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.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

does this look like spring to you?

Yes, there are crocuses blooming at work. Lovely purple crocuses against wet concrete. Somehow, it does not evoke poetry in my soul. Of course, when I took this picture, it was raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock, so that may have
dampened my outlook a bit. Still, it's all that rain that keeps this valley so green. And all that cloud cover that keeps us natives so fungoidally pale. Keep posting those sunny pictures, friends. I love them!

By the by, check out Gramdma Flea lives in rural Australia and has lorikeets the way we have starlings. WOW!

I now know that on days when I have no knitting content to display, I can always dig into the linen drawer and take a picture of a dresser scarf to feed Pat K.'s fancy. But I wonder, Pat, will a card-table cloth meet the need? How about those embroidered table-centerpieces that my Aunt and Grandma turned out? Dishtowels and handtowels? Or is it just dresser scarves, only dresser scarves, all dresser scarves all the time?

Here's a close-up of the primary motif. All cross-stitch and joyous colors. Some lady in the fourties or fifties spent many a meditative hour on this cloth. I hope she got as much pleasure from it as I do. When the ladies come for tea and knitting, I turn it corner-wise across the pink cloth on the dining-room table, and get out the pink and red tea-cups. (I collect cups and saucers. Another of my many addictions.)

It continues to rain like that cow. And the weather man threatens snow in the hills - where I have to go to work today. No snow! No snow! I must do my anti snow dance and who cares what the neighbors think. No Snow!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

after the spa

The ladies at the spa were little angels! Not only did they kindly not scold me for the wretched state of my nails and cuticles, they actually treated me like – well – kind of like the queen of Sheba.

I don’t think all pedicures are like the one I had. First my attendant sat me down in a big padded throne of a chair and asked me to place my long bare white feet into an enormous copper bowl, where she poured sudsy, warm, scented water over them. While my feet soaked, she unfolded a big soft blanket over my lap and explained the rest of the process to me. But I didn’t quite get the whole thing till she removed the soaking bowl, and tilted the whole chair back like a feminine sort of La-Z-Boy. I was lying on my back with my feet and legs elevated, soft music playing, a blankie tucked in cozily, and a lovely face mask to keep out every last harsh light of reality. She held something lavender scented under my nose and had me take three deep breaths. Then my feet were massaged, exfoliated with a sugar scrub, and moisturized, my toenails were buffed, my cuticles trimmed, and my calluses sanded. The best part was when she gently wrapped my feet in a hot towel. I think that was when I asked her to marry me.

This pedicure was heavenly. I could easily become addicted to that sort of treatment. But it would be an awfully expensive addiction. I’ll be getting twitchy and distracted, jonesing for a pedicure I can see a point where the police have to arrest me because I have been breaking into houses and stealing things to support my pedicure habit. I’ll go through re-hab and when I come out, I can establish Pedicuraholics Anonymous. Can you imagine how hooked I would be if I actually had pretty feet? I could get colored toenails with designs painted on them. And rhinestones glued on. Maybe even that cool holographic foil. No, much better that I get my pedicures maybe once a year, with no polish what-so-ever. (But my toes are BUFF!)

The manicure was fun too, but not nearly as sensual. I had a choice of moisturizing creams: ginger/mango, coconut/lime, or honey/papaya which was my selection. I was again massaged, exfoliated, de-cuticled, pruned, shaped and buffed. Then my attendant painted on the pale pink polish I had selected. Oh, my these hands feel wealthy. The final wonderful thing, as I was checking out, was when my attendant told me that I was not to do any manual labor for 72 hours. What a delightful fantasy! I dented my polish as I was buckling my seat-belt.

As soon as I got home, I went to the computer where DH was killing demon cows. I cocked my foot next to the keyboard, flipped my pants cuff up coquettishly, and purred, “Feel my leg.”

I freely admit that this was the act of an idiot. He was, after all, killing demon cows. What in the world was I thinking? And yet, hero that he is, he reached out his left hand, patted my ankle, and even had the presence of mind to mutter – “Mmm – nice.” Is this man a prince or what? He not only gave me this wonderful pampering experience, he even admired me afterwards! He should give classes!

That pretty much ate up my Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, we went to see “The Astronaut Farmer.” Mr. Farmer is actually a rancher, in Texas, but that’s sort of irrelevant. I was underwhelmed. It was no “Space Cowboys.” It was OK, and it had the obligatory happy ending. It left me asking question, (like, where does the government come off telling this guy he can’t fly his rocket?) and all I wanted was to be spoon-fed some entertainment. But I got lots of knitting done on an orphan sweater, so it could not be considered anything like a waste of time.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

knit while reading

And here's another fun fur hat knit with a strand of cotton to give it more body. It's just your basic bowl with one edge turned up and a bit of scrap yarn fringed onto the side for pizazz. I like hats with pizazz, don't you?

For Valentine's Day, DH gave me a trip to the spa for manicure and pedicure. Wonder if they'll scold me. I have weak flimsy nails and in spite of my best efforts two are torn right down to the quick. Eight, however, are long enough to scratch with. I'm not interested in stick-on nails of any kind. They are so thick and clumsy and akward for me that I wind up hurting myself with them. I've never had just your basic pamper-the-hands-and-paint-the-nails manicure. And I've never had any kind of pedicure. In my neurotic college days, I used to tear at my toenails till they bled. (the resulting endorphins helped me stay calmer and act more sanely. It wasn't a conscious thing, but it worked.) So now some of my toes have no nails, only knots of scar-tissue. (too much information?) Anyhow, I don't think I'll get painted toenails but that's ok. A nice warm soak and scented oil massage will be just fine.

Here is our Saturday sky. Does it look wet and gray? Yup. It's wet and gray. But the moss really loves this kind of weather and is thriving abundantly! Nice thick green moss bedecks the apple tree and has completely infiltrated the lawn underneath. It's beautiful inthe rain, but will be brown and crispy in August. Thank Goodness we aren't yard proud!

I didn't report about the legions of highschoolers on Thursday because there WERE no legions, only a few small infestations that quickly came and left. I notice fewer tattoos and piercings this year than in years past, but the girls and boys who are into it are REALLY into it. Maybe this is THEIR way of stimulating those endorphins. And maybe the folks with the serious nail-biting habit are doing the same. And if we all got out and danced for an hour every day, probably none of us would need to hurt ourselves. (But then I get all sweaty!) (Too much information again, Roxie.)

Lyssa of fearandloathinginloasangeles had a ball of silk yarn that needed a home. I offered mine, and she sent it to me. It is red and purple and wild and lovely! My pictures do not do it justice. And she sent killer cookies with it as well. I am foementing PLANS for this bit of beauty!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

progress and project planning

The SU&KI sweater got a couple hours of work last night while we watched "Scrubs" and "Survivor" And the night before, we watched a history channel special on the auction of Star Trek memorabilia in honor of the fourty year anniversary of the show. Quite impressive! It took months to unearth things from the warehouse where all the Star Trek, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise things are stored, along with costumes and props from all the movies. The auction house, (Christies) had to hire three Star Trek specialists full time for months and months to sort and identify things. What's this little flute thing? That's the flute that Picard acquired in the episode where he absorbed all the memories of the man who lived through the end of his world. It sold for something like $14,000. And it doesn't even play! The ten foot long scale model of the Enterprise went for something like $40 thousand. Yeah, it's way cool, but where will you put it? DH pointed out that if you will spend that kind of money for the model, then you will be happy to build a wing on your house to showcase it. So anyhow, I got lots of knitting done.

Here is the oddball and handspun stash that I will be drawing upon to knit the next three farceeing hats. I pulled it out of various baskets and boxes and piled it all in the one big cat bed (which none of them like because it is too big. Cats like cozy, not spacious.)

So I will be spending the next week or so contemplating the pile, stirring and sorting and re-sorting it, while I finish the SU&KI sweater. The pile will speak to me and hats will emerge. Which yarn and texture goes with the fish eyes? Which is better for the bobcat? A lot of the handspun may become more orphanage sweaters.

Today is Lucia's birthday (rhymeswithfuschia) Pisces are the nicest people!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

February is speeding to its end!

Another shot on campus of a flash of blue sky. That was yesterday. This morning I spent twenty minutes scraping ice off my car windows. Variety is the spice of life!

The flowering bush is another of my favorites, and I can never remember the name. Peris maybe? It smells tropical, and the flowers look like clusters of lilly of the valley. One of the harbingers of spring.

This was an easy hat to knit while reading out loud for the recorder. Just garter stitch about ten inches wide. When it is 20 inches long all stretched out, sew the ends together and crochet in the top.

Yeah, you COULD pull it down to the skull and turn up a cuff on it, but it wouldn't be nearly as funny that way.

Tomorrow, the college will host a legion of high-schoolers who have expressed interest in maybe, possibly thinking about, you know, like sort of attending when you know, they like graduate, or whatever. I am scheduled to spend 9 hours giving them placement tests so they know what level of remedial classes they should start with. I need to remember to keep my mouth shut. Last year, one sweet little tart with two pounds of mascara kept squealing, "I really suck! I just suck! Omigawd, I suck!" And I wanted to say, "How happy your boyfriend must be." But I bit my tongue and thought about lawsuits and the urge went away. I may not have the strength to blog tomorrow, but I'm thinking of you all.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Let the good times roll

Today is the last day before lent. Today is shrove Tuesday - pancake Tuesday - fat Tuesday or, as the French say, Mardi Gras. During Lent, it used to be mandatory for all good Catholics to refrain from meat, fats, sweets and wine for fourty days, (not counting Sundays which are feast days.) So on Shrove Tuesday, the thrifty medieval housekeeper cooked foods to use up all the cooking fats which otherwise would go rancid over the next seven weeks. It was a day of some luxury and revelry before the long drab days of Lent. And it has gone on from there. Wouldn't it be interesting to mandate 40 days of abstinence for all those who are indulging in excesses today as a spiritual balancing for them?
Here is the hat I knit mostly during "Ghost Rider" It wasn't quite long enough, so I picked up around the bottom and added a slightly contrasting cuff. Not entirely successful, but interesting. And very very warm. It goes into the NW Medical Teams basket.
DH wants to know if we can get tax credit for all the knitting I'm donating to charity. Anyone have any input on that? How do we figure dollar ammount on a hat or blanket or sweater that might save someone's life?
Here are eyes for future farceeing hats. Two sets of bobcat eyes, and two sets of fish eyes. Wayyyy cool! An artist friend of Mr. Tim has already paid me to make her a hat. But, very wisely, she said, "I know about learning curves. I want the third hat you make." I Really enjoyed meeting her and look forward to furthering our acquaintence.
This morning I have been in hand-to-hand combat with the computer again. I recorded 90 minutes of textbook onto my assigned MP3 player, and then tried to download it to the computer so the student could then upload it form the class website. My computer did something bad, refused to process, and disappeared the folder for the recording. I can still hear it when I turn on the player, but I can't FIND the sucker! ARRRRRRGH! Computers are Genies with capricious juju. They are fickle servants and deceitful friends who lead you astray more often than not, and exist only to suck all the free time and joy out of your life. And we can't live without them anymore!! (I know women with husbands like that. Thank GOD I dodged that bullet!!) So I will take the MP3 player in to work and offer it up to the high priests of the IT department and see if they can effect a healing on it. Or, I may have to re-read an hour and a half of "Social Problems - Crime and Justice" (Their premise is that the justice system is biased against poor and minorities. From my perspective, it looks biased in favor of the rich and powerful. DUH! What's the point of being rich and powerful if you can't bend justice to your convenience?)

Monday, February 19, 2007

last of the chemo caps

Which model displays the cap better, the wicker head or the goof? It's purple Paton's Chacha with pale green Bernat Cottontots. 80 stitches on size 7 needles knit circularly till I ran out of Chacha, then finished with a three needle bind off. Wayyyy easy!
No knitting on the SU&KI sweater last night. The snarl took all my time and attention. I can not express what enjoyment I am getting out of rescuing all this luxury yarn from tangles vile! And as I carefully seperate the mass into its component elements, I begin making plans for the yarns. Pink eyelash? Hmmm - I could add that to the coral chenille and make a wonderful floral sort of scarf. Turquoise metallic eyelash? Trim a hat or a bag or even a sweater! White tape? Hmmm. . . we'll see. Something will come up for it. There's a home for every bit of yarn if you're patient and daring.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The joy of a blooming idiot

Daphne alert! If you see a grey-haired woman in a bathrobe standing in front of her house at five in the morning, inhaling and exhaling ecstatically, it is not a drug-induced or hysteric hyperventilation. It is simply the result of the fragrance of daphne odoros pooling next to her front door. Do not be alarmed.

Ghost Rider was fun. It was not epic or life-changing or thought-provoking. It had action and Nicolas Cage and special effects and Sam Elliot and motorcycles and a pretty young woman with extremely well displayed cleavege. The forces of good prevailed. The forces of evil were thwarted. What more can you ask from a movie based on a Marvel comic book?

I cast on this hat as we got in the car to drive to the theatre. I got this far before we stepped back through our front door at the end of the evening. Just put the fingers in k2,p2 mode and let them run. Blue squeeky mouse wanted to see what I was up to, so I displayed the work on the old sweater that serves as third-best cat bed on my desk. Right in front of the window for natural light. All other knitting I am in process with needs eyes and attention at least part of the time. Simple hats on auto-pilot are the gumdrops on the frosting of the cupcakes of a knitter's life.

Today - Sunday, it was time to take off the little stretchy bandage that has been covering the incision and holding Jack's pain patch in place . I put him on my lap and pulled off all the wraps and bandages and he immediately began to purr and bathe! Now, finally all washed and brushed and tidy again, he is sleeping the sleep of the satisfied. I think he's going to get along just fine. Thanks again to all our well-wishers!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

for love of a three-cornered cat

Thank you very humbly and gratefully to everyone who has been so kind, with cheery and encouraging wods and thoughts and prayers. Jack is hopping around already! He takes himself to the litter box, but is frustrated because he can't figure how to cover with only one front paw. He scrambles up to my desk chair and then onto the desk all by himself so he can lie in the cozy basket by the window and watch the birds. He is eating and drinking and healing nicely!! We took him in to the vet today to have his bandage removed and his incision checked. Wow, he has more staples than a stationery store, but the incision is clean and healthy and healing right up.

Yayyyy Jack!

After days of rain, and a morning of white cotton fog, all the air-borne condensation burned off, and we have a sparkling spring afternoon! The magnolia buds are fat and fuzzy, and the apple tree seems to be trembling, ever so slightly.

Saturday sky!

We had a "knitter's" gathering today. (Thank you Lynn!) and one of our number is cleaning house. She has decided she hates to knit socks. And she hates unraveling tangles. I don't mind socks that much, and tangles are a delight to me! So she gave me scads of sock yarn, some wild and wooly miscellaneous yarns, a sweater that will never get finished, and a tangle all my own to play with!

This is mostly greens and pinks, with eyelash and angora and chenilles all interwoven. I can't tell you how soothing I find it to unsnarl these things! Honestly. It's like a jigsaw puzzle. It's a metaphor for life. You find an end, and you just keep following it around, keeping the whole thing loose, and finally, by golly, it is several seperate balls of wonderful yarn!
Later this afternoon, we are going to see "Ghost Rider." I'll let you know what I think. What I know for sure is that I will have at least two hours to knit in the dark. Better get a simple hat on the needles.
And dear hearts, thank you again. Words and thoughts and prayers and good intentions mean the world!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

unhappy news

Jack's leg was too badly broken to repair. They had to take it off. He is still pretty groggy from the pain killers, and he progresses by jerking up and falling forward. He is now curled in a nest of old sweaters at my feet (right next to the heat vent) with a dish of his favorite food and a bowl of water right handy. He ate well this morning, and he purred when I lay down with him and gave him strokes and cuddles, but he won't be held. And after I gave him his medicines, he doesn't want a thing to do with me any more.

He doesn't understand why all of this is happening. All he knows is that he is frightened, confused, and maimed. God must feel as sorry for me as I feel for Jack. I have had to go through some awful things that didn't make any sense to me. Just as Jack trusts me even though I'm the one who takes him to the vet, I trust God. He loves me and takes care of me beter than I love and take care of Jack. So I guess that Jack and I are both in God's hand. Blessings and comfort for the poor old cat.

Thanks and hugs to everyone who has been so kind about this. You guys are champion!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

the cat and the hat

Here we see a mildly silly chemo cap made with fun fur and cotton. The blue palstic pony beads in the side tassles don't show very well, but the big green wooden beads are easier to spot.

Miz G. was consolidating while packing to move, and found this wonderful wicker head that wanted to come live with me for a while. Now I can show off finished hats without having to put them on, hold out the camera at arm's length, and hope that it is pointed in mostly the right direction.

Fly, the fat and handsome boy that he is, wanted to help with the picture. "Everything is better with me in it!" is his motto.

The SUandKI vest persists in growing. this is how I decide which yarns go in the next diamonds. Then I stand across the room and squint at it. Then I go back and try a different ball of yarn at the top, and stand back and squint. DH is very patient with me squinting and frowning at things.

Dear old BlackJack is in surgery as I type. His leg just was not healing without being pinned. And he really, really hated being stuck with that clumsy cast, so we are biting the bullet and hoping for the best. he's sixteen years old, and this is major surgery on tiny little cat bones. And he cried when I left him at the vet's this morning. Man, THAT broke my heart! I am hoping that we can bring him home tonight, but they may want to keep him overnight and monitor him.

The vet's technicians and receptionist are just as sweet as can be, and were kind enough to let me in a little early so I could make it to work on time. Their kindness has sweetened my whole day. And it's not as if I'm the only frantic working pet owner they have ever dealt with. This must happen all the time. Blessings on their generous spirits!

Of course, I now want to knit hats or scarves or socks for all of them. Knitter's response. Gardeners probably bring them flowers, cooks bring them cookies, and investment bankers . . . I dunno. The only investment banker I know suffers from adult-onset violin and plays the fiddle wonderfully, so he might come in and play a little tune of gratitude for them. Wait, I am also a writer. I can write them a thank you note! I'll do that!!

It's raining and raining today. Making up for the dry start to the month. I'm not complaining. This is how we stay so green.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

We must be having fun, because time sure is flying!

Thanks to Pat K, I now know that Lent begins February 21st. That means Fat Tuesday is the 20th, and Easter is April 8th. (I once won a mardigras costume contest. I cut the legs off two pairs of black tights, stuffed them, and sewed them along the sides of a black leotard. Then I strung fishline between them and sewed it to the leotard cuffs. With a red satin hourglass appliqued on the front, a little black hat with a pretty veil, black gloves, fishnet hose and my highest black high heels, I went as a black widow spider. I was fairly new to the church and had always dresssed decorously for mass. Guess I surprised everyone! Father Mahr missed the party but said to me the next day, "I hear your legs won prizes last night."

Speaking of the flight of time, the powers that be slipped another one by while we were looking the other way. Daylight saving's time starts in MARCH this year!! Drat it! Why do they have to dink around with the clock. Why can't they just drag their lazy butts out of bed one hour earlier in the summer without making laws about it? Now all us folks in the nothern tier will have kids going to school in the dark. Watch out for the little idiots. Heaven knows they won't watch out for you!

So I was pretty busy at work today. We offer pesticide testing on Wednesdays. With spring coming, the landscaping companies are needing to get more skilled and licensed applicators out and about. So Wednesdays in spring get very busy in the testing center. The answer sheets are the "Bubble forms" you have all encountered when filling out government applications. Pleaseprintyourlastnamefirstnamemiddleinitial in the boxes so we can read it, and fill out the bubbles so the computer can read it. Do the same with your address,socialsecuritynumber,phonenumber,zipcode and remember, if you don't sign it, they won't send your score.

Each test requires a seperate form. Some of these poor swots come in to take 3 tests in a day. After filling out the basic information on three forms, your hand is sore from filling in those little circles. And you still have 150 questions to answer! In spite of it all, these guys are uniformly pleasant, cheerful and polite. Some are even flirtatious! Some of them come from work and smell pretty sweaty, but usually it's fresh clean sweat, so it's not too offensive. Much better than the young jocks who bathe in the current "manly" scent and perfume the whole room for the rest of the day. One fellow came in so sweetly aromatic that I was able to track him to the next building when he left his ID with us.

No knitting content. I'm almost finished with a fun fur chemo cap. Photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

signs of spring.

OK, I know there are folks out there who are up to their bunwarmers in snow, and oh my god do I pity you! But winter WILL come to an end eventually. It may take a while to get to your neck of the woods, but look!

I'm no gardener, but I think this might be witch hazel. Not much fragrance, but such a cheery yellow!

This is a climbing hydrangea on campus. If you look closely, you can see green leaf buds!
I don't know what the bush underneath it is, but it has flowers like teensy white tassles that will just perfume the whole house till everyone is sick of it! If there is a bee within ten miles downwind, it's gonna be able to find these bushes.
Another picture from the Clackamas Community College campus. One of those times when there is a small break in the clouds to the south, so the sun shines down on you, and a big black storm in the north gives a dramatic look to the sky.

Here we have wild snowdrops sneaking through the fence. Take heart. Your snowdrops are coming too!

I'm not nearly so tired today. Getting back into harness fairly quickly. Yesterday I spent a couple of hours stuffing and sealing envelopes.(for this I spent four years in college?) It was easier on my back to stand at the counter than to sit at the desk. Standing IS hard on the tootsies!

Now I'm going to read and knit. This textbook has quite a liberal bias. Even though I'm liberal at heart, I feel they should at least present a balanced view. However, hired readers do not get to edit the texts. So I have to read the part where they tell us that all anti-social behavior is the fault of society, and the individual has no personal responsibility for his actions. ARRRRGGGHHH!!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Due to an illness at work, I am now filling in, working 10 - 2 mon. fri. I am out of shape for this. Whine, whine. My feeties hurt. My shoulders are sore. My brain is full. I've been out of the office for most of January, and things have been changed in my absence, so today is the first day of playing catch-up. "Oh, we put the appointments over here. Oh, we don't do that anymore. Oh, we need those people to sign in now." Luckily, it's only mid-terms, not finals. People are more willing to cut you some slack during mid-terms.

However, this evidently IS one of the last days before the cutoff for accepting applications to our nursing program. Now THERE are some stressed out people!! Do you want to be taken care of by a nurse who leaves everything to the last minute, then is rude to the people who can't accomodate her insistent demands?Do you want a nurse who is, "too distracted by that guy's coughing," to get an acceptable score on her reading test? She will be reading people's charts with a lot more than someone coughing near her. And math- don't get me started. These are the people figuring my dosages. When I go in for surgery, I know that the difference between 10cc of morphine and 100cc of morphine is only one decimal point on paper, but it's really, really important to me that they get it right. I want my nurse to pass her math classes with all A s!!

Also, I have picked up a job recording textbooks for visually disabled students. I need to do 8 chapter summaries and vocabulary lists by tomorrow morning. Guess I'd better get to it. It's a sociology class, so it should make for interesting reading.

Oh, that elephant I had to eat? I may have finished it off today. The bookstore has moved into the neighborhood, so I took my publicity packet and a copy of the book down to the store this morning and slipped it through the mail slot. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

sunday at ease

the SU&KI sweater is coming along nicely. Usually, I am working with 7 balls of yarn at a time, so it's not a good project to tote around. But for planting my butt on the sofa and watching TV, it is superb. And oh, how very nice it is to work with the beautiful, SOFT yarn that Dave sells!!

These are the KIP socks I have been working on lately. I used some self-spun wool and plastic stuff. They turned out very greeny-bluey-pretty and warm!

As you can see, they have Fly's squint of approval.

And here is my fun fur, right in front of my keyboard, waiting to become chemo caps for kids. Ideas are tumbling through my twisty mind. Do kids like those hats that are seamed straight across the top to form two ear-like points? Hmmmm, and then there's all that rayon chenille weaving yarn . . .

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Yes indeedy, it's splatterday! We need the rain and it IS February, after all! We managed to get our running around done before the rain started, so I can sit all cozy at my desk next to the window and look out upon the rain and feel content. It makes such nice music on the roof - and running musically down the downspouts - and tinging off the cone thing that keeps the rain out of our chimney. (Those cone things must have a name, and I bet someone out there knows what it is.) So if you take a piece of medium grey dryer lint and get it soaking wet, then hold it over your head, you will know exactly what our Saturday sky looks like.

DH had a "Guys' breakfast" with a friend who turned 74 today. While they were out, I took all our 5 cent deposit cans and bottles to the grocery store and got $2.35 for them. Then I went to Joann's where they are selling fun fur for $2.50 a skein and bought six skeins of yarn with my bottle money. Well . . . it's for a good cause. Lucia made an eloquent statement about the good works done by the children's hospital her son went to. And her friend Linda is collecting chemo caps for the kids there. Crazy, bright, and fun-fur were the requests. I can do crazy. I like bright! So I bought green and blue and purple and red and orange and pink fun fur. Knitting chemo caps will be the carry-around project because the SUand KI sweater is too big and stringy to carry.

Yesterday ML and I met at Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks for lunch. (They are carrying my book!! Oh boy, oh boy!!!) We spent a lovely time talking yarns and knitting. I got to help her with understanding how a mitered square works, and she got to help me with promoting my book. I need to put together a packet to send to an independent bookstore to introduce myself and the book. But every time I think about doing it, it's like being told I need to eat an elephant. How in the world can I ever eat a whole elephant? ML showed me how to cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Then I went home and dug out a big storage bin I'm not using, and Miz G. can put to good use. While I was cleaning it up, it occurred to me that we bought two of those bins initially, so I went looking for the other one. Under a pile of stuff in the garage, I found it. And it was half full of yarns that I had forgotten I had! There was shelf space for it at last! So Miz G. got TWO big bins, and I got more yarn. Then Miz G. brought me some lovely china pieces that she probably won't use again, and several cones of fine rayon chenille. I'm am SOME lucky, I think!

My darling brother-in-law, who is a Scoutmaster, wants a Farceeing hat of his own. (Can you just see this in the dimness of the evening on a campout?) Two more people have requested them as well, and I have to make one for me, so I went on line, picked a taxidermist supply store, and ordered some eyes. Three kinds of fish eyes, and two sets of bobcat eyes. Oh, these are gonna be FUN hats!! So much to knit, so little time!

Happy Saturday to one and all. Now I have to go chew the first bite of my elephant.

Friday, February 09, 2007

This will be a sweater!

There is great yardage in Dave's yarn! I am halfway through the back, and I've scarcely made a dent in the balls.(dented balls? Owwwie!) There clearly will be yarn enough for sleeves, and I am trying to design pockets as well. I LOVE pockets! We watched the first episode of "Survivor" last night, so I got in extra knitting time.
My blogging and knitting will soon be sharply curtailed. One of the full-time gals at work has been hospitalized, and I am going to be filling in for half her shift. 10 - 2, the busiest part of the workday. So I have to squeeze the writing into the morning, because my brain is just flat by the time I get home from four hours of dealing with the naive, the clueless, and the outright cheaters.
Yesterday, as I was dropping off the GEDs from the jail, one young man came out and asked, "Can I go take a leak?"
"You're doing an on-line midterm?" I asked.
He nodded.
"OK, I'll let the teacher know that you left the room to go to the bathroom."
"But it's a three hour test!"he complained.
"Yes?" I said.
"I'm gonna pee my pants!"He said
"Go on and go to the bathroom. I'll let the teacher know that you left the room for that purpose."I said.
"Oh, fuck it!" He said, and went back in to take his test.
Do you think I'm a bad person? I don't. He did.
Thus we learn that coffee processes through the system at a predictable rate, and if you are going to take a three hour test, you should drain the tanks before starting. If he were really cunning, he might have realized that we can't keep track of EVERYBODY taking on-line tests during mid-terms. He COULD have just walked out for his whizz (or his quick phone call to the wizzard he buys answers from), and we would never have known. The fact that he didn't want the teacher to know that he left the room made me suspicious. So now I get to do this for four hours a day, five days a week. With respect and kindness for all. Wish me luck!

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Farceeing as it should be worn

This is Mr. Tim who designed and requested the farceeing hat and procured the PLASTIC eyes for it. This picture makes my heart happy!

This is the progress on the Shut Up and Knit It vest (maybe a sweater) Henceforth to be known as SU&KI vest. Oh boy, aren't those colors having fun together? Dave dyes delightfully!!

I'm going to duplicate stitch the diagonal lines through the middle of the diamonds. Too fiddly to carry them and knit it. Argyle is about the top of my fiddly tolerance meter.

I have found that if I cover the flash with my finger, it pinks up the reds quite nicely. Not perfect, but it helps.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Started the shut up and knit it vest

I am knitting an eccentric argyle. It may be a vest. If it goes well, and there is enough yarn, (As it appears there will be) I will add sleeves and it will be a sweater. I am knitting it side to side because the diamonds are longer that way. This is the worsted weight, on size 7 needles. I'm excited!
This is from Dave Daniel's hand dyed Cabin Cove Mercantile yarn. Most knitters are inclined to buy it, then keep it as a pet. It's sooo pretty in the skeins. It's so soft and yummy and pretty! But it deserves to be knited up into a garment or article of use and delight, hence the knit-along.
And this is the square beret I knitted out of multi-plied weaving yarn while I was cogitating a design for the vest. (maybe a sweater)
I have tried on this hat in several different orientations (over one eye, on the back of the head, with points horizontal or diagonally oriented) and it's cute as a basket full of hound dog puppies any way you wear it! I may make a few more of these. Mmmmm- what a shape for cables!
More ideas than time to knit them. Ain't life wonderful?!!

Monday, February 05, 2007

omigawd no!

Good heavens' people! I did NOT use real eyes. Eeeewww! Too grosssssss! I used the plastic eyes that taxidermists put into stuffed animals. Like the ones pictured here - see? [ I may use these to make a hat with eyes in the back of my head.] And the farceeing hat was bespoke by my friend Tim, who provide the plastic fake eyes. (Not real. NOT!) Tim is the artistic sort who will find innumerable opportunities to wear his hat. I think vision, and looking at things from a different perspective is important to Tim. He has a tattoo of "She who Watches."
Today is warm (41 degrees) and cloudy. "And the small birds maken music all the daye" In the front yard, chickadees and sparrows are staking out territory and hollaring, "Hey, baybee! Hey, baybee!" to all the girls sparrows and chickadees. And in the back yard, finches are have a great big par-tay! My daffodils are up a good six inches in the back yard, and buds are beginning to show. And my daphne bush is ready to burst into bloom any minute now. I love that bush. DH gave it to me for a present the first year we were married. It is close to the leaky front window which keeps it warm all winter long. The thing is huge, and blooms for about two months as the weather slowly warms. The fragrance is to die of in aromatic bliss. I am SO ready for spring. What a strange winter it has been!
I wound Dave's yarn into balls and am squinting at the basket and planning while I knit a plain vanilla hat. OK, so it's three shades of fine green yarn, a boucle and two weaving wools, all plied together, and I'm making it a square beret, but really, nothing fancy. Photos soon.
What will I NOT do to impress you?Use real eyes in a hat. Nor will I do Lace. Or meticulous precision fitting. Following a written pattern word for word, color for color, yarn for yarn, inch for inch? Noooooooooo!!!! (picture of Roxie running screaming off into the woods.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The farceeing hat is done!!

Saturday sky at sunrise.

The clouds rolled in and rolled in and by noon we were getting a tiny bit of much-needed rain. My daffodils are up about three inches, and you could almost hear them rejoicing in the moisture!

Candy is happy to supervise the knitting of the farceeing hat. As long as she gets the primo basket, she is happy to supervise anything!

Here is the hat without the earflaps and stalks. I've been having a lot of fun mixing and using bits and bobs of colors and making up my own designs as I go along.

And here - tah dahh - is the farceeing hat. Click on the photo to enlarge. The stalks are stiffened
with "Lock Line" flexible tubing that DH bought for me, and the eyes are boar's eyes that Tim got from a taxidermist. Far-seeing hat. Ain't it fun?!!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Giving it away with joy

Miz G. dropped by yesterday and we had a marvelous chat over tea. for Christmas, I signed her up for the socks-o-the-month-club, and had February's "Sassy Stripes" waiting to mail off. How much nicer to present them in person!

And they will keep her feeties cozy while she's in the moving process. All good wishes to you, Miz G. (and to the hairballs as well!)

As you can see, I am not a person who goes to the trouble to figure out how to make random stripes work out identically on both socks. I feel proud of having made two socks the same length!

(Yes, my arch really is that high. I have trouble finding cowboy boots.)

And since life is going to be pretty hectic for her in the next few weeks, what with moving here to the valley and all, I also handed on her March socks- "Lakeview in the Mist."

Then, today, I drove over to the NW Medical teams and dropped off the sweaters and blanket I made for them. The lady I spoke to (Carol) was so gracious and positive! And as I was leaving she said, "Just think: When you wake in the night, you can tell yourself, 'Somewhere in the world, a child is warm because of me.'" Even though I feel a need to clothe the chilly, I had never thought to warm myself with the results. Yes. Somewhere in the world, people are warmer because of me. Wow! With my tiny budget and limited skills, I CAN make a difference!! There are layers of blessings in those sweaters, because I got such pleasure from spinning the yarn. And such delight from dying it. And such satisfaction from knitting it. And now I get comfort for those occasional dark wolf-hours just by giving it away. I feel as if I ought to write to the recipients and thank them for giving me such a mitzvah!

I stopped at Abundant Yarn and Dye works, and asked if they might be a drop-off point for chemo caps. Not yet, but they just sent off three boxes of scarves to the Red Scarf Project, so Chemo Caps might be a good next project. This is the first yarn store I have been in that has as many males as females on staff. The men's knitting group might take Chemo Caps for a monthly project.

I was struggling with the farceeing hat, starting and frogging, starting and frogging, getting a few inches done, holding it out and scowling at it, and just not finding it right. About the third time I began to rip it all back, DH asked the problem. He doesn't knit, but as a jig and fixture machinist, he DOES create and solve problems. I explained how I wanted firm texture and color patterns, and was having trouble putting it all together. And the brilliant man said, "Well, you've been trying to do it from the outside in. Can you do it from the inside out?"

YES! Instead of knitting from the brim to the top (outside to inside) I can knit it from the top down (inside to outside) and control the fabric and size as I go along! He is just inspirational! And he found the neatest flexible pipe stuff to stiffen the stalks. Oh, wait till you see this hat!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

February first 007 Dozen second post


This is the month of gray incarnate
when the wind rubs against you like
a wet dog, whining for kindness
and smelling of grief grown cold.
Lift your heart and welcome the feast
of the Bishop who donated dowries
so poor maidens could marry
and love could shine bright again.
Valentine’s Day is single sequin in the
soggy grey felt of February.

This year, February is starting out cold, clear, and hard as a diamond. Usually, it's one of the moldiest months of the year. If I can survive February, the rest of the year is pure jam. There were years when I was single and the season for lovers would roll around and I wanted to take a machine gun and tattoo my name across every florist and Hallmark store in town. Yet even when I was wroth with being left out, I envied the sentiment. So, sweetest sentiments to one and all. Be your OWN Valentine! Treat yourself the way you want to be treated. You can't love others till you learn how to love yourself.

Yesterday Itossed the stash and pulled out some yarns for the farceeing hat. I'm letting possible patterns swarm through my head. Meanwhile, I found some more hand-dyed rayon and a skein of ultra-soft eyelash by Sensations, named, "Beautiful."

So while I pondered patterns for the farceeing hat, chemo caps for kids seemed like the proper thing to knit. Yes, they are very girly. And oh so soft! The one on the right got the extra fringe on the side just because it seemed a saucy sort of hat. The fringe could also be worn to the back like a pony tail. The caps knitted up very fast on my beloved size 10 nylon Susan Bates circs. I knit back and forth, then just whip-stitched the seam. I figure, if I can't see the stitches well enough to mattress stitch the seam, no one will be able to see ithat I didn't.
As for life in this floating world, this dream within a dream, Candy Kitty just spent half an hour staring intently at the window. She was watching the reflections of the shadows of the birds at the feeder. If she had turned her head 90 degrees, she could have watched the actual birds. How often have I gone haring off after the reflection of the shadow of something real? How can I learn the difference? Hmmm - well, if it doesn't squawk when you catch it, that might be a clue. Do dreams squawk? No, dreams are just for chasing. When you catch them, they become realities. I'd better stop before I become completely entangled in metaphor. Happy February!