Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday Afternoon in the Swamp

Another week just whizzed by while I was trying to get my life organized. I live & work in chaos. Because of this, I signed up for a Virtual University course in 'How to Organize your Life'. I'm supposed to keep a schedule of my time in 15 minute blocks for 3 days. The instructor says that 3 days is enough to see how you actually spend your time. Well, I spend a lot of time driving. And sorting things for clients. And trying to do two or three things at the same time. I'm an Everything Out & See The Big Picture - To Hell With the Details person. Which means I live in chaos. If it isn't in sight, I can't find it & I'm only concerned with the Bottom Line not how you get there . . . . . tell me something I don't know!! When do we get to the part that helps?????

I'm also taking a basic HTML class. I want to know why I can't make Mr Fluffy jump up & down!! I've been editing my template & adding buttons for this site by following the patterns of the original code. I've always been good at following patterns - did you know that most exams have a pattern?? And the template is no exception but I want to understand WHY it works. Mom DID say my first word was WHY, not mama, like other kids. So this has kept me busy too.

I've finished the Africa socks!! I made this first pair a little short since they're to go to one of the "Parents Who Have Everything" for Christmas. Yes Virginia, less than two months till the big day again!! I have another ball for myself hidden away - I'm not normally a brown lover but I just love the strong graphic element in these socks. They remind me of an African mud-print!!
And I'll enjoy wearing my pair. Since this yarn is a little coarser than the sock yarn I usually use, I went up a half needle size when I knit them which made the yarn feel much nicer.

I've also started to knit up the last of my Rainforest Opal - PARROT. I'm not sure if this colorway really reminds me of a parrot but it sure is bright & cheerful!! I've already turned the heel a la Queen Kahuna & am heading up the homestretch to the toe - these should be done by Saturday nite while I watch TV!! As usual, Opal knits up beautifully, feels good & has great yardage. I'm knitting it on my favorite 2.25mm needles & the fabric feels wonderful even before washing. I was looking at Opal sites since I know there's some new Rainforest colors & I want a couple of the new ones if I can ever find them again!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday morning coming down . . .

I woke up this morning with a hangover!
Well, it sure felt like a hangover although I only remember one beer last nite after work . . . and then Mizz Bitchy snapped at the BuGeyed Monster in the car & the fight was on!!! Feels more like Monday to me.!!
And here I've finished pair number 20 which I'd like to dip in gasoline, stuff in an unmentionable orifice & light with his very own Bic . . . . .

The Joys of Relationships.

By the way, the socks are laying in a bed of Rosemary - the durned thing seems to think its spring & is putting out new shoots everywhere!

And the pole beans are blooming their hearts out while the clematis is setting new buds everywhere. Aren't we getting ready for winter???

Still knitting on the Indian Sweater. As one knitter remarked, "its like knitting with turkey basters"!! She's got it right - its a great relief to get back to the nice little wooden sock needles after a couple hours of wrestling with those huge needles. I'm also making the sweater extra long so the back & kidney area isn't exposed when the wearer bends over & adding a hood to keep neck & head covered & warm. I remember cranking these out waaaaay back when my kid brothers were in their mid-teens & newly moved to Vernon. The first winter was a little out of their experience having grown up on the coast so big sister knit sweaters for the next winter!!! I think they were all the style back then too.

I've started on the Africa socks for ME. And I've stared a diamond shaped swatch in my Arvik handspun. I have a patten designed for a worsted weight cotton yarn that uses a diamond motif in a modular system to make a lovely summer sweater. Now worsted weight cotton may look good on a small figure but it becomes heavy & uncomfortable on a large one! I tried a couple of rows of the motifs & ended up frogging the whole thing in disgust. But, the pattern is lovely & I wondered how it would work with handspun . . . . . Handspun is loftier than commercial yarn but lighter in weight so the diamond motif may look really nice in a larger format. Must finish the swatch in order to test my theory. Would be a nice way to showcase the color changes in the fleece . . . .

And its 5 o'clock in the afternoon!! Where DID the day go?? Must be the hangover.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Just Another Soggy Sunday . . .

The rain has started & I guess this signals the start of winter in the Lower Mainland. I know, I know, we may get a couple of sunny days yet but the wet, grey days of fall and winter always get me down, especially when my paper is missing!!!!

One of the problems of this time of year is Where Do I Put All the Plants??? I toss em outside each spring & then fill up the plant places all summer with Other Things. Now I have to find Places again. If I was smart, which I'm obviously not, I'd only buy OUTDOOR plants.
So now I have to find a spot for two Christmas Cacti, two HUGE spider plants - these were babies from the two ENORMOUS spiders I sicced on my pal Gail last winter!!, one Ginormous Jade plant & several small ones from its cuttings that I had to stick in the ground when I pruned the Momma & two baby ferns that grew too big in their little spot over the summer. I guess it actually was a blessing in disguise when Someone came along early in the spring & stole several houseplants . . . .

On the craft front - I've dug out some of the 100+ packages of Buffalo & Cowichan wool that I have laying about the place. I have basically two color palettes - greyish & brownish with no two balls the same. I met two young people about a month ago who, for their own reasons, are homeless. They struggle daily to make enough money to care for their own needs without taking anything from the government or begging. They work hard every day salvaging things that people throw away & recycling them. So, I decided to knit them both a Cowichan style sweater to keep them warm. I'm making them long, pullover style & oversized with a pocket on the inside & two on the outside. After knitting with US1 & 2 sock needles, knitting this stuff with these big needles is like knitting with broomsticks!!!! I don't know what hurts the most - the hands or shoulders!!! But I think this is a great way to use up all this yarn I've had around for a long time. I'll make hats out of the rest to give away - this wool needs a new home!!!

Socks - the 20th pair this year is on the needles & have had their heels turned!! These are in the black/white splotchy Confetti so beloved by the BoyToy & will end up in his sock drawer. Haven't decided what color the toes will be yet but will probably have another red or blue stripe just before the toe which looks soooooo neat & colorful!! Gotta get some color in there somewhere with a guy who wants only "MANLY" colors . . .

Gail is off at the Desert Mesa Spinning retreat this weekend! I didn't have the money to go this year but put in my order for a couple of things . . . . as if I NEED any more fibre!!! Before Gail left, she sent me a couple of pictures of Freya with Granny & Grampaw at the Cranberry Festival in Langley. Granny Gail decided Freya needed something to keep her hands warm so she whipped up this latest little goodie for her grandbaby Freya. Fish Mitts!! Aren't they cute???

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Speaking of Time . . . .

Was having a BAD day this morning but I'm back on track!! I finished the BoyToy's newest socks last nite - in his favorite shade of Confetti - but I just HAD to make the toe different again! He really hates the wild patterns most of us love & I HAVE to do something to keep them from being booooooring!! I haven't cast-off for the toes yet so the turquoise thingie is the stitch holder for those who are wondering . . . . .

Picked the last of the Scarlet Runner beans today & gathered in the last green tomatoes as well. I always let a couple of beans go to seed so I have them to plant next year. I put up a couple of 8x2 lattice strips up this summer for my clematis & beans to climb - some of the Runner beans are still trying to flower & the clematis is flowering its head off too!! I hope we continue to get bright sunny days till the end of the month, who knows?? I might just get more beans! The Christmas Cactus is setting buds. I know, I know . . . . but this one flowers at Easter & Thanksgiving!! I believe its actually the Crab Cactus that blooms at Christmas.

I got the brand new first edition of Interweave Crochet the other day! I think I actually prefer Interweave Knitting to all the others so I thought I'd try the new magazine out for size. There's a couple of bulky wrap jackets in there that I just love. I think they'd be very easy to size up to an Ample size too - the Cinnabar Coat is done with side panels between the fronts & back so it would be VERY easy to make the panel wider without compromising the overall shaping. The stitch is dead easy too - a half-double crochet & a slip stitch make the pattern! I dug out a crochet hook & tried it out right away. I also loved the fluffy Pineapple Lace Cardigan. I'd make it as a snuggle sweater for reading in bed or cuddling on the couch. Its really nice to see crochet patterns other than afghans, bedspreads & doilies!!!

And me with FOUR - yes, thats FOUR sweaters-in-progress now . . .
As time goes by . . . .

I'm quite shocked at how the past two weeks have flown by! Remember when we were kids & time was all we had?? And how it crawled endlessly when we were anticipating something wonderful like Summer Holidays, or Christmas or Easter??? Now you blink and another week has disappeared. Are we that busy? Are we too busy to enjoy TIME? TIME to spin, TIME to knit, TIME to laugh, TIME to spend with friends & family. I've been reminded sadly in the past two weeks that TIME is very precious when there's none left. It has been said more than once that the only thing any of us begs for before we die is to have more TIME. Savor it. Spend it wisely. It waits for no one.