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.”

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A few more photos from my walk yesterday. It's cold, cloudy, and windy today, but dry and above freezing, and for February, that's great!

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's good to be back

So I finished a tea cozy using up some scraps. Daphne the dragon thinks it's very complimentary to her colors.

Speaking of Daphnes - they're starting to bloom! Whoop, whoop!

We had sunshine this morning, so I took myself out for a walk. Earmuffs and gloves weather, but still just lovely!
Neighbors have violets popping out. Crocuses are blooming. In spite of the snow yesterday, spring is actually coming!

But in the meantime. I'm still needing warm and wooly layers. This is the vest I started with Rio La Plata and some purchased handspun.

It's hard to get a good picture of a vest you're wearing at the time. But I got compliments the first time I had it on, so, since it feels good and looks pretty, I guess I have another success on my hands.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

If you have never had a migraine

If you have never had a migraine, then stop a moment and be grateful to whatever powers that you believe in. I thought that menopause would mean the end to my migraines. Though they are now much fewer and farther between, they are also less predictable. They start, for me, with a sudden pinpoint of light in the center of my vision. Over the course of twenty minutes or so, that pinpoint draws a filigreed spiral around the inside of my eye, and everything I see is like looking through the edge of a prism. If, during this process, I can get five asprins and a cup of yogurt, and lie down somewhere dark and warm, I will fall asleep and wake a couple hours later feelling dopey but pain-free. Otherwise, I begin to get the sensation of a belt-sander at work on the base of my brain. I worry, because that's stuff I'm going to need sooner or later. Sometimes I have to throw up. Mostly, though, I just grit my teeth and endure.

Hmm - this may be a case of overshare. If so, I do apologize. But it explains where I've been. Migraine started while I was proctoring a GED test and lying down was simply out of the question. After work, I drove home and went straight to bed with yogurt (to buffer the acid) and five asprins. And slept like a hibernating wolverine. Woke really dopey and dragged through another day of test proctoring (Can't miss a day of work in this economy) and again fell asleep as soon as I got home. So now, on thursday, I get an extra day of work, but I don't hurt anymore. It's a lot like slamming a socketwrench into your head: It feels SO good when you stop!!

So tomorrow, a picture of knitting. And today, how about the story of Edith and Bob? Edith and Bob lived in New Jersey and had never traveled very far, but one day, Bob won a weekend trip to Las Vegas at the local Elk's Club raffle. So Edith and Bob, thrilled and nervous, packed their bags and flew off to sin city. Well Edith took to the nickle slots like a duck to a shady pond, but Bob didn't much care for throwing his money away, so he walked around a bit. A pawn shop window beckoned and he wandered in, drawn to some flashy red and white lizardskin cowboy boots. Bob tried them on and they fit perfectly. They hadn't ever been worn, the soles were still shiney. Bob LOVED those cowboy boots and figured, "What the hell! Edith is blowing at least this much on the slots."

So Bob bought the boots and put them right on. As he walked down the street, he could feel everyone gazing at his cowboy boots in admiration. He went into the casino and found Edith. Bob stood where she couldn't help but see his new boots, but all she was interested in was the slot machine.

Bob said, "Edith, let's go wash up and go out to the buffet for dinner." figuring that as soon as the slot machine quit distracting her, she would notice his new boots. But all the way up in the elevator, Edith never said a thing about his new boots. Bob walked proud and stepped high, and edith never noticed his boots. When they got to the room he said, Edith, don't you nitice anything different about me?"

"Did you get your eyebrows waxed?" Edith asked. "'Scuse me a sec, Bob. I gotta pee."

Bob was annoyed. Anyone ought to be able to see those great new lizardskin cowboy boots of his! Well, Bob was gonna make sure that nothing could distract Edith. He stripped right down to the buff then put his boots back on. When Edith came out of the bathroom, there was Bob in his brand new lizardskin cowboyboots boots.

"Notice anything new about me now?" he asked.

"No, your dong's hanging down just the way it always does." Edith said.

"My dong is hanging down because it's looking at my new lizardskin cowboy boots!" Bob snapped.

Edith looked at Bob a moment, then said, "Shoulda bought a hat, Bob. Shoulda bought a hat."

Monday, February 23, 2009

I found the camera!

Let's start with a little eye-candy. Sunrise on Thursday was sooo nice!

So here's a close-up of a wildly scrappy quilt whacked together from leftovers of other quilts.

Here's one side of the top I made on Friday-Saturday.

Here's the other side.

And here's the top that MJ and I whacked together on Thursday. Still have to back this one, and tie the one I did. And there's a top I just finished but haven't photographed, that needs a back and a batt. And a tea cozy needs to be photographed. There's another tea cozy that wants to be made, and then I think I'll be done with this epidemic of sewing. It takes me just like the flue!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I was hijacked by the sewing machine

On Thursday, MJ came over and we whacked together a comforter top. We are getting really good at this quick and dirty random piecing! In four and a half hours we got a twin-sized top assembled. I would show you the pictures, but I can't find my camera. It's somewhere. . . might be under the piles of fabric bits still on the diningroom table. Might be somewhere else. I would also show you the picture of the two tops I whacked together yesterday and today. I took the camera to the Home and Garden show yesterday, but didn't get any photos. We did pick up thirty lily bulbs for $40. With any luck, I'll have a bunch of fragrant blooms of many colors this summer. And if I ever find the camera, I'll be able to post photos of them. I have a coupon for 50% off at Joanne's and will probably use it for batting. Maybe, by the time I get the comfoters assembled and tied, I'll have found the camera. It's got to be somewhere. Everything has to be somewhere - doesn't it?

There is something so darn seductive about piecing together scraps and oddments of fabric that are too small to make anything, really, and using them to create a practical thermal layer to help keep someone warm and comforted. It's addictive, adding one piece to the next to make something aesthically pleasing and functionally useful. Time disappears as you add one more strip, one more bit, oh, and I could sew this to that and that chunk will go down here and isn't there a dark scrap . . yes, there it is! And before you know it, your stomach is growling and the sun is setting.

I'm stash busting and have decided to make a couple of tea cozies as well. I've got scraps of batting and a several fat quarters that I just love and haven't been willing to slice up for anything. Anyone want a nice tea cozy? Just as there's a limit to the number of teapots you can use, there's a limit to the number of cozies you can store as well. I think. You never know till you try, right? So I'm back to the sewingmachine. And the hunt for the camera.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How do you like me now?

Snowdrops in sunshine with some knitted stuff Lookin' goood, baby!

There was sunshine in the window at 7:30 AM. Whoop, whoop! It was swiftloy swallowed by a fogbank, but I was up and I saw it! Sigh. We need the rain. In spite of the floods, we are 7 inches low for the water year (October to October) and the wettest part of the years is starting to taper off. The fruit orchards need enough sun and dry days in April and May for flowering and pollination. The strawberries will rot in a cold wet june. February and March are pretty much our last shot at getting a fully beneficial snowpack, and it's just not looking likely. Along about September, I may be singing the droughty blues, but right now, hear my carols of joy at the sunshine! when the fog burned off, it turned freaking gorgeous! When I got home from work, I planted hostas and cut down a volunteer walnut tree sucker that wanted to damage our foundation. And took a photo of the snowdrops and knitting.

So how was YOUR day?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

spring IS coming

The neighbor's snowdrops are generously sneaking through the fence to our side, and I'm enjoying them heartily! Amy Lane, bless her ears and whiskers, gave me the lovely Rio DeLa Plata kettle dyed yarn, and at last year's Flock and Fiber Fest, I found a spinner who sold me the aquaeous blue yarn. I am mixing them to make a vest. It's soft and smoosshy and very Piscean.

Monday, February 16, 2009

bloody but unbowed

I have just spent the day in an all-in, no-holds-barred, teeth-knees-and-elbows allowed, down and dirty wrassling match getting the taxes ready to take to the accountant. When it comes to data and numbers I have serious blank spots and have learned to just chuck every-fucking-thing into the box and hope that God will sort it all out while I sleep. She doesn't, of course, so once a year I have to sit down with with the gunnysack of bills, receipts, check stubs, and those greasy little statements the money people send you before Valentine's Day, and try to get it all organized, lined up and tidy with hands and faces washed and socks pulled up. And by God, it mostly is! I have paper cuts, staple punctures, and a nice bruise from tripping over a box of paper crap that was headed to the recycle bin, and I have piles and stacks of papers that have been sorted, paperclipped, labled and damnfuckingwell organized and I think I'm going to have a drink now.

Many of you asked if I name all the yarn in my stash. Imagine me speaking in a fluting, musical voice with stars in my eyes and fluttery movements of my hands. Why yes, yes, I do name all my yarn, The little dears feel ever so much more special that way. And I stroke them and call them by name every chance I get, because my yarn loves me - everyball and gram, be it wool or silk or cotton or even those sad little acrylics. And they all deserve love equally, don't you think?

Now the real Roxie snaps back into focus: grubby slippers, ratty sweatshirt, and bags under the eyes. And the voice is less like a lilting flute and more like an ill-tuned banjo. DO I name ALL the yarn in my stash? I can't even keep track of all my brothers' kids' names, and they've been around for between 3 and 4 decades now. Do you honestly think I can remember EVERY scrap of yarn in my stash? I remembered Fred because I was trying to channel Lenny from "Of Mice and Men" (I will love it and hug it and pet it and stroke it and I will take care of it and I will name it . . . ." And I couldn't remember what Lenny was going to name the bunny. So I called it Fred. Or maybe George. Wotthehell. It's YARN! Who CARES what it's name is? And don't act like you don't remember where you got certain skeins in your stash because I know better. You may not have named them Fred. YOu may have named them, "That wonderful yarn I got from Galad when I won her contest." Or "The alpacca I had to hide from the husband because I spent too much on it but I HAD to have it!" or, "That cheesy glitter acrylic. I should never buy yarn after drinking margaritas with the girls."

And even though we name and remember our yarns, if you turn out the whole stash, I will bet you money that you find something that evokes the querry, "Where the heck did I get this?" Go on. Turn out and sort through your whole stash. PRove me wrong. If I can take on my filing system and emerge victorious, I can do anything!! Yeeeha!

(where's my drink?)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fred, the moebius - and other furry personalities

Two summers ago at the Oregon Flock and fiber Fest, I ran across the Iron Mountain Hand Spinners and Dye-works, and found a skein of fluffy PINK wool that I just had to have. I had promised myself that I could shop till my basket was full, and the wool would have over-filled the basket, but I just had to have it. And then the twelve-year-old girl who had dyed the skein saw me holding and stroking it and shyly admitted that it was her handiwork. That clinched it. I told her I would love it and hug it and take it home and name it Fred. and after I had paid for it, I wrapped it around the crown of my hat and wore it the rest of the day.

Fred has lived in my stash, smiling shyly at me every time I dug into the pink basket. And last week, I HAD to knit with Fred. So, using size 10 circulars, I knitted a wide moebius in k1,p1 rib, and now I can wrap myself in Fred anytime I like.

As cowl or shawl, Fred is a cuddlesome delight.

On the other furry personalities front, here are some kitty pictures:
Ben is such a handsome lad.

Fly went out and got involved in a little fracas which involved a cat bite. We all know how toxic those can be. He got a great big abcess which, due to the extremely thick layer of fat wrapping his ribs, didn't show up for several days. Then we hustled him in to the vet, got a patch shaved, opened, and cleaned, and then had to spend two weeks, dosing him twice a day. Now, except for the bare spot, he is right as rain. I never want to let him outside again, but he has talked DH into sympathy with his "Free the fat cat" bill. Still, he doesn't stay out as long as he used to. And when he comes in, he wants to cuddle that bare spot right up against me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Knitting wound up here

Due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, the dear woman who was going to host the Valentine's party could not do so, and I lept into the breach with unseemly eagerness. I baked a chocolate cake with yogurt cheese topping and dark-sweet cherries for decor.

The tea was a lovely oolong that I just had to have for Valentine's day. Iron Goddess of Mercy Tea. There were only five of us, and we drank almost two pots full.
I frosted some cookies, LG brought some cookies, and on the suggestion of my DH I made crustless quiches in a muffin pan. Yumm!! He has the BEST ideas!! I set the table with buffet plates and used my favorite napkin rings from my collection.

Since it's Valentine's day, flowers cost an arm and a leg. Instead of buying flowers, I took two "Flower of Prosperity" tea balls, put them in pilsner glasses, and added hot water.

Minutes later, I had a unique table decoration that I could drink. They're quite pretty in real life, but my camera skills . . meh.

With a red cloth under the lace, and a pretty plate stand to elevate the cake, I managed to turn out a rather nice looking table even if I did pull it together at top speed. And the party was, as ever, splendid! It's the guests that make a great party, you know.

Next month, it's happening here, and the theme is birthdays. Everyone has 'em so I figure we ought to celebrate them together. I'm going to ask everyone to bring a small wrapped gift - less than $5, and drop it in a basket. During the party, we can each pick a gift from the basket and get to unwrap it. And I'm going to try to have balloons! What else might be fun for a birthday knit-in? A rousing game of tie-the-willy-warmer-on-the male-stripper? One of these days, I AM going to have dancing boys!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

O, O, O, O O

Willow, at Willow's Cottage, gave me a fun meme. Her husband, the Professor, picked a letter for me and I get to illustrate it. Willow's letter was W, as it turns out and she did a splendind job of illustrating.

My letter, is - O. As in olives, and other oils.

Omniscient orangutans.

Odd off-color Oranges

Ova (from aurucana chickens)

Opals and (the black beads) obsidian.

Object d'Arte - every kitty is an object of art. Just ask them.


Ogees? NO, I don't believe those areogees. Just ornaments on the architecture


There are also orcas, Orville Reddnbacher's popcorn, osts, oats, and ooblick, none of which I have been able to photograph. Consider the ordinary ostrich, old owls, and the ongoing obstreterousness of the local two year old.

The snow, by the way, is gone, and the Harlot has not yet offered me a pair of socks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


But this is the Willamette valley and this is half-past Februrary fer cry-sakes, and it is NOT supposed to snow! It's the Harlot's fault. She came into town yesterday and, from the superiority of her Toronton deep-freeze experience, she marveled at the mildness of our February and mocked what snow we have left. "I didn't know that snow could be referred to in the singular." Well you KNOW that's got to annoy the weather gods.

So, just to spite her, our local weather dieties grabbed Jack Frost and squeezed one last spurt of winter out of the poor litte barstid. And now the rest of us have to drive to work in this crap and it's ALL her fault. I think the Harlot owes everyone in the valley a profound apology and a pair of hand-knit socks! It's my idea, and I'm first in line.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A prayer shawl

A dear friend recently had a serious heart attack, so as a knitter, the first thing I did was run for my needles.

My friend is a magnificent poet - like chaucer on a good day -and a sensitive, woman who feels things more deeply than the rest of us. So I knit her a blankie a, well, as I said in my letter, "This is a machine-washable hug. Each square has four hundred stitches, and every stitch in this shawl carries a prayer and a heartbeat of love.

While healing, you will want to spend some time sitting quietly, and this shawl will keep you warm while you are sitting and thinking and growing strong.

You will be going in for tests, and the nurses will give you one of those flimsy gowns and leave you alone in a cold room with maybe one thin sheet. Insist on taking your shawl. Not only will it give you a thermal layer, it will give you control over your environment. It will remind you that you are enwrapped in good wishes. It will comfort and cuddle you like a teddy bear. It will be a source of amusement and a topic of conversation.

While knitting the yellow and multi-colored parts, I prayed that your vivid humor and clarity would shine like sun and flowers. While knitting the greens, I prayed that you would be renewed like the grass. While knitting the beighes, I prayed that you would be strong like a lion. While knitting the pinks, I prayed you would be brave like a woman.

If this is too odd and bulky to actually drag around with you, you have my free and joyful permission to give it to the dog and just carry the spirit of the shawl with you, to fold yourself in love and prayers.

Take your time healing. You need to do a thorough job."

I share this letter with you, my dear blog buddies, in case anyone wants to borrow a few words for a friend of yours. As knitters, it's our job to keep people warm. And the longer we stay in this world, the more occasions we will have to do it.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

How does your garden grow?

The days are getting longer and the daffodills are poking out.
Yay daffs! I love you so much!

If you look closely, you can see the flower head through the translucent skin of the bud. bloom, baby, bloom!

I want to run around the yard with pompoms and a short skirt doing encouraging cheers. Magnolia buds swelling in fuzzy anticipation . . Bigger, bigger, more, more more!

The poor old plum tree is just about lying down on the job. Between shade and heavy snows, it doesn't stand much of a chance, but it keeps trying!

And the apple tree in all it's mossy strength stands ready for surging sap and abundant bloom. Give me an A, give me a p, give me another p, give me L, give me E, give me s! What's that spell? Apples, apples, yes, yes, yes! Yayyyy!! Whoop, whoop! Yeeha!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

We went to the car show

Along with the rest of the clowns. (click to enlarge) I have no idea why these guys were there.

It was, on the whole, a very subdued show. Not nearly as crowded as it has been in previous years. Not nearly as many cars. No "concept" cars. Even the colors were, for the most part, lowkey. Dark, saturated true blue was about the most exciting color out there. The reds had an orange under-tone. No optimistic rich burgundies and wine tones. Instead, imagine shiny, glossy rust. Really quite a pretty color, but not cheery. There was the obligatory yellow Volkswagon beatle, and Jeep Wrangler, but everything else was sober. Cadillac had some gorgeous blacks with blue or red or purple metalflake, and Lexus had a sedan the color of perfect toast. Lots of beiges and grays, and one or two goose-poop greens.

And then there were the Lamborghinis. Even sitting still, they look ready to suck up ALLL your money.

And Maserati - why should I buy a car that goes 250 miles an hour? 60 is the maximum legal limit unless I want to drive to Montana and drive 80 or take a boat to Germany and drive on the Autoban. And really, I don't WANT to go to Germany right now. I didn't leave anything there the last time I was through. So what's the point of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a car that goes 190 miles an hour faster than I will ever drive it?

Lots of hybrids. They don't do all that well, though. DH drives a Ford Explorer, and he gets just as good gas mileage as many of the hybrids. And our car is paid for.

The salesmen were hungry. I felt so sorry for them. It's hideously corrosive to stand around in the midst of a horde of people, ready to be attentive, but knowing that probably not one in twoo hundred will actually buy what you are offering. I'm NO good at sales work.

I blame my past few days silence on part-timers disease. Part of the time I can remember to plug in the laptop, and part of the time . . .

So, since I have been having such fun with the 25 things meme, I'm going to do 25 things about my friend LG.
1. LG has hair down to her hips. I am SO jealous of her long thick hair!!
2. She has a lovely alto voice, can sight-read music, and is not shy about singing in public.
3. She is a gifted actress.
4. Like many another gifted actress, she also has a day job in an office.
5.She is an avid bird-watcher.
6. She has a witty, droll, bawdy,delightful sense of humor and loves puns and dirty jokes as much as I do.
7. She is the kind of friend who can tell you that you have spinach on your teeth without making you feel like a disgusting slob.
8. She once, when I really, really needed it, sewed me a huge, heavy terrycloth bathrobe with a hood and pockets. I wore that bathrobe until the fabric across the shoulders disintegrated.
9. She let me cry on her shoulder when I realized that alcohol would kill my dad.
10. She was my labor coach when I had my baby and released him for adoption.
11. She thinks I'm wonderful. Can you believe it? After all the sordid details?
12. I have known LG for over three decades.
13. She laughs as loudly and wholeheartedly as I do.
14. She writes really, really well.
15. She has a large and tender heart.
16. She and her beloved husband adopted an abused dog and helped it get in touch with its inner pup.
17. LG is a marvelous gardener.
18. When LG had her house painted, she consulted with her neighbor to make sure the color would be acceptable to someone who would see it every time she looked out her window.
19. LG made green tomatoe pie and it was yummy!
20.LG knits, creatively and with splendid color sense.
21. LG reads a lot and watches almost no TV.
22. LG has lost a bunch of weight this past year and looks pretty darn good!
23. She is a woman, "of a certain age."
24. You wouldn't think it to look at her.
25. She went to college in Chicago.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

It's the ides of February

Clear skies give us lovely sunrises. And by this time of the year, the sun is above the horizon by the time I get to work.

The skies are clear and the trees are swelling with sap.

Shadows are assuming such artistic poses.

and the fragrant box bushes are blooming ike an air=borne blessing.

Monday, February 02, 2009

And one thing about Barb,

. . . since she suggeted it.

Barb is almost, but not quite, exactly unlike an orangutan. (Orangs are kindly beings, as is Barb. She is also small, quick, witty, smart, pretty, a snappy dresser, tidy and housebroken - exactly unlike an orangutan.)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

25 about Sue

A boquet of things about Sue aliensatbeavercreek who got me started on this meme.

1. Sue is Gay.
2. Sue is queer.

Settle down. I'm using these words in all possible senses. Sue is the life of any party she attends. She is a gay and spritely companion. So much for item #1.

And as for item #2, Sue is a unique eccentric who does things all her own way and succeeds. Isn't that queer?

3. OK, Sue is a lesbian. Unequivocally. But you know, she is not defined by who trips her triggers. None of us should be.

4.Sue knits.
5. Sue takes her drop spindle with her everywhere and turns out the most awesome yarn!
6. Sue is a mother and a grandmother.
7.Sue used to dance - ballet - on pointe!
8.She attends a Unitarian church. She preaches sermons and plans services. Does that make her a sky pilot? I don't know how the Unitarians do these things.
9.She sings wonderfully.
10. She cooks Chineese food from scratch!
11. She makes her living as an indexer. (See - queer. I told you!)
12. She writes quirky, funny, lesbian mysteries.
13. She writes really, really well.
14. We went to the same school at different times. Missed being classmates by about a year.
15. She used to work in child protective services.
!6. She tells some pretty hair-raising stories about it.
17. She is smart
18. warm,
19. funny - very funny - dry, witty and richly well informed.
20. spiritual
21. compassionate
22. Did I mention smart?
23.She lives in the country with her beloved partner, Jenny.
24. They have a dog and a cat.
25. They are loved by a whole raft of people!