Thursday, August 06, 2009


So, yesterday I thought I would take the kids to play with their friends and then I would be free to spend a little time on chores. After the chores, I was going to enjoy a long afternoon of knitting. You know, because it was too stinking hot to touch wool last week.

Well, as I pulled back into the garage, I looked at all the boxes sitting around in there. Himself and I have decided we are going to spend time working through those boxes and either re-pack the things we're keeping or, here's a novel idea, use the stuff, or give it to charity. So, yesterday, in a fit of strange energy, I decided to sort through a few boxes.

After browsing through some boxes full of spiders, spiders and books, I decided to sort through photos & old personal memorabilia instead. Hmmm. I have a lot of photos, old photos, and now I'm thinking those spiders look pretty nice. lol On the other hand, I managed to get the other stuff sorted out by era nicely labeled in sealable boxes, and some stuff sorted into the recycle bin, so it will be easier to go back and look at it all for fun when I want to. In some small way, mission accomplished.

I was surprised by some of the stuff I found in those boxes. I'm not talking about the spiders here. I found lots of old notes my friends and I wrote to each other back in school. You know the stuff all about that cute boy you followed around the halls, or what you were planning to do over the weekend, etc. The notes you write instead of the class work you should have been doing. I think I kept them by accident, really. My mom had a bad habit (still has, most likely if given the chance) of going through my room and sorting through all my stuff when I was out of the house, spending the night with friends, driving around, etc. Anything in the room was open for full inspection, or reading as the case may be, because (at the time) it was her house. Furniture was rearranged, things were thrown away, whatever struck her fancy when I was out of the house for the evening. Of course, she never had any interest in reading my school papers, but the notes from my friends were fair game in her mind. I took to keeping those notes in folders so that they looked like school work, not chatter with my friends. I think it worked out, but it took me until my senior year to figure that one out.

Of course, a few years later I worked out that my mom's behavior was an inappropriate invasion of my privacy. The reading of private papters is just the tip of the iceberg, but there's no need for going there now (or here). We all have our issues. It would have been entirely different if I'd been a troublesome teen up to no good, etc., but I wasn't. I was a model child. Until college, anyway. But, that's a whole different kettle of fish and one thing leads to another, and so on.
I also found some old love letters from beaux long gone. Is it kosher to keep those? I really hate the thought of tossing them. While they don't come from the man I married, they were very important at the time, and helped me become the person I am. I just don't know what to do with those.

So. Here I sit with hundreds of photos that I hope to scan, and some that will be thrown out due to really terrible picture taking skills, Polaroids that are almost entirely black (I have almost no idea what the subject was it is so dark), and dozens and dozens of landscape photos that simply have no meaning anymore. Look! A tree! Somewhere. Could be anywhere, really. Oh! And here's another tree. Again, I have no idea where. But it is green! Woo-Hoo! Yeah. I probably don't need a gazillion of those. Do I? I mean, I know I took the picture in 1976, or 1978, on one of my trips to Oregon to visit family. The above mentioned trees were photographed somewhere on the road between Texas and Oregon. Could be anywhere, really. The trees in question might not even be standing anymore. But, then, should I keep the picture in memory of a tree that may no longer be? Even if I can't know for sure? Um, no. I think photos lacking any identifiers (people or signs) may all be fair game for the trash bin. They are faded and, really, unremarkable.

The question is: Will I get to work on this right away? Or will I need to find another box...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


I have no idea where July went. Perhaps the extreme heat in the last week of July burned the memory of July out of my head.

Whatever the reason, here it is, August. Half the summer break is gone and I haven't accomplished most of the things on my to-do list. I think that is the way it is supposed to go. Right? So, we're having a successful summer.

The kids are spending huge amounts of time playng with their friends from their former daycare. There is a shortage of older kids to play with the provider's grandkids. They've all grown up together and are very close, so my girls are visiting them and getting lots of play time. It is a nice break for everyone. Kids get tired of only playing with their siblings. Swimming at the beach, at the lake and at the public pool, ice skating, Slip 'N Slide and sleepovers. Oh, and spinning. I spent one day teaching the girls to spin. Sort of. They peddled, I managed the fiber. It worked out well and they were very happy with their yarn. We had planned to go pick out new fiber for them, but havent done it yet. Too many other things going on.

I was making some really nice progress on some socks with my Jason yarn. They are toe-up and a modified version of the Cat's Face Lace sock pattern (found on Ravelry). Werecat character inspired yarn, cat lace sock. Seems like a fun match to me. I like the way it is knitting up so far, I'm just a pattern repeat away from the heel. Or that's my best guess.

But I got distracted.

Yep. I picked up the Pi Shawl again, and I've been knitting with great enthusiasm. I've knit up about 40 rows, and I've done the last increase. I've got 576 sts on the needles and I'm on the last K row before starting the final lace pattern. I hope I can keep up some momentum, but I just don't know. I'd post pictures, but it is just a red blob. I refuse to take it off the needles because, even with lifelines, I know I will drop sts getting it back on. I mean, there are FIVE HUNDRED SEVENTY-SIX STITCHES IN TINY, TINY YARN. Not worth it. I'll take a picture of the blob before blocking, and that will have to do.

I also participated in the Tour de Fleece again this year. I had modest goals, and more or less met them. I am plying the last of the fiber now, so I didn't finish everything on time for the Tour, but I'm still finishing it all up. You know, so I can buy more fiber. lol Once this last bit is plied, I'll wash and set it all. Then I need to figure out how much I have and what I can do with it.

This bit on the left is DragonFibers' Bluebells & Buttercups. It is a Merino / Bamboo blend, and was a dream to spin. I just spent a crazy amount of time doing it. (As in, I got half of it done last year for the tour, and did the other half this year.) Pathetic.

This is also DragonFibers, but it is a Merino / Sea Cell blend in a pencil roving. This is the first time I've spun a pencil roving, and I have to say I love it. I normally pre-draft my fiber, and not doing saves a crazy amount of time! This colorway is Masquerade, and is a lovely mix of blue-ish grey and a purpley/burgundy sort of color. It is spinning up into a lovely yarn.

This lovely DragonFibers colorway is Mermaid's Jewelbox. This was Merino/Bamboo, and turned into a very lovely yarn. My theme for the Tour this year was DragonFibers, in case you couldn't tell. I'd picked up a number of braids, and really wanted to get them spun so I could move on to knitting them up.
Aaaaand, here are the singles for this one. Oddly, it looks dark/deep as singles. The yarn plied a bit lighter than I was expecting. But, since I have so little experience with this whole thing, really, I wasn't disappointed. Just surprised.

All the rest of my fiber stash is random bits of fiber I picked up to practice on. I have no real plan for using the random bits, and there really isn't much of any one thing to make into a project, really. I'll likely need to buy more random bits, or blend it with other stuff, or something else creative that I haven't thought of yet. Still, it is a nice collection for the kids to sample if they want to continue playing with the spinning.

Lastly, I realized that I never posted photos of my July installment of my yarn club. So now that I've got the shipping receipt for the August yarn, I'll get July up.

Here is Fangtasia, so named after the nightclub owned by Eric the Northman (vampire). This is on a silver sock base and is just yummy gorgeous yarn. It is posing on the vampire dress I made for the eldest last Halloween. I mean, I've got to get maximum use from the dress. It was really stunning, if I do say so myself, and will get very little wear.

This lovely yarn is Claudine, Sookie's Fairy Godmother. Claudine is also on a silver sock base, and the colors just really pop. Oddly enough, the youngest had these wings from her costume last Halloween when she was a flower fairy. They match the green & purple colors perfectly.

A fellow yarn club member had to destash some of her yarn and I was able to score a second skein of Claudine, so now I've got about 880 yards to play with. I'm sorry that she had to let yarn go, but I'm very excited to have gotten a second skein now (instead of having to wait for January when the colors are available again). I'm thinking: shawl. But not a round one! I think this is why I got so inspired to finish the Pi. I'm NOT casting on another shawl until the Pi is done. I'm serious. Really.