear of downsizing.

But now...
Now I find myself lacking either security blanket.

I thought I had left this far behind, in the years before my masters degree.

I am better prepared to find work, but my interests have changed greatly.
No longer committed to the arts and culture sector, I feel far more inspired by research and design - emerging technologies and alternative energies, medicine and science and things with precise goals, objectives and outcomes (the playground of the grant proposal writer.)

One of the greatest defining things about me is that I am not a coward.
I have been told more than once that I "Suck marrow" - a statement which modesty rarely allows me to admit, but honesty forces me to acknowledge.

I take chances with my life and career, and my reward is sometimes not so rewarding.
I splash about in waters far deeper than I know how to swim in.
But my reward is knowing I tried.
The worst part about this tack is the righteous indignation.

I am far too keenly aware of how much security I have sacrificed in choosing to follow my whims.
And therefore I am easily frustrated by those I see choosing an "easier" path.
It's not right of me, but it's not wrong either.
It simply is.

Where I stand now is at a cross-roads.
I have sent out a slew of applications, mostly outside the Northeast Ohio region.
I am awaiting word on one position that would be ideal and local, but lacking that, there is a good chance my future lies outside the place I've called home for most of my life.

This is an exciting prospect, but frustrating as well, because I poured all my excess funds to pay off the debts I incurred from the last lay-off 8 years ago. I also closed my credit cards. Scary business, moving to a new city lacking a line of credit.

So maybe 2010 is "The Year of Living Dangerously" or "The Year I Removed my Training Wheels" or "The Year I Moved to _________."

Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I am spending time with friends and family. Reading quite a bit and swimming as much as I can - but also focusing my time on splashing in the deeper waters of my imagined new life in support of research.

I am doing pro-bono writing to strengthen my portfolio, and volunteering for a sustainability office in town.

But mostly, trying very hard not to allow one imagined reality to win out over the others, as I know how much it hurts to see those home movies melt in the projector and fade to black.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Up in smoke

How many times must a coincidence occur before it becomes a correlation?
And when does correlation become causation?

I ask this because things seem to catch on fire around me.
Not in a metaphorical sense - but in a real char and burn kind of way.

And now I'm just kind of sure it's me.

Case in point.

About, ummm..., 2 hours ago, I was hanging laundry out back.
I heard the hum of the AC next door (a clinic, closed for the weekend) and then my friends, a POP.
It caught my attention.

And smoke.

Lots of smoke.

So 911 was called - trucks pulled up and tall, burly, uniformed men came tumbling out like so much candy from one of those dispensers at the roller rink...

but I digress.

Me and fire - an uneasy propinquity.
In my 20s, it was the lightning storms in Arizona that seemed to follow me - and others noticed.
We'd get together for a nice evening in the park - blue skies and lovely sunset and... cue LIGHTNING STORM.
Then there were the security lights that turned off when I triggered them.
(this still continues - street lights often turn off when I'm near - but maybe that happens to everyone now and then. Right?... RIGHT?!?)

My fire in 2005 showed me without irony how awful electrical fires can be, and that was swiftly followed by my car mysteriously overheating - to the point that it would visibly smoke - and had to be replaced by a new car.

Earlier this year, I caught that familiar whiff of ozone coming from my laptop plug - as it too fried in my presence.

So kids, what gives?

Am I some rare thing that excites molecules to the point of combustibility?

Can I harness this power and use it for good?
To smite my enemies?
To win friends and influence people?
To start awesome (though environmentally nasty) campfires for s'mores and general campin' fun?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June - or - Where has this month gone?

To a small succulent garden on a recently tidied up backporch.

To a collage of ferns on that same porch.

To a cotton sweater whipped up in 3 days.

And to the coolest pair of socks I've ever made.

Seriously, how cool is that lace?

I got a book that marries western knitting with Japanese techniques - Knitted Socks East and West - and I'm making my way through the patterns. Each one is like a small puzzle - and I love the challenge.

Also this month:
Back to yoga.
Playing happy homemaker making strawberry jam and fresh rolls.
Actively changing the direction of my career.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Indicators of a coming Apocalypse

This never happens.


When it's raining frogs and Pi ceases to be 3.14 - don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Knit Knit Knit

I finished loads of knitting in the past few months.

The St. Louise Spring Switchback Socks.

These quickly became my favorite spring socks, this fresh spring green color is fast taking over my wardrobe and I don't mind a bit.
The downside of these socks is that the yarn was unknown to me, and I since learned that it tends to felt easily. So I wash them in a Tupperware bowl with a lid, shaking the bezeezus out of it... whilst doing this last time, I had a vision of myself doing most of my wash this way - in a plastic bowl with a good lid. I imagine that when I take the off-the-grid plunge, that will be the best way to clean my undernothings, so I best get practice now.

My Lovely Lavender Cape!

Ok, so there is nothing remotely cape-like about this, but the way it's supposed to be worn renders the wearer truly triangular. If I were unfortunate enough to be transported to Flatland, my appearance in this sweater as designed would label me as one just recently removed from serfdom.
So I changed it up a bit and now it's a great wrappable vest-like thing.

And finally, the DRESS!

I love my dress. The blue yarn is cotton/cashmere and the brown is wool/silk.
I haven't yet worn this, as I cannot find my white short-sleeved blouse to wear under it - but I may need to take it out for a wear anyway.

I love it.

It makes my eyes bluer - and since I'm walking around aware that I knit A DRESS...
~no, wait~
...a dress with the most complicated lace I could ever imagine ~
...out of cotton spun with cashmere ~
...that my eyes sparkle with such accomplishment and grace that one cannot begin to imagine that I have ever felt a twinge of disappointment or imbibed anything but clouds and sunshine and true love.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dismantling assumptions

Anytime I begin a project, I start by creating a list of assumptions.
It's something I learned in my Masters program as a way to create context for whatever plan or project you're preparing to launch.

I love a good solid perimeter, and assumptions provide that by defining norms that I can exist within. Lacking those, I lose my confidence, feel unanchored, become a chronic self-doubter and a general nightmare to be around.

I need my assumptions.

Sometimes, they're really helpful, like axioms or postulates.
Here's the tricky bit, when think your assumption is an axiom - or otherwise self-evident and lacking further demonstration - Truth is taken for granted.

If I am entering into something that I expect to get messy, I like to try and set some of these helpful guides - which removes all that tricksy human inconsistency - unless of course, it doesn't.

Then there are the bad assumptions, which is what this post is really about.

I'm looking to redirect my life, career-wise.
And to do that, I have to plow through some serious assumptions. My best friend pointed this out to me this weekend.

We've both limited ourselves through assumption. For me, it's that I let my past define my future.
I think things like, "I will never have a job that pays really well."
I think that mostly because I've never *had* a job that pays really well.

I think that because I only have experience in the arts, that I can only get a job in the arts
(see above about the whole not paying well thing.)

I assume that I cannot live in the markets I want to live in at my current salary, because I assume I will always make my current salary.

I assume that if I work for a corporation, that I will be selling out and lose my soul to corporate machinations.

I assume that the process of finding an appropriate posting outside my experience will be so daunting and awful that I can't bring myself to begin.

Until I did.

Guess what? People need proposal writers.
Lots of people need them.
And internal communications.
And people who can translate data into text and stories.

Guess what I do.


I do loads of that with tight resources and quick turnaround and almost zero support outside of me.

And guess who wants these roles.
People who do awesome things with alternative energies and emerging technologies that I can get behind: Siemens, GE, Philips, and those are just the obvious ones.

Now, these postings, they're in PA and CT and IL and The Netherlands...
I could be in the Netherlands.

How Dutch am I? (Ok, not at all. More Anglo/Austro/Danish/Swiss, but still. I love a tulip.)

Point being - I gotta identify these nasty assumptions and crush them - so I can get on to being someone who isn't expending time and effort on twisting uncomfortably in their steely, suffocating binds.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The tremendous irrationality of Want

This has little to do with anything.

I bought an awesome sheet set about 7 or more years ago: blue with lavender plaid. Crisp cotton - generally lovely.

So, in my knitting frenzy, I've been watching an episode or two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix. In Season 5, I noticed that the same sheet set is used regularly in the set dressing.
I see it, I love it and I think, "I WANT those sheets."

Ok - I HAVE those sheets.

How can I be coveting something I already own and am, in fact, making use of at this very moment?

I ask you, what the hell is going on here?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Picking up the pieces

Break-ups are never easy - even more so when some outdated cultural nonsense is to blame.

So, what's a girl to do?


Yarn - Lorna's Laces from my stash (via Laura's stash).
Pattern - modified ridge stitch from the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework (pilfered from my parent's house.)

And sew.
Fabric - Hobby Lobby in Kent (!?!)

Just to indulge in some serious self-pity, I celebrated the fruit of other people's successes to soothe (or maybe revel in) my current state of loss.

But with wickedly cute results....

Behold, I jumped on the appliqued onesie bandwagon!

Lots of nods to Mommy's love of argyle and turtles, and Daddy's businessman lifestyle.

Creativity: Brought to you by loss and frustration since 3,000 BC.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Some random knitting

(see, I have been up to something all this time.)

Some stranding...

Some baby gifts...

Some socks... (see the St. Louis Arch there in the background - more pics of that trip to come)

And just for fun.
I house-sit regularly and they have a blanket I snuggle up with on cool nights.
I caught the tag out of the corner of my eye and almost spat out my tea with giggles.

That's right -

I have also finished a dress, started another pair of socks, presented at a conference on a subject I am just getting to know to a group I never belonged to and I think I may be single again.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A little tropical flora and fauna

This year has allowed me to travel a bit more than usual...

Mostly to Illinois to visit the Physicist (which often means side trips to other cities in the Midwest - we're to visit the St. Louis Arch this weekend... I'm lobbying for a side trip to the Ozark Trail).

I also took a long weekend to visit my grandmother in Florida about a month ago.
I wanted to visit the Everglades and see the ocean.

Although we were limited by time - I got to spend a great day seeing lots of things I don't get to see in our more temperate zone.

This guy here, he was <1 foot away. Since it had been a cold and dry winter, they move S L O W L Y - so being so close isn't as terrifying as it would seem.

Although the rangers suggested we didn't poke him to make sure he wasn't dead.
THAT'S why they're the Ranger...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Scandinavian Journey

Update: My inner fiscal conservative is making TSK TSK noises and forcing me to dig deeper into my ability to do this, since it would require a furlough from work in addition to having cash on hand...

But there will be more adventure in 2010 - regardless of the continent.


So it looks as though I will be heading to Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki - maybe even St. Petersburg - for 2 weeks this summer.

I can't even begin to believe that this may actually happen.

That's four more countries in my passport.

A chance to have the European backpacking trip I never had in college.

An excuse to learn to say "Where is the nearest yarn shop?" in Dane-Norwe-Fin-Russian!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Foster yarn: part II

Pretty quickly after learning how to knit, I realized how expensive a good yarn can be.
A good sock yarn can fetch $20 a skein, and often that's just enough for one sock.

I wasn't sure how I felt about that, so I took to taking in yarns that friends were destashing - or offering as a reward from detangling - or some other challenge - that would result in the ownership of some yarn I couldn't imagine myself buying, but was all too happy to play with.

Those days are (somewhat) gone. I'm less appalled by the price of yarn - although I'm still sensitive to budgetary constraints. But I can honestly admit that I spend more on yarn than I do on food, electricity or gas on a monthly basis.

That said, my favorite foster yarn is finally knit up into something wearable! Socks!

And they come with a drawn out story that few will care to hear, but many will be forced to endure.

It started on a cool September day in 2008.
That's right.
(This is history, folks.)

Anyway, Ms. Affiknitty got some lovely Koigu and decided to double strand it into a cowl, creating the infamous Color of Disappointment cowl.

Time went on and she offered me the yarn if I was willing to frog and rewind the yarn.

So I did.
And I considered many a sock pattern for this yarn.
Hemmed and hawed.
Finally, I settled on Spring Forward.
Easy lace - sweet - if done correctly, a pogo stick would soon be my mode of transport (as the picture indicates).

I blogged about it then.

Look how far I got!
But I succumbed to the terrible urge to put them down and poof...
I lost my place.
I tried to start again, but there were too many problems.
So I frogged them.

I rewound the yarn in December and decided I needed to try again - this time the Synesthesia sock.

Again, toe up, two at a time.

And... crap. I forgot that it was toe up and was working them like the ankle so the bottoms weren't flat, but lace, and gah!
I got 3 inches in before I realized it.

Swear more.

So I started again. And I got kinda far - to the heel.
Put it down, but picked it back up again.
Got through the heel, but put it down (STOP PUTTING IT DOWN!)
Finally, this weekend I took it and only it to River Colors, determined to finish these socks. Not to be distracted by colorwork or stash or some crazy yarn I stumbled on in a moment of weakness.With Bob as my witness, I will finish these socks!

And I did!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yup - Knitting

A stranded cowl...

A leafy shrug..

A stripey weekend v-neck...

A dress for spring...

The thickest, warmest sweater I'll ever wear...

Oh - and some origami too.

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'


They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yoga, work and knitting

That pretty well sums up the last month or so.

I can't show off the yoga, but I can share the knitting,
(Like I would miss the chance to do that!)

Some mittens for me...

And a sweater, too...

A bag for my smaller knits...

A cashmere cowl for Mom...

and convertible mitts for Dad...

Just for fun...

Updated with deep red top-stitching to keep my toes toasty in a more fashionable manner...

Time to get back to knitting - so much more to do!