Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The end of August

Can you believe it? Can you believe that August is over? Luckily, in the Wilamette valley, as in Camelot, "Summer lingers through September," (which is great, because it doesn't start till after the 4th of July) but still . . the summer sense of time suspended is crumbling. The days are running over us again, on their little mouse feet. It's cool and starry when I go get the paper at 5AM. Trees are starting drought-drop of leaves. That zucchini that was hidden behind the leaves now appears, big as a salmon poacher and fit for nothing but hot compost. One corner of the yard is cobbled with apples because we just can't get organized to harvest. And I'm thinking of cooler weather colors. A cranberry top? A brown skirt? NO!! CLING to summer. Wear something pink and fluffy while you still can!!Remember mid-march and put on a Hawaiian shirt in defiance! I won't let summer be over! I won't, won't won't!!

I woke up last night with twelve pounds of Fly cat curled on my belly. Obviously I was warm and soft and a perfect cat bed. Good slave.

It rained yesterday, and the cats are really, really angry at us. All the time and work they have put in on us, and we STILL can't get the weather right!! Bad slaves.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The pink orphan sweater is three balls full

A while ago I dyed a bump of white roving by soaking one side in pink dye and the other side in purple, then spinning it up. I then plied the yarn on itself. Since I like chunky yarn with lots of texture, I have never bothered to learn to spin smooth and fine. I am now knitting that pink and purply yarn on size 10 needles, and it goes like a brushfire in the tumbleweeds! This will be a thick, heavy, oh so cozy garment for some cold kid in Romania. It's nice to have a fast project while I patiently, patiently, knit on the silk.

Today I am taking GEDs to the jail. Too bad I can't take my knitting in with me. Still, it gives me time to work on the western. And soon we will be doing tax-board tests, and that gives me four hours of knitting time for every test. Who can complain about that?

Friday, DH and I will be going to the State Fair to see the chickens and sheepies and goats and quilts and pickles and largest zucchini, and biggesst sunflower and so on. Our state also has poetry contests. This is the first year in seven I have not had an entry. Once I won a purple ribbon grand prize with this poem:

98 in the shade

Knee deep in daisies,
I wade the selvedges of the summer,
-- the weedy waste edges of the standing wheat --
with the full weight of the sun on my shoulders,
roasting the marrow of my bones,
filling my blood with a flickering quick vitality.
each step kicks up sprays of grasshoppers,
popping and rattling,
bright, chitinous drops from this drowsy ocean
washing in whiteflower froth against my shins
while the bitter broken-daisy scent stings the air.
A hawk drops. I turn to watch.
And one pearl of perspiration
slithers like a lizard
down my spine.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tuesday news

I'm rushing off to work to fill in for a fallen comrade. She caught some sort of viral ick from her grandson (who wants to be a bulldozer when he grows up) and needs to stay by her friendly home toilet. (It really sucks when you have to be sick with a strange toilet. Even the toilet at work, with which you have established an acquaintance, is not as comforting as that porcelain chalice at home.) I have long contended that kids are germ-bags in footie pajamas. Wish we could spray them with lysol when they approach. Not politically correct I fear.

Started work on the silk sweater. It will be a plain dark-ish jewel neck mitered sweater, with a seperate lacey lighter colored beaded over-collar to make it party wear. And it will take for frickin' ever since I'm junoesque and knitting on size one needles. But it is a pure treat to work on. Luscious!! TV knitting. I'm taking the hand-spun pink orphan sweater to work with me. I can knit without watching that one.

Joy to all!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Back into harness

DH is off to work (at 5:15 every weekday) and as a part-time employee, I have the day free - as it were - so errands will be run, kitties will be petted, another thousand words will go into the new novel, and knitting may be initiated. I have silk (Thank you Dave! ) And I plan to find beads. Three shades of silk in alternating rows in seed stitch with beads? sounds like a party sweater to me!

I finished a knitted linen table-cloth thingy last night. Time to wash and block. If you want your linen to soften quickly, Soak it over night, then freeze it, microwave it hot, and freeze it again a few times. It breaks down the stiff fibers quicker. I used to be one of the only weavers on the west coast who made linsey-woolsey yardage. Then I blew out my shoulders and I don't weave much anymore. Knitting is kinder, gentler, and more portable.

If you wear your socks before you get the ends woven in, do they still count as finished objects?

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Thanks to Amy Lane for the appropriate name for my darling pussycats when they have carpeted the laundry-room floor with feces. They are little crapweasles!

Thanks to my friend Tim who has suggested that the next time I am beseiged by ants, to feed them Nutrasweet which, he tells me, was first developed as an insecticide.

Thanks to Blogspot for allowing me to post three photos. I am again blocked, but at least I got a shot at it.

Thanks to David of Cabin Cove whose yarn was waiting to brighten my heart when I arrived home. I wanted to unwind the skeins and rub them all over my body - they are sooo soft and pretty!! But I took a bubblebath first.

Thanks to Tim a second time for pointing out to me how fortunate it is that we have three little pussycats, and not three cougars. (Imagine cleaning that litterbox. ) The entire house would have been knee deep in cat crap!

Thanks to the powers that be for our warm, safe, dry home and the soft, ant-free bed to snooze in.

And thanks for checking in with me again, my friend!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

wandering mitten on a tub crawl

Hey, I got a picture onto the blog! OK, it's upside down and you can't see anything, but this is a lucky first step. This is me showing my wandering mitten how to do a tub crawl at the wildly expensive Street of Dreams. The mittens are finished. All I have to do now is burn off the rest of the roll, get the film developed, scan it into the computer, and send the photo off to Dave for his Bitchin' Mittens contest before Labor Day. Piece of cake!

And here's me with one and a half wandering mittens up against the wall at school. Wow! This photo stuff is cool!

And as long as I'm on a roll, here's a photo collage of a flock of shawls knitted up and sent off to Afghanistan last year. Well, the black one has a crocheted edge, and the pink one is all crochet, but you get the drift.

Home at last!

It was a rough ten days in LA. Did you know they have drive through liquor stores? I can see why! Didn't take advantage, but considered it.

On Sunday we moved to a different hotel, closer to DH's mom's house. It was lateish when we checked in. With my AAA discount we got a room at the Saddleback Inn for $69 a day, and oh boy, do you get what you pay for! As we were moving our bag from the car into the room, I noticed a couple of working girls plying their trade right across the fence from the parking lot. The room smelled like a wet dog. The exhaust fan in the bathroom didn't work, and the cable TV wasn't functioning. It's been a long time since I watched the news in black and white in a snowstorm. But we were just too beat to complain or make changes.

Every day, we stopped at the desk to report a lack of satisfaction and every day, they gave us sincere apologies and promises to get it fixed. And we stayed because his mom lives close to Dizzyland and also close to Biola College which was starting the new semester that week so all the parents had to be there to wish their darlings well. Any nicer hotel in the area was already booked solid except for the presedential suites.

A day or so later, we got ants in the bathroom. On the last night, we found a homeless man digging ice out of the machine right across from our door. The TV had been fixed, and the ants moved into the bed with us. Eentsy, beentsy black ants. At first, I thought I was just itchy and twitchy due to all the stress and fatigue. Then I felt something roll under my fingers when I rubbed a tickle. You know that state when you are just too sleepy to deal with it? I was there. Doze a while, crush a few more ants in the dark, doze a while longer, crush a few more. One ran across my lips and I opened my mouth in unconscious reflex. Ants do not taste good. Quite peppery.

So I am preparing my letter of complaint and wondering if I should send it to the board of health as well as the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce and the management of the Saddleback Inn.

And then we finally returned home (hooray hooray!!) Our usual cat-sitter hadn't been able to help us but her step-dad was between jobs, so he took it on. He did an excellent job of bringing in the mail and the papers, and feeding and watering the cats. He did not touch the litterboxes. He did not touch the litterboxes! Three cats time ten days quickly overfilled the three big litterboxes. Then they began leaving piles near the boxes. Then further away. There were 17 reeking piles of poop waiting for me when we arrived in the dark of Friday night. I nearly wept. Then I reminded myself that there are many people who no longer have a house or kitties to return to, so I pulled my socks up and got the job done. I also removed the two dead mice that were rotting under the sink and re-set the traps. And then I took a long hot bubblebath in MY bathtub and lay down beside my husband in OUR bed with our kitties (henceforth to be known as the crapweasles) and slept the sleep of the terminally wrung out till 6 am. Since then I have been doing laundry, trying to get the poop stink and stains out of the hardwood floor, paying bills, and trying to catch up on e-mail. Oh, golly it's good to be home!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

checking in

Due to a family emergency we are in LA till Friday the 25th. LA is not my favorite place in the world, but there are engouh odd sights to keep me amused. There was a wedding at the hotel we are staying in. One of the groom's men was wearing a nice rented tux and red rubber flip-flop sandals.

There are more hard-bodied blondes in this city than in an iceberg full of frozen Norwegians. I am over the flab limit and definitely under-dyed. I keep my Oregon papers handy lest the beauty police snatch me up, lipo-suction the excess and shoot my face full of bo-tox.

I have noticed that many of the lovely young women with long straight glossy dark hair ar streaking and dying it in tiger-stripes. Waste of time in north-country where your head is shoved under a hat nine months out of twelve.

Don't know when I'll hit a computer again. Check in with me on Saturday afternoon for a full report.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Running the trap line

The cats are useless. They are afraid of mice. I bought traps, baited them with peanut butter and caught 11 in six days so far. As I was re-baiting one trap, I saw motion out of the corner of my eye and turned my head to see a mouse dive into the sink. When it realized I had spotted it, it dived down the garbage disposal.

No, I didn't. I put a plastic bag over my hand, reached into the disposal, carefully pulled the tiny terrified thing out, carried it to the far end of the yard, and released it into the neighbor's bushes. It probably made it back to my house within the hour.

I am soft. I can bear to set traps and allow them to be killed, but I do not have the cohones to actively take their teensy verminous lives. So twice a day I run my trap lines, then wash my hands till they are dried OUT!

So when is it time to call in the professionals?

The garbage can was leaning against the inside of the cupboarrd door slightly. when I opened the door, the can came down on a mouse tail, trapping the little guy. I picked him up and he screamed. How can you kill something that screams in fear? Yes, it fouls my house and spreads contagion and can't eat a bite without pooping. And I can't bring myself to personally extinguish that tiny spark of life. It's not like I'm gonna eat it. It isn't going to attack me. It just wants to be a mouse in my kitchen. Out to the bushes for you, too! This weekend, we are doing a big sanitizing of surfaces and plugging of all possible holes. Maybe that will do the trick. Wish us luck. A POX on this plague of mice!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Bite

Yesterday, DH and I decided, on a whim, to attend "The Bite of Portland" which allegedly is an opportunity for the city's restaurants to present their cuisine in bite-sized portions to the general public. I found the selection surprisingly limited, the prices wildly inflated ($6 for a cupcake-sized salad? I think it should contain gold leaf at that price!) and, since it had been scheduled to coincide with the nation's second-largest bike-a-thon (18 thousand participants)which finished right in front of the main entrance, it was impossibly crowded. Yo! People with bikes! Watch where you are pushing that thing!! I had tire tread marks on my calves!

Portland Oregon is very bike-friendly. There are many, many bicyclists. We need to teach these folks basic bike courtesy. When you are passing a pedestrian, please, please holler, "On your left." (or right as the case may be.) Your right hand is the one you put over your heart when you pledge allegiance. If you can't remember in time, take remedial classes. Do not holler "On your left." and attempt to pass on the other left side. It hurts. Do not try to speed by silently. Pedestrians can fllinch you right off your wheels if you startle them. I would love to hear from bicyclists what sort of courtesy pedestrians need to offer. Aside from abandoning the sidewalks alltogether, I am willing to comply.

I thought I had prepared sufficiently for the expedition. Comfy shoes, lightweight clothes, sunblock, hat, water. But a combination of the heat and the short steps necessitated by the crowds produced uncomfortable chafing between my cheeks. DH noticed my fidgety wiggles and cocked an enquiring eyebrow. "I should have used some talcum powder before we left," I admitted, "but it's so hard to apply that I didn't bother."

"What you need," he announced, "is a butt duster."

I laughed all the way home.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Knitting at L.'s

A bunch of us get together about once a month (usually not July or December because everyone has too much else going on, but the other ten months anyhow) to play ladies and drink tea and knit and socialize and eat quantities of treats. This month, L. Was kind enough to host the soiree. She lives in the country on the bank of a river. Driving to her home, through the August morning, was a treat in and of itself. Wish I had a chauffeur so I could gawk more thoroughly at the estates I passed. One horse ranch - pardon me - "equestrian facility" - even had a barn with a million-dollar view. And the house would suit the queen of England.

But when I wended my way down the hill and along all the winding roads overhung with the late summer trees, and found L.'s home, I was so enchanted I didn't want to leave. This is a home where peace and beauty are important. The river flows by about 40 feet below, and the whole house faces the view. The bedroom overlooks the river. Imagine lying in bed and being able to watch the water flow past. Under the stars, in the sun, in the rain, morning and evening and duck-hunkered noon, the river quietly, patiently, irresistibly flows past. Oh L., how I envy your view!

Walking through the front door was like passing through some magic portal. Warmth and intelligence and graciousness resonated off all the walls. And the food? Omigawd, the food!
The most perfect ripe strawberries with cream-fraiche for dipping. Lemon-blackberry muffins with cardamom. Ginger cookies with lemon zest. And delectable treats in the shape of a chocolate-almond tender meringue. Also French cherry-flavored tea. I nearly waddled out. It made me glad to have tastebuds!

Summer is busy for folks, and our numbers were low. We began asking about one another's antecedants and found, to some surprise, that one of our number is a missionary kid who was sent off to boarding school at tender age of six. The things you never learn about people till you ask!

L has a bathroom with a soaking tub to swoon over. Since I had the wandering mitten along, I asked if I could extend the mitten's tub crawl. L. was delighted with the idea. Her husband had come in for lunch by that time, and was puzzled by us giggling in the bathroom and taking pictures of knitting. It's hard to explain, but he very wisely took the attitude that since it gives us such simple pleasure, it's not necessary for him to comprehend.

It would be good to take a nice brisk walk to start working off all those treats. On the other hand, this might be a hard winter, and I may need that thermal quilt of fat on my ribs. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

maybe a picture?

I got the film back from the store and I have a BUNCH of cool pictures of work completed. I have printed off the instructions for uploading. The one I want to start with is only 90 MB in a jpg file, and STILL that sucker won't load! I have pictures of the wandering mitten, henceforth to be known as W(andering) L(eft) Mitten since I finished it last night and am starting
R(oaming) R(ight) mitten today. WL Mittten is shown with the Master and Commander. WL is shown doing a tub crawl. WL is shown with me, doing a tub crawl. WL is shown hanging out in the sling chair in the backyard. None of this will upload. Help? blogspot says they are working on it.

I have been trying on WL Mitten as I knitted, working the mitt to fitt. When I finished, I pulled it off to gaze admiringly at it. Holy crow I have long skinny hands!! As hands, I'm used to them, but as a mitten, it looks deformed. Like Dave's digital mitts, it looks crafted for an alien. Oh well, I have long suspected I didn't originate on this planet. Nor did you, I'm willing to bet.

Friday, August 11, 2006

waiting for the AC blow (Godot)

The compressor went out on the heat pump right at the start of the heat wave weeks ago. Not realizing what the problem was, we waited a sweaty day to see if it would heal itself, then spent a few steamy days poking at various bits of apparatus to see if that would cure it. Finally, DH visited out neighbor who makes a living working on heating and cooling systems. He's a good neighbor. He came over, pulled things apart, used complex power tools, got to demonstrate his mechanical acuity, and diagnosed the problem. And wonder of wonders, when I showed him the paperwork, he pointed out that we are still under warranty!! And all this for just one cold beer! This is a GOOD neighbor!!

So I called the heat pump people and a week later they were able to send out someone to officialy check it out. Someone had to hang around and wait till he showed, and I work part-time, so it was my day that got curtailed. Oh well, there are other days to run errands. I can always feed the kitties canned tuna if we run out of cat-food. (see them jump for joy)

Then, after the nice young man came, pulled the heat-pump apart, and diagnosed exactly the same as our neighbor, we had to put in an order for a compressor. And wait. The heat wave has blown out a LOT of heat pumps in the US. The compressors are now at a premium. and once it arrived, the installers were all busy installing other people's pumps, and we had to wait in line. We were scheduled for sometime in September. But Wednesday afternoon we got a call that there had been a cancellation and if one of us could be home on Thursday, they could install our compressor. Just because I'm not working that day, it doesn't mean I had planned to be quietly sitting in the house with my hands folded. But I re-scheduled my plans and begged the heat-pump people to come. I was still in my bathrobe when the nice young man arrived at 7:45. I had to be in the house while he worked, and since it was a moderately cool day, I decided to catch up on three months of ironing. As a Texan friend of mine once said, "Ah ain't an arhnin' woman."

My spritzer bottle ceased to spritz but could only dribble pathetically when I squeezed both trigger and soft-sided bottle simultaneously. So there was a brief ironing hiatus while I emptied my emptiest spray bottle (Febreeze. The couch, chairs, rug and closet now smell springtime fresh. As do all the shirts, skirts and linen napkins I spritzed with the water-filled bottle thereafter.) I ironed till my legs ached, sat for lunch, then stood and ironed some more. I finished the job!! This is the first time I have had nothing needing to be ironed in - well, I don't remember when we used those linen napkins. Christmas? Thanksgiving? I am SOOO pleased and proud! And we will, by god, wear polyester-blend knits for a few days!!

Oh, and after 4 1/2 houurs, the heat pump got fixed too. So we have freshly pressed clothes and a cool house. It was a good morning's work!

DH likes a cooler house than I do. Luckily I finished the white harlequin sweater last night. Tres cozy, and it looks really, really nice. Too damn bad that Blogger won't load my pictures. Bad blogger!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I am not a blind rat . . .

There is no cheese! Sometimes I can load pictures and sometimes I can't and - "It's not my fault!" (Lando Calrissian in" Return of the Jedi. ") I find comfort in the fact that I am doing it all correctly, and jealousy in the fact that everyone else CAN load and post all their wonderful photos. But today, I am going to load a bunch of photos in and have them poised and ready so I can show you the flock of shawls that flew through our house last year on their way to Afghanistan Refugee Relief (We went to a lot of movies last summer - great for mindless shawling.) and the wandering mitten, and the LOUD sweater and the white harlequin cardigan and, . . . you folks are gonna have to look at my stuff whether you want to or not!!


By the way, boys and girls, there's a full moon tonight. Isn't it time to go out and howl? One year when I was doing historic re-enactment at the State fair, shortly after the last gawking geek had been herded gently off the grounds, one of the guys in the encampment brought out his guitar and began playing some mournful, sexy blues. "I really miss my wife." he explained. We camped for over two weeks, and many of us had spouses with real jobs. Sitting around, listening to him, we all began to miss our beloveds. Someone sighed. Someone moaned. And then someone threw her head back and emitted a lonesome howl. Others joined in. Soon, we were all engaged in full-throated coyote song. The guard dogs in the 4H barns added their contribution. The pet dogs in the RV park on the far side of the fairgrounds began to yelp and yip and bay as well. There is great joy, satisfaction and release when the whole pack sings together.

The security guards were really, really pissed at us when they found out we had initiated the ruckus. (A couple of Demolay boys who were sleeping in the barn with their cows ratted us out.) I haven't been so thouroughly scolded since I was four. The Pioneer Village was forbidden blues guitar for the rest of the fair. (two more nights. We managed to behave for THAT long.)

So tonight, go outside, turn your face to the sky, and wind up every dog in the neighborhood. HOWLLLLLL! Coyote song is good for what ails you. But watch out for those security guards.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

shades of blue

To the left we see a picture of my beloved fingerless gloves. As you can see, I LIKE color! And I am not a slave to symmetry. No one will ever steal these gloves. If left at a friend's house, they are immediately identifiable and quickly returned. Color is GOOD!

My friend TY who is evidently a shy guy, e-mailed me this color list to get things going. Wahoo!

azuline blue, azure, Blueberry, Blue feather ( I had a cat named Blue Feather), blue willow, Costa Rica Blue, celeste ( Sky blue), Cerulean blue, cobalt blue, Chromium blue, Cornflower blue, Duck egg blue, Hyacinth blue, Indigo , Lavender blue, Madras blue , Manganese blue, Metallic blue
Navy blue, Niagara blue, Peacock blue, Periwinkle blue , perse, Phthalo blue , Prussian blue, royal blue, Russian blue, Sapphire, Smalt (A deep blue), Turquoise blue, Ultramarine blue
Watchet ( a pale blue )

I am especially enthralled with phthalo blue and smalt. What wonderful words for a Scrabble game!

Anybody else got any favorite color names?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


One of the things I love best about summer is all the color. I can lounge in the sling chair and name the shades of green around me for about an hour and not repeat one name. The roses, though blowsy as original Grateful Dead groupies, are flaunting all their tints and hues at full volume. Gladiolas, lillies and dahlias blaze with gaudy abandon. I could just wallow in it. And, having worked in the fashion industry, I am fascinated by the names for colors. Of course, you can't have just blue. There's lake and indigo and navy and cerrulean and azure and sapphire and lapis and larkspur and bristol and baby . . . .come on, give me five more blues. I dare ya!

Received some of Dave Daniel's Cabin Cove yarn yesterday. It is so yumm-luscious that I have to have more. And I hear that he has been dying lately. Oh joy! I have been good about stash reduction. I can see the back of a shelf. Surely I'm allowed . . . Oh phooey on the rationalizing. I'm gonna do it. Dave does GOOD color.

Monday, August 07, 2006


I'm so grateful to be a DINK. (Double Income, No Kids.) We slept in till noon on Sunday. then DH killed demon cows while I, ignoring ironing and bills and detritus piled as high as an elephant's eyebrow, took the wandering mitten out in the back yard and hung out in the sling chair under the walnut tree. Ninety degrees with a light breeze is exquisitely ideal sling chair weather, and it happens rarely enough that I couldn't pass it by.

While knitting away, I heard an odd sound as of rain pattering through the leaves. And there was a markedly confined hail of something . . . tiny chips of something green. I peered up through the leaves and saw an eye like a bright black bead peering back at me. Then, after a few pre-emptory barks, the hail of green chips resumed. The red squirrels are feasting on green walnuts. They hold them in those clever little paws and chip off half the outer husk, then chisel through the tender new hull, and stuff their fat little cheeks with the tasty, nutritious nuts. And then, with malice aforethought, they drop the remaining half-hull onto me in my sling chair. Two squirrels and I kept ourselves well amused by this for almost three hours. Surely, I am among the most fortunate of women, to have the time free to hang out with squirrels on an August afternoon.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What a wedding!

Miss L from my writer's group, after decades of co-habitation, finally agreed to make an honest man of Mr. B. They tied the knot at her brother's place, a comfy home wayyyy out in the woods. As I was following the excellent map and the excellent signs, I noticed ahead of me on the winding mountain roads, a gorgeous vintage red convertible that looked like maybe a stutz-bearcat, but what do I know about cars? However, I DID know that, since Miss L. and Mr. B. do classic car restoration (Miss L. also used to drive in stock-car races!) this car was probably headed for their wedding. Soon, we had a parade of six other wedding-bound cars following the red convertible. It's a darn good thing that they didn't get lost.

There couldn't have had a better day if they had picked it out of a catalog - sunny, low 80s, mild breeze. The ceremony was performed in front of a stand of firs that shaded the joyous audience. There was a pool, and a gazillion giggly, gleeful kids. There was a potluck feed and tables in the shade and tubs full of ice and bottled water and beer. There was a live rock and roll band. And for a wedding cake, they did a potluck on that as well, so we got our choices of German chocolate, Pink champagne, Lemon, Red velvet, a chocolate cheesecake, and a chocolate candybar pie. Lots of leftovers too!

The bride wore a dress (!) and hairspray (!!) and makeup ( are pigs flying?) And she looked just stunnning!! The groom wore a nice, custom-made hawaiian shirt and a big, goofy grin. Last time I saw a guy that happy was when DH and I got hitched.

As for something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, she had a pair of old amber earrings loaned by a friend, a new brown and tan halter neck dress that showed off her gorgeous trim back to perfection, and a big blue bruise under one eye that she had picked up while gardening. She bent to water a plant and nearly gouged her eye out on a bamboo plant stake. She now has a new motto. "Any day you don't put your eye out is a glorious day!"

There were tubs full of ice with bottled water and beer. The wandering mitten did yet another tub crawl, but the ligting may not have worked. I will burn a few more photos today and get the roll of film in to Costco ASAP.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The State Fair Approacheth

. . . and here's me with nothing to enter. I've been giving away or wearing things as I knit them. Hmmm - next year, plan this better. Oh well, at least I can mat up a couple of poems and enter those.

Knit-wise, I have started another orphan sweater - this one of mottley pink handspun wool. And I am carrying the wandering mitten around for a few stitches here and there. The self-heating stitch, a slip-stitch, does wonderful things with the hand-painted yarn. I doubt it will be a pair in time for the "Bitchin Mittens" but you never know. I found a nice cigar tin to carry the wooden double-points in, which makes me very happy (The cuff and thumb are knit on size 1s, the whole hand part is knit on size 5s.)

I'm taking a roll of film to the store today, so in a couple of days, I can start scanning in a few more new photos. In the meantime, lessee if I can pull up the fingerless gloves.

Ahhhh batcrap! Snellfrocky! Rastlefratz! I lay hands upon this accursed computer and cast out the gremlins! Beggone you imps of impediment! Betake yourselves to the neighbor's boombox and never enter my tower nor keyboard, my internet nor upload programs again. In the name of Buckminster Fuller I command you!

Well, that was a futile rant. I must not be inside the golden hour. I'll figure this out. Really I will. Even a blind rat finds the cheese eventually.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Street of dreams

Instead of a trekking sock, I have decided to do a wandering mitten. I took the mitten to the Street of Dreams yesterday, and sent it on a tub crawl, taking pictures of the mitten cuff in the sybaritic soaking tubs of each master suite in these multi-million dollar homes. Hope the pictures come out ok. So far, the mitten is only a longish cuff in Lorna's Laces "Lakeview." I am going to try the self-heating mitten pattern from my book and see how it works up in hand-painted yarn.

The houses were surprisingly attractive. Yeah, lots of teensy tile in impractical places, and yeah, you are going to HAVE to get in professionals on a regular basis to clean the two-story windows in the parlor, but really, many of the homes were actually liveable. One sort of rambled, with charming alcoves here and there, just big enough for an overstuffed, double-wide chair and a side table with a good reading lamp. One had a "Juliet" room with a balcony over the closet (reached by a ladder) and a little boy's room with the bed framed in to look like a box-car. Real wheels under it and everything. It would break your back to try to make it, but it sure was cute.

DH loved the outside rooms - sort of deep covered porches with built in gas barbecue grill, sink, refrigerator. Lots of comfy, casual chairs and tables. In the Pacific Northwest there are about three months in the year that you would actually want to use these places, but since we were checking them out on a day that would have been perfect, it's hard to be practical. I can see taking the laptop and a cup of tea out there on a sunny morning. And a quilt and a coat and a warm hat and heavy socks . . .

The beautiful outdoor furniture will need to have all the comfy cushions taken in every night, or the possums will pee on it, rip the cushions apart and make nests of the stuffing. If the grills aren't cleaned completely every time they are used, the raccoons, with their clever little paws, will get into them lick the racks for the last bit of flavor, and poop on what they can't reach.

And still, I loved the fantasies. The dun-gold bedroom with the cream silk duvet embroidered with cream and pale peach peonies . . I can see myself propped up amongst the huge fluffy cream-colored satin pillows, gazing out at the green and leafy view, wearing a gorgeous silk pegnoir, and smiling as DH brings me a cup of tea from the espresso machine in the walk-through closet. Reality check. I sleep in old t-shirts and don't OWN a silk pegnoir. I sleep without a pillow. Given a chance, I invariably wake and rise before DH. And as for the view, The surrounding lots will be developed just as soon as the show is over, so at best, I can gaze at the neighbor's roofline, and at worst, I will be looking into their kitchen window.

But the muted earth-tones popular this year are definitely do-able in ordinary houses. The interesting window treatments can certainly work for Jane Home-sewer. And as demand grows, the price of some of the nifty toys (like the roll-up screens) will come into the ordinaary budget level. As for landscaping - wish I knew more, I saw a stunning rock garden, but I just don't have the patience to do one. It takes so LONG to grow rocks!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Alll righty, then

My cat's named Fly. He thinks he's fearsome.
Sometimes I will call him Flysome.
Fearsome Flysome, will you try some
Fishy Flakes or shall I buy some
Mousie Munchies for your feastie?
You're my favorite furry beastie.
You're not spoiled, my darling cat.
ALL the kitties smell like that!

Quilters need fabric weights when laying out their peices. Right?


I think I may have figured out this posting pictures on the blog thing. First you publish the blog, then you edit in the photos. Why didn't the blog directions tell me that in the first place? Too obvious, I guess. Sort of like, "Do not use this chainsaw while sleeping."

So I am trying to post a picture of the quilt-o-warmth made for Miz G and given the shed of approval by Tsunami (AKA Nami) and Flease (AKA der Fleismeister.)

I got lucky yesterday and managed to edit in a picture of the neighbor cat, Snowball, posing with a tea-cozy and daffodils back in March. She saw me outside with the camera and came prancing over crying, "I'm ready for my screentest, Mr. DeMille" She's quite the experienced model. See the bottom of yesterday's blog.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A finished object

I completed the Surprise Sweater last night, in Colorado Bronco colors, so Tara, it's OK to go ahead and have that baby now. I will give the sweater to CB today. By the time it's cool enough to wear it, the little guy will be big enough to fit it. Everything works out as it should.

I was thinking, as I knit, of the bad old days before air-conditioning when women went into labor and gave birth in triple digit weather. You would have needed three friends standing by just to fan the poor mother. Thank God for modern conveniences!!

The orphan sweater is just a sleeve and a neck away from completion as well. If things are as slow at work as they were yesterday, I'll be able to finish, and start one in handspun as well. Use up that motley dye experiment stuff. Size 10 needles just fly through the work!! Boy, when I get the picture-posting figured out, you guys are in for a deluge!

omigawd I may have something here! It's snowball, the neighbor's cat, with my yellow tea-cozy.