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.”

Friday, July 31, 2009

fractured Friday

DH has allergies AND a sinus infection. Now he has amoxycillin and some nasal spray stuff which he says is the nastiest tasting thing he has ever encountered. But he's sleeping through the night, and he goes hours between snarfels and nose-honking frenzies, which were happening every few minutes. Come January, I'm going to dig up my lily bulbs and get rid of them. (Sniff) anyone in the PDX area want some slightly used lily bulbs? They are astoundingly beautiful and sooooooo fragrant! And if they make my darling uncomfortable, I don't want them around!!

My friend LG is a gardener (and an actress and a birder and a knitter as well as many other wonderful things, too numerous to mention.) She told me that her lavender crop exceeded her ability to utilize, and I was free to go over to her house and harvest. (She works full time. I'm part-time) So I loaded up several bags and my kitchen shears and a ball-winder which I had found at a garage sale for $1 and knew she could use, and headed out to her house. I took a wrong turn somewhere, and wound up bushwhacking all over the neighborhood. I could SWEAR I knew just where her home was, and I knew I would recognize it if I saw it, and it was a nice neighborhood to cruise around in, almost traffic free and delightfully quirky. But after I passed the same two ladies chatting on the side walk for the third time, and they gave me a gravely suspicious look, I gave up and called LG at work, admitting my folly and confusion and asking for her street address. I was just a few blocks off, and she was SO kind and gracious!

So I parked right in front of her house, put the ballwinder on the porch, and proceeded to pillage. She has at least three different kinds of lavender. It was the hottest day of the year. The air was swooning with the humid fragrance of a well tended garden, and the lavender was a hubub of bees. I descended on the bushes bordering the public sidewalk, and began trimming them back, stuffing handfulls of aromatic treasure in the sacks. I trimmed, and sweated, and trimmed, and sweated.

The neighbor from across the street came over. I introduced myself right away and told here that LG had told me it was OK to harvest her lavender. Looking over the bounty, she agreed that it was probably ok, seeing as how I knew LG and her husband and their dog. Then the neighbor mentioned that she had an overabundance of garlics, and would I like some? I took two huge bulbs of elephant garlic with profuse thanks.

Then I continued to trim and sweat. Suddenly the bag I was stuffing began to rattle and vibrate. WTF? One of the trusses of flowers I had clipped had carried a bee along with it. Oh, my, she was annoyed with me! When you have had the dirty look from a pair of those compound eyes, you know you have been glared at as thouroughly as ever in your life! She kicked all her legs in disdain, then fluttered her wings and flew off.

Did this teach me to be more careful with my gathering? Did I heed this gentle warning? Need you ask? I was half-way through the fourth bush when I felt a prick, then a stinging, burning sensation in my left hand. Ah-yup. I looked at the barbered bushes, then at the overflowing bags in my car, then considered the growing heat of the day, and decided this was nature's way of telling me not to be so damn greedy.

Upon returning home, I sprayed Benedryl on the sting, then set up the drying racks, spread tablecloths across them, and spread the bounty out to dry. One hundred and six degrees dried things out quite quickly, and I am ready, today, to scrub the buds off the stems.

LG asked what this scrubbing process is. I just grab a handfull of blossom heads, and scrub them between my palms over the collecting container. If the flowers are really dry, almost all the buds come loose and shower down. then I scrape the very last blooms off with my thumbnail, stack the bare stems neatly, and grab another handful of blossoms. How do you do this? And did I commit a faux pas? Should I have picked the lavender stem by stem, rather than whacking off great handfulls of greenery with the scissors?

And who wants potpourri for Christmas? Rose petals and lavender, rosemary and who knows what else I'll come up with.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

That whistling sound?

It's the air leaking out of my head. I forgot to tell you about the awesome sewing kit Dave included in his fabric package.

Do you ever do that? You love something so very much that you put it aside for special consideration and then, somehow, forget to consider it? Was I this absent-minded when I was younger? I can't reemember.

Anyhoo - - This is an awesome piece of goodness. Dave made it using a magical process involving layers of brown tissue (Vogue patterns, to be exact) and secret, arcane recipes that produce a substance rather like stiff leather.

Then he added the compleate sewing kit lining, with pins and needles and pockets for spools of thread and little scissors and whatever, and finished it off with cords created on his lucet. Is this not cool beans? I am the lucky one, and am profoundly grateful!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weaver's exchange

Dave Daniels and I are doing a weaver's exchange. We weave and send each other at least two yards of fabric at least 12 inches wide. Then I get to keep one yard of his fabric for myself, and I use the other yard to make something for me.
Look what showed up on my front porch last night. Is this man gifted, or what?

Being Dave, of course he sent more than the agreed-upon items.
Look at this! Not only did he send gorgeous fabric, he used leftover thread to make cords, and hand-woven bindings. Now I get to use anything else I choose to make SOMETHING from this fabric for Dave. My mind is trying to go into high gear and overdrive at the same time. The fabric is cotton and so tactile. Shall I make something to wear next to the skin? (loincloth anyone?)Or shall I make a bag to carry groceries? I could totally wuss out and make placemats. The yoke on a nightshirt? Not a throw pillow. It does NOT go with his colors. What to do, what to do? A trip to Joanne's is in order.

And then, just because he's a fabulously generous guy, he also sent some glorious hand-dyed, hand spun yarn which makes my inner magpie skrak with delight. Bright! Pretty! Happy!

But wait, there's more! Would you believe two yards of silk(!)? Hand-dyed in the aqueous colors I love to wear the best. Dave, there was no mention of silk in the make-something-and-give-it-back contract. This is going straight into my sarong collection and headed for Hawaii with me in December. Oooo! Mmmmm! I'll think of you when I'm walking along Waikiki at sunset with my silk sarong tied as a skirt and playing peek-a-boo with my legs. (And deftly hiding the saddlebags, spiderveins and cellulite in sexy shimmering water-color hues.)Thank you, thank you! Squeeee!!!

What to make? What to make? Hmmmmm. . . .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Some summer for my friends in OZ

Some 7AM photos I took when I went outside to water the plants. It was so warm and balmy I could have run around nekkid - but I didn't. There are laws against creating public eyesores in this city.

The neighbors have such a pretty house. Great morning light, don't you think?



Gladiolius and roses.

Our very own cherry tomatoes. Yum, yum!!

Thanks for re-inforcing my own beliefs. After blogging, I went over and talked to the fence-climber's mom. These are the people whose pit bull crawls under the fence. I feel like such a complainer, but she really did need to know. She had no idea he could get over the fence. "So that's what happened!" she said. Evidently, a few weeks ago, the kid had disappeared and was found blocks and blocks away. As I was walking back to my house, I could hear her calling little Houdini in from the back yard. He hasn't been outside unsupervised since then. Poor little guy! He sooo needs someone to play with. I would offer to take him to the park, but I'm not that good with kids, and I don't want to set precedent, because mom is just yearning for free, handy babysitting. Maybe I'll check out pre-schools in the neighborhood and leave information in their mailbox.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


We are having a heatwave - up to 102 today. DH, being a California boy, made sure our house had AC, so it's colder than a dead eskimo in here. I'm going outside to weave very soon.

The neighbor's three-year-old has learned to climb the fence into our yard. I was weaving away the other day and suddenly this little guy was at my elbow saying, "Whatcha dooin?" I told him he is not allowed in our yard unless we invite him, and if I catch him in our yard without an invitation I would - and then I paused, stuck for a sufficiently powerful threat. Then, my inner three-year-old found the best one. "I'll tell your mom." Grudgingly, he climbed back over the fence. We don't want him unsupervised on our property, and his mom spends her life in the house in front of the tv, except when she's on the front porch smoking.

I'm going to pick cherry tomatoes off our very own bush today. Yum! They're Sweet One Hundreds, and they're just like candy.

New addiction - wasabi peas. They make my nose run, but I like them!

Lazy sunday's are my favorites!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The old warrior, and some knitting.

Here's Jack, sporting his dashing new haircut. He doesn't seem to mind it too much, and his belly is no longer a mass of knots.

For my friends in wintry Oz, here's a picture of a sunny blue sky. Remember what sunny warm skies look like?

Daphne, my dragon, decided she might like a little time in the front yard. She looks quite sriking, hip deep in the grass. (Yes, our front yard grass is belly deep on a very small dragon.)

I have quite fallen in love with magic loop knitting. Here's a hat and a pair of mittens on a single needle.

Everything is better with a kitty, but the kitty is not so sure about the dragon.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Last act of defiance

I took old blind three-legged Jack cat in yesterday to get the mats shaved off his belly. I would have clipped them off myself, but DH didn't want me picking up another cat-bite infection. So the first thing the nice lady at Pet Smart did, after cuddling and petting Jack and and baby-talking to him for a minute, was to snap on one of those cone-shaped stiff plastic collars. So he CAN'T bite. Brilliant! Then she got to work with the comb and clippers. Jack kicked and cussed and tried to claw, did his best to bite, wriggled, struggled, and even called her a dog-loving cat-hater, but to no avail. She had his head and front leg pinned under her elbow, his back end trapped with her other hand, and was just starting to shear his belly when suddenly she flinched back from the table, and I saw a jet of liquid arcing up at her. In a last act of defiance, Jack pissed all over her. He may be old and feeble, but he fights to the end! I apologized and apologized, and gave her a big tip, and she laughed and said it happens a lot and not to worry.

He is much more comfortable now without all those lumps to lie on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No news

So how about some kitty pictures?
Ben, having a nice nap in the early-morning sun.

And Pepper, modeling the scarf that looked like a mutant manta ray swimming through the hostas.
I tried to convince her that cats like to dress up and parade around in their finery, but she wasn't buying it. Stoic tolerance for my feeblemindedness was all she was prepared to give.

Still, everything is better with a kitty, and she does show the scarf to nice advantage.

Have you seen this woman's work? Astounding minature knits!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I, too, am a lemming

You are 60% ninja!

You are more ninja than the above-average group of those who call themselves "ninja." You are almost worthy enough to want to find out the results to this quiz, but not quite.

How Ninja Are You?
Take More Quizzes

Thanks to KnitTech for this.

I didn't have to go to work today, but I had to go to the college for a meeting, so I went in early and took the new math test. (Heck, if I administer it, I should at least know how it goes.) I am very good at basic arithmetic. I'm about average with fractions. I can almost keep my head above water with decimals. Anything else swamps me! How often do you use negative numbers in your daily life? Thank Godness I'm a writer!

DH has a nasally snarfy thing going on for two weeks now. Is there something going around? One side of his head runs and runs and the other side is swollen shut. For two weeks. The advice nurse told him to take decongestants and flush with a solution of water, sea salt, and baking soda. He is NOT a happy camper! He won't even let me buy aloe impregnated kleenex for him. He's too tough to need it. Hmpf. When his mustache gets worn away by our cheap tissues, I will just have to bite my lip in frustration. He hates being babied.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's lily season

I think these are Stargazer lilies, but I'm not sure. They're growing at work, and they just make me smile every day I see them. I have to go over and inhale like a dope smoker, drawing that perfume through my sinuses and storing it up in my lungs. Glory and joy! I'm so glad to have a sense of smell!
And a sense of sight. Aren't they gorgeous? Look at that blue sky, the pink flowers, " . . .the greens of summer. you give me the nice bright colors. Oh momma don't take my Kodachrome awaaay . . . "(thank you for the earworm, Art and Paul.

And thanks to Heide for the suggestion that I could just sew more beads onto my scarf. I did so and I am delighted with it. My inner magpie is dancing for joy because it now sparkles! Thank you, Heide. Great fix!

Monday, July 20, 2009

They're just like potato chips!

I finished another ruffle-edged scarf. Teresa Ruch's hand painted bamboo makes it SO pretty and soft. And it's easy peasy. Just knits and increases, then knit a row, purl a row.
This is the best photo for the color.

this photo shows the design the best.

And this photo is sooo artsy, don't ya think?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

no news

So this woman moved into the neighborhood, and she was friendly and cheerful and trying to get to know all her neighbors. The guy next door was a crusty old curmudgeon, but she kept working on him. One day, she said, "Your tomatoes are so ripe and red and mine just haven't ripened up at all. Do you have any suggestions for what I can do to get my tomatoes to turn red?"

He looked her up and down and drawled, "Welllll, first thing every morning, you could go out wearing just your bathrobe, and you could flash your termaters. They'll get so embarassed, they'll turn red as anything."

Well, she was a very nice lady, so she thanked him politely and left him alone. But she got to thinking, and several days later she showed up on his front porch with a chocolate cake. "I wanted to thank you for your good advice," she told him. "I did just what you said, and the results have been astonishing!"

He was flummoxed. "You mean your termaters got red?" he asked, astounded.

"No," she replied, "They're as green as ever. But my zuccini are THIS long!"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July joys.

The roses are so happy and lush! I got this one in full sun against shade. Happy accident!

The plum tree has two (2) plums ripening up on it. Translucent globes of sweet juicy summer. I dunno what kind they are. This tree is so willing! All it asks is a tiny bit of sunshine.

The garage door opener died and died so seriously that we couldn't get the door fully closed anymore. So DH used his Sears card and arranged to have it installed today. That meant, we had to - clean - the- garage! It wasn't THAT big a deal in actuality, but it took some serious decisiveness to get it started. And it required both of us because a lot of things required consultation. "Do you want to keep this?" "Geeze, I'd forgotten we even had that. If we've lived without it this long, we can continue to do so. Out it goes!"

We have a whole grocery box full of miscellaneous mystery cords. There is a drift of detritus three feet deep outside the door. There is now enough clear space to park my car! And the garage door goes up and down at the push of a button. All this before noon!

Then we went shopping, and happened to drive by Michaels Crafts with a big "CLEARANCE SALE" plastered across the front. We had to stop. I was strong. I bought some very inexpensive packs of blank notecards. Anyone want Roxie Original notecards for Christmas?

Now I am swinging in my sling chair under the old apple tree, wallowing in the warmth and satisfaction of a day well spent.

Tomorrow, I'll get to the loom again.

The yarn is Dave Daniels dyed. I've got about seven yards of warp. I just might make myself a wool blanket. Unless someone out there is smitten with hand-dyed, hand-woven yardage, all wool, and 15 inches wide? If you have an inspiration and you really love it, let me know. Mebbe we can mek a deel.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ahh, heat wave!

It got up to 90 degrees yesterday. I love the heat, but then, I have the leisure to sit in the shade in my sling chair and read. If I had to do physical labor ourdoors, I doubt I would be so sanguine. I DID get a little weaving done, but no photos so far. Maybe today.

The big activity yesterday was getting 19 year old Jack to the vet for his rabies shot. Now he feels really crappy and it's all he can do to drag himself to the water dish. Poor old man. Wish the law would cut some slack for old cats who never leave the house.

And the big activity for today is meeting a friend for lunch. I LOVE a boring life!

If you get a chance to buy "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," - don't. I didn't particularly enjoy it and would be more than willing to give you my copy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Knitting and squees of glee

OK, so here's another scarf! Maybe I can hang on to this one. I wore it today and managed to bring it home.

I made a timid foray into beading and scattered a few subtle touches along the edge. They may be too subtle. What's the point of doing something that no one will notice?

Then, at the end of my weekly 9 hour day, I got home to find a completely unexpected gift from Heide.
pamper stuff (the bath salts smell delicious!)

A nice letter telling me that her beloved husband adores his Willy Warmer and shows it to every adult entering the house,

AND . . .
Socks! Noro socks! She says, "Unfortunately, the dyers at Noro decided to liven the mix by adding some unexpected colors in a non-sequential order (the OCD part of me is still twitching). Luckily though the tops match and if you need to go out while wearing them, then shoes or boots will hide the non-conformity. And should those dreaded raccoons come back to renew their orgy then you can shake your one pink foot at them angrily."

Oh, Heide, I ADORE my socks in all their idiosyncratic glory! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am tickled to giddiness and want to wear my socks to work today, but they are predicting 90degrees. But soon. Soon, I will kick up my cozy toes in reckless abandon and astound the general public. And now, I will go wallow in their glory. Thank you a thousand times!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just got this in my "in" box

Recently, in large city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tanned woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said:


A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans). They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp. They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Barren Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia . Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs. They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans. They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist. If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human? They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex? Therefore they don't have kids either. Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me; I want to be a whale.

P.S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a coffee with my friends. With time we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,Good gosh, look how smart I am......

Monday, July 13, 2009

Radio Drama - episode 4 - caution: Politically incorrect material

We join supermodel Intarsia, her fiancee pro-golfer Fargo FairIsle, and her ward, Purl Twotogether, in the diningroom of the Transylvanian Baroness Typopositive. She has gathered a group of madcap young Italians for a "Scarlet Ball," and her butler has just locked the only door out.

BAroness: Welcome, my dear, spicey, juicy young friends! I trust that you all followed my instructions to keep your destination a secret from your friends and family? It's so very important not to tell anyone where we are. We don't want any party crashers, do we?

(General murumuring of assent)

Baroness: As a special treat, we have the so famous supermodel Intarsia and her friends Fargo FairIsle and little Purl Twotogether. Do come here, my dears.

Purl: Nuh-uh. I'm not getting anywhere near her!

Fargo: Come on, Purl. Intarsia will hold your right hand, and I'll hold your left and we'll all walk up together. The closer we can get to the door, the happier I'll be.

Baroness: (Gasp) Intarsia, my dear, why are you wearing that hideous necklace? Really, you must take it off immediately.

Intarsia: You don't care for my black pearl crucifix? But it was blessed by the Pope. I think it sets off the ensemble perfectly. And Purl's little silver collar - so edgy, don't you think?

Baroness: Appalling! Take it off immediately!

Purl: Yeah, like I'll take orders from you!

Baroness: Look into my eyes. LOOK! I am overcoming your will with my own. You can not resist me. You will do as I command. Bare your throat to me.

Intarsia: Purl, your fly's unzipped.

Purl: What? No it's not.

Intarsia: Made you look! Now don't make eye contact with these skinny old folks. Look them straight in the fangs.

Purl: O my gosh! Tell that to Fargo! He's thrown his head back and pulled his collar open. The Baroness is biting him on the neck!

Intarsia: Fargo! Sweetheart, no!

Baroness: Ack! Yuck. How disgusting! He's not my type at all!

Fargo: AB negative. Too bad, baby. Intarsia, do you have those ebony needles I gave you last Christmas?

Intarsia: Always. Size 7 is my favorite! Let me show you, Baroness. Right through the heart!

Baroness: Stop them! (screams)

Purl: Wow - she just disolved to dust! Fargo, give me one of those wooden golf clubs.

(Screams all around them)

Fargo: Pull the head off this nine-iron. I'll use the driver.

(constant screaming and furor)

Intarsia: The vampires are attacking the Italian tourists. Let's get them!

Fargo: Great fancing technique, Purl.

Purl: Thanks! I didn't realize that if you clubbed them with a wood, it would drop them in their tracks.

Fargo: (grunt)It takes an accurate head shot.

Intarsia: Oh I love my pointy sticks! Stabbity stab!

(CRASH! BANG! Even more screaming and hubub)

VonHelsing: Take them out, men!

Fargo: We're mortal! We're mortal!

Von Helsing: Fargo FaireIsle? Intarsia? And you must be Ms Twotogether. I'm chief Inspector VonHelsing of the Vampire Eradication Department. What are you doing here?

Intarsia: We were on our way to the Versace shoot at Castle Turistrappe, and our car broke down. But what brings you here in such timely fashion?

Von Helsing: We got a tip from a troll. Baroness Typeopositive has developed a taste for Italian blood, so every month she holds one of her "Scarlet Balls" inviting wild youngsters from twelve different Italian cities. She and her friends feast, then throw the bodies off the nearby bridge. Our informer troll lived under it.

Purl: But, trolls aren't very bright. How could he tell you all that?

Von Helsing: He kept singing, "Drained WOPS keep falling on my head . . ."

(Cue theme music for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid")


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Episode 3, continued

Purl: Looks like the crowd is headed through that door. Fargo, Intarsia, shall we follow?

Fargo: Ladies first!

Intarsia: Wow, this place looks like a badly lighted horror movie set. Candle light is flattering but sure leaves lots of shadows along the walls. Those big open beams overhead must be a nightmare to dust. And those red velvet draperies over the windows - what a spider ranch!

Fargo: If this is the dining room, where are the tables?

Gina:(With Italian accent) Madonna mia! La Intarsia! Theresa, ecco! Se La Intarsia!

Theresa:(With Italian accent) Signoria Intarsia! I - we - you - Te adoro! (giggle)

Intarsia: Thank you, ladies. What brings you to this lovely castle?

Gina: Every year, La Baronessa gives the scarlet ball - just for her special friends. This year, for the first time, Igor has invited us to join him. That's Igor - by the door.

Fargo: The tall grey-haired guy in the cardinal-red tights and doublet?

Theresa: He has beautiful legs - no?

Gina: And he has beautiful strength too. (giggles)

Theresa (giggles)

Purl: Eeeew! He's like, about a hundred and four years old!

Gina: He is magnifico!

Theresa: And rich.

Purl: Oh, that's just gross!

Intarsia: Purl, let's not be judgemental.

Purl: Well it gives me the creeps. This whole set-up gives me the creeps. It's like that Edgar Allen Poe story. I almost wish we had taken our chances with the wolves.

Intarsia: "The Red Mask?" Well, people do try to be original with their party themes.


Sergai: Signores e Signorinas, La Baroness!

Fargo: Wow! Look at those - oof! Why did you elbow me in the ribs, Intarsia? I was going to say that the rubies in her necklace are the size of golfballs.

Purl: And check out the size of the putting green. Bet they're fake. The rest of her is all skin and bones.

Intarsia: I can dress you up but I can't take you anywhere! She's a bit long in the tooth to carry off that ruffly wine-colored chiffon, but she does work it well. Um, do you notice how all the skinny older folks are grouping near the door?

Purl: Hey, there aren't any windows behind these draperies. It's just bare walls. I bet that door is the only way out.

Fargo: And Sergai is locking it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Radio drama - episode 3

Supermodel Intarsia, her fiancee Fargo FairIsle, and her ward Pur Twotogether have found their way to the castle of the Baroness Typeopositive where a bus-load of Italian tourists are spending the night. The Baroness, thrilled to have such a celebrity in her home, does all she can to make them welcome, even providing costumes for the masquerade planned for the evening. We join them as they pepare to go down to dinner.

Purl: Intarsia, are you ready?

Intarsia: Almost, Purl. Could you help me cinch up this corset? Just haul on the laces while I exhale,then tie them good and tight. (Whoofs out her breath.)

Purl: Just a minute. Don't breathe yet. There, I've got it.

Intarsia: (gasps) Thatta girl! Thanks, Purl. Fargo never gets the knots tight enough and halfway through the evening, things start to loosen up. Your costume is darlilng! That shade of crimson really suits you. But it needs a touch of jewelry. Here, try this silver choker.

Purl: Oooooo - totally Goth! With this big collar, tight pants, and flowy sleeves, I look like an evil fairy. And red seems to be the theme tonight. Your dress is - vermillion?

Intarsia: Absolutely. I'll never figure how they got the leather corset and the silk skirts dyded exactly the same shade. I look like a bloody mermaid. Which necklace?

Purl: The black pearls with the crucifix. It's just the right length!

(Knock knock)

Purl: I'll get the door. Hi Fargo! You look like a maroon monk.

FArgo: Hi Purl. You look wicked good yourself. Are you ladies ready?

Intarsia: Fargo, dear, why are you carrying your golf clubs?

Fargo: Have you seen a lock on any of these doors? I'm not leaving my precious clubs to be carried off by the first set of sticky fingers that wanders by. And these Italian tourists are in and out of each other's rooms like a flock of couckoos in a Bavarian clock shop.

Purl: Yeah, I don't like the looks of some of them. Like they're licking their chops or something.


Intarsia: That's the dinner bell. Shall we go?

Fargo: And another thing, how come there's electric lights in the bedrooms, but only candles here in the hall?

Purl: It creates atmosphere and hides the stains on the carpet.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Radio Drama, chpt 2.

Intarsia, her fiancee, Fargo FairIsle, and her ward, Purl Twotogether, are lost somewhere in Transylvania.

Fargo: We've been walking for hours. It's getting dark and we still haven't seen any signs of life. Maybe we should have stayed with the car.

Purl: No way! It was a dead zone. But now that we're at the top of this ridge, I'll bet we can get reception. I'll just climb this tree and see if I can pick up a signal here.

Intarsia: Be careful, Purl.

Purl: Whatever. (Sounds of scrambling)

Intarsia: Well, Fargo, even if Purl gets a call out, it'll still be dark before anyone gets here. We'd better make camp. Luckily, this little hike gave me time to finish this king-sized cashmere afghan, so we can all cuddle up together in front of the fire. Can you find some sticks, or will we have to burn your golf clubs?

Fargo: You keep your flaming fingers off my woods, Intarsia.

Intarsia: (Laughs)
Fargo: (Laughs)

Purl: (from above) Hey guys, there's a castle down in the next valley! If we hurry, we can get there before dark! (Great rustling of branches as Purl slides down)

Intarsia: Did you try your cell phone while you were up there, Purl?

Purl: Yep. There's only one bar, and it comes and goes, but I sent a text with our GPS so if it gets through, they'll know where to start looking.

Fargo: Who'd you send it to, Purl?

Purl: I sent it to Lightfoot, if it's any of your business, Fargo.

Fargo: Still have a schoolgirl crush on him, Purl?

Intarsia: Oh Fargo, quit teasing her. Lightfoot's a nice young man and a genius with a camera. But Purl, Lightfoot isn't working the Versace shoot. He's covering Brittany's birthday in Aruba.

Purl: Oh ratcrap!I forgot that. Shall I climb back up and try someone else?

Intarsia: No, I think we should just hotfoot it to that castle you saw. Surely they'll have a phone.

(Wolf howls in the distance)

Fargo: Feets, get heating!

(Footsteps of party hurrying away. Eerie music with animal sniffing and growling in the background. Then music down, and footsteps approaching.)

Purl: It's just around the bend of this road, I'm sure. Yes, there it is! See Fargo? See Intarsia? A castle, complete with a tour bus parked out back. We're saved!

(Wolf howls close by)

Intarsia: Just in time, too, Purl. That animal's getting much too close for comfort. What's it say on the side of the bus, Fargo? The light's gotten so dim I can't read it. Imagine, lighting the front door with oil lamps!

Fargo: It says, "Turis Bellisima, Genoa, Italy" How's your Italian, Intarsia?

Intarsia: I can order spaghetti ala carbonara anywhere in Rome, but I need sign language to buy shoes. How about you, Fargo?

Fargo: Nada. Purl, do you speak Italian?

Purl: I read Latin. And I know only enough Serbo-Croation to find the hotel. but all they have to do is LOOK at us to see we need help. We're tired, dirty, scared, cold, and I scratched my arm climbing that tree. See?

Intarsia: Why didn't you say something? I've got antibiotics and some bandaids in my bag.

Purl: Oh, it's no biggie. I didn't even know I'd drawn blood till I looked down and saw it smeared all over. Sure does make me look pitiful, though, doesn't it?

FArgo: With you bruised and bleeding, and Intarsia barefoot, we look like refugees. And oh my gosh, check out the doors on this place. They must be fifteen feet high! Oak planks with iron bands and hinges - they must weigh a ton. And look at the size of the knockers on 'em!

Purl and Intarsia: Fargo!

Fargo: What? This knocker is huge! It must weigh 30 lbs. I bet most people couldn't even lift it. (Grunt)


Fargo: (Grunt)


Purl: Let me give it a try, Fargo. What wierdo makes a brass knocker in the shape of a giant bat? (Grunt)


Purl: Wow, I nearly hurt myself. What would you do if you couldn't lift that knocker?

Intarsia: You might use this doorbell. (tinkly bells play the deadmarch)

Fargo: I never even saw the doorbell. I was just too distracted by those enormous knockers.

(Creaking door)

Sergai: Buona nocte. (In the Bella Lugosi way of saying "Good evening" only in Italian)

Purl: Uh, hi! Do you speak English?

Sergai: Americans? Oh there must be some mistake. We weren't expecting you till next week.

Intarsia: Actually, you weren't expecting us at all. Our car broke down and we've been walking all day, and we really need a place to spend the night.

Sergai: Of course. Do come in. Oh, my dear young lady, you're bleeding!

Purl: Oh it's not bleeding any more, and it was just a scratch anyhow. Thanks for taking us in. I'm Purl. What's your name?

Sergai: I am Sergai, butler to the Baroness Typeopositive.

Purl: Pleased to meet you, Sergai. I'm Purl Twotogether, this is Fargo FairIsle, and this barefoot refugee is Intarsia.

Sergai: YOU are the famous model, Intarsia?

Fargo: Strike a pose, Intarsia.

Intarsia: How about "Amazon princess in chains?" Like this. (heavenly voices in perfect harmony "Ahhhh")

Sergai: It IS you! Oh, the Baroness will be SO pleased. Do come in. I'll show you to your rooms. Let me call some servants to carry your luggage. Oh this is marvelous! We are hosting a costume ball tonight. When you've washed and rested a bit, perhaps you would consider joining us. I'm sure we could find costumes for you.

Purl: Cool!

(Eerie music with howling of many wolves and a sound of scratching on the door.)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Radio drama, episode one

Our intrepid heroine, supermodel Intarsia, and her 13 year-old ward, Native American Purl Twotogether are on their way to a high-fashion photo shoot in the mountains of Transylvania. Intarsias's fiancee, the notable pro golfer, Fargo FairIsle, is between matches and has taken the opportunity to travel with them. We join them now, en-route.

Purl: Hey, Intarsia, Fargo, this scenery looks a lot like my home in the Washington Cascades. Steep, craggy mountains, miles of gloomy evergreens and not a mall in sight. I bet there isn't a Gap store in this whole country!

Fargo: You're probably right, Purl. I just hope there's a decent auto mechanic. I don't like the sound of this transmission.

Intarsia: You know, Fargo, Sweetie, much as I appreciate you taking the time to drive us to Castle Turistrappe for the Versace shoot, I don't know if your Fiat Spider was the right car for these roads.

Fargo: You may be right, Intarsia. It was fine for the main highway, but this detour IS getting awfully rough.

Bang, crash, rattle, rattle, tinkatinkatingtingtinginging!


Intarsia: Gee, Fargo, I don't like the sound of that transmission either.

Purl: So now what?

Fargo: Now we get a lovely hike in the unspoiled forest primeval. Grab what you need for a walk, girls. We'll lock everything else in the trunk. Here's your bag, Intarsia, just unpack what you need for the day.

Intarsia: (grunting in a ladylike fashion.) This IS what I need for the day, Fargo. Lipstick, emergency nail repair kit, knitting, back-up knitting, moisturizing spf 50 foundation, alternate knitting, Hair accessories, stitch markers, tape measure, Knit-Picks convertible circular needles set, credit cards, just the essentials.

Purl: Hey as long as I don't have to carry it, I don't care. I've got my Swiss Army knife, a roll of duct tape, and two yards of aluminum foil. I'm good to go.

Fargo: But Intarsia, Darling, that bag must weigh 40 pounds. You can't possibly consider carrying it all day.

Intarsia: The last Issey Miyake shoot I did, he gave me a 70 lb stuffed buffalo head as an accessory, and had me running up a flight of stairs with it. We shot for ten hours and he still wasn't satisfied. He wanted a neo-faux Rennaisance statement rendered with pathos. (voice begins to fade in the distance) The dress was copper wire and mylar. I could have given him Retro Venetian with pathos, or even quasi-proto Enlightenment, but . . . Fargo, dear, are you coming?

Fargo: Your shoes? Why are you carrying your shoes?

Intarsia: Surely you don't expect me to wear my Manolo Blahnicks in the DIRT?

Fargo: But you're barefoot.

Intarsia: I've spent so many hours stomping around in five inch heels that I've lost all feeling from the ankles down.

Purl: Really. Check out those bunions!

Intarsia: Anyway, You're carrying your golf bag, Fargo. What's so essential in there?

Fargo: I just got these custom-made ash-shafted woods and I'm not leaving them in the car to be stolen by some clod with a crowbar.

Intarsia: Ash-wood shafts, Fargo? But I thought everyone was into space-age metals for their clubs now. Titanium, niobium, and annodized aluminum. Aren't wooden golf clubs terribly old fashioned?

Fargo: I prefer the weight and resiliancy of real wood. And it has such a satisfying thwock when you nail the ball on the sweet spot. (Sighs)

Intarsia: Now why are you stopping, Fargo?

Fargo: One last look at the Spider. It looks so forlorn, abandoned there in the shadows.

*Eerie music*

Tune in tomorrow for our next exciting chapter.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I can't hold on to these scarves

As I intended, I wore my new scarf to work yesterday. In the hall I passed a young woman who was just as cute as a button. Bright eyes and darling outfit with an adorable tailored cropped vest. We made eye contact, smiled at one another. "That is such a cute vest." I said.

"Ross for $3," she replied, lighting up like a halogen bulb. "And I LOVE your scarf! It's exactly the colors in my wedding. My gown is cream and this green, and I made a vest for my husbabnd out of this shade of blue. Where did you get it?"

"I made it," I told her, beaming with pride and unwrapping it from my neck. "It's bamboo and tencell." I held it out so she could feel.

"Bamboo? Oh how wonderful! My wedding is going to be all 'green.' I've been looking for a shrug to go with my gown since the wedding is on Halloween."

I draped the scarf around her shoulders. She was tiny and it was just big enough to be a sweet little shawl. "Would this work?" I asked her.

Hey, I love weddings, she loved the scarf, and the way her face lit up was worth every stitch.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

quiet weekend

We stayed away from the fireworks shows, and our neighborhood idiots seem to have taken their idiocy elsewhere, so there were no explosions, no fires, and no ambulance sirens to disturb our rest. The fourth was nice and warm, and I got a lot of weaving accomplished. Just another yard or so to go. Then I'm going to tie on a wool warp.

Meanwhile, Fly cat spent all day sunday hiding in our rose bush. DH snapped this photo with the caption, "Find the Sniper."

And I finished a bit more knitting.
A nice bamboo and tencel yarn dyed by Teresa Ruch. A simple mitered triangle scarf with a ruffled edge and a bit of "Use up the last of it" turquoise for trim.

Think I'll wear it to work tomorrow - anti-air-conditioner accessory.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy fourth!

Try to avoid things that want to explode in your hands.(Dave, quit snickering!) Don't poke your eye out with a sparkler. Do your best not to step barefoot on hot embers. Refrigerate the potato salad untill the last minute and don't eat it if it gets warm. Go put the jet nozzle on your hose now so when your idiot neighbor shoots his illegal roman candles at your fir tree, you can squirt water high enough to put out the fire before it gets to your garage. And keep your pets inside all day.

I have been listening to some fun stuff lately. On the radio I heard a recording of some jazz musicians and Fred Astair. The musicians played some easy blues for a few bars, then you heard some splendid whistling as Fred got into the piece, then ratatap-tap, he took off. And for five minutes or so he and the musicians made awesome music together. He even did a tap solo riff. Finally you could hear him say, "Take it" rather breathlessly, and the drummer picked up the rhythms. After about a minute, Fred and the drummer began trading licks. It was awesome! It was recorded in the 70s when Fred was an OLD man, and he was STILL scorching the floor! I had never considered tap shoes as a musical instrument before.

And I went to the library and got some books on CD to listen to on my I-pod, among them, 99 Radio Shows. Oh my gosh, what a treat! Tom Mix and Wild Bill Hickock with Andy Devine as Jingles, and Tarzan of the Jungle, and The Shadow, and The Whistler and the Voice of America broadcasts(with commercials. "This program is brought to you by Camel Cigarettes, who provide free cigarettes to all of our servicemen recuperating in hospitals.") and the Story Lady. The comedies are so flat that they're unintentionally funny. I wonder if they hired professional laughers to fill the audience, or if someone stood around with a sign that he would hold up at the proper time saying, "Laugh, damn it!" And there's a multipart serial of Superman and the Talking Cat that I haven't got to yet. Oh. it does beguile the idle hours!

Those old shows were great fun, and as I listen, I realize they were quite a writing exercise. The actors have to set the scene without explicitly describing it. Margot Lane says, "Oh, what a magnificent foyer! Even the stairs are white marble. And what a stunning chandelier!" You can see it, can't you? Or Lamont Cranston says,"Better take my hand, dear. You could twist an ankle on this rough ground in the dark." Ah ha! we know they're outside at night, no doubt in pursuit of some nere-do-well again. Because, as we all know, "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit!"

I might try writing a radio drama, just for the fun of it. Let's see, it would star Intarsia, master knitter, and her ward,. . . who? Who would be a good ward for Intarsia? Any suggestions?

Friday, July 03, 2009

winding on the new warp

Ok, so now you've tied your new warp on to the remains of the old warp. Now, you need to coax the knots gently to the back of the loom.

First, ease them through the reed. If you pull gently from the warp beam side, and wiggle them up and down from the cloth beam side, you will find they are happy to slide through. If you are doing this with mohair or something similarly difficult, you may nee to do this one knot at a time. It's your own fault for doing a mohair warp in the first place.

Then ease the knots through your heddles.

When you get all the knots back to the warp beam, cut off the remains of your existing warp, throw it away, and fasten on the new warp.
I chain my new warp as I tie on the colors, so pull out a chain of the new warp, and begin winding onto the warp beam. I have a nice piece of corrugated cardboard to lay in between the first few revolutions of the warp, then, if the warp is narrow enough, I have a roll of wallpaper that works a treat. You keep a layer of paper between the turns of the warp because you don't want the threads to wind on unevenly, some burrowing down between previous wraps, and others piling up. Your object is to keep all the threads the same tension as they wind on. Some theories want you to keep fierce tension on them, usually by getting an accomplice to haul back on the cloth beam end of the warp, while you crank like a millwright turning the beam. I find that if I keep the tension evenly loose, it works just as well.

As I go along, I comb the warp on the cloth beam side of the loom to help it slide easily through the reed and heddles. You can use a wide=tooth comb, or if you don't have one handy, a fork works just as well.

Remove the woven fabrics from the cloth beam, and tie on your new warp, adjusting the tension till each thread is equally taunt. You are now ready to weave.

I had a long white wool warp, so I did a nice ice-green wool fill to use it up. This is from a dye experiment that wasn't satisfactory. I left the yarn wound on the cone, and soaked one side in the dyebath. Insufficient penetration of dye into the tightly wound cone. I got better results by using a horse syringe (got it from the feed store. Where do you get YOUR dye syringes?) and injecting color into the cone, but then it took too freaking long to dry, even in 90degree heat and 0% humidity. Anyhow, I now have 2.5 yds of 10inch wide wool - a bit too rough to be a scarf, but maybe a vest front or . . . .?

And there was a trace of yellow and black linen warp that called out for some soft yarn. . . and there was the camo colored merino that I had spun up from fiber from Samurai Knitter . . . This will be a tea cozy I do believe.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Using your loom as a warping board

When I was weaving samples for the fabric designers at Pendleton Woolen Mills, time was money, so we learned the FAST way to do things. If, for example, you already have the draw that you want on your loom, then you can tie the new warp on to the end of your previous warp. Use rulers or leashsticks ot whatever you like, to count the thread in your new pattern and layer them. If, for example, you want a warp that has seven blue, seven white, four red, and seven white ends per pattern repeat, count your warp threads and pick up the ones that will be red on top of a ruler. Then take another ruler and pick up the threads that you want to be blue, and slide the second ruler under these threads AND the threads alread picked up to be red. Leave the biggest segment, the white just sitting there.

How long do you want your warp to be? Take a tape measure and start wrapping it back and forth around your loom. You may want to add some extra sticks to give you more lengths. My loom is a meter wide, and I added a stick (a long shuttle) to give me two more meters of warp.

Then, holding your clippers, pick the first of the top layer of threads, and begin to tie on. Clip the existing warp, Pick up,

clip and hold both threads between thumb and forefinger.

wrap them together around that index finger and roll the ends through the loop.

And pull the knot snug.

then start moving your arms loosely from the shoulders to wrap the warp around your loom.

It's like a dance the way your hands pass the thread back and forth. It's a kinesthetic skill which means it takes a while to learn, but then your muscles will remember and your brain can go play elsewhere.

Tomorrow. rolling all this onto the warp beam.