Sunday, April 29, 2007
Meet a fellow and he chats me up.
I get his phone number. Call him. 'Cuz I only take numbers when I mean to call.
Meet him at a neutral location.
He shows up.
I have a good time. I DO NOT KNIT, even though Luke the bartender asks where my knitting is. Regale him with stories. Properly edited, of course.
I suggest ending the date at an appropriate time. IT IS SUNDAY, after all.
I allow him to drive me to a convenient location close to my house where he drops me off (I've had my fair share of stalker scares).
While in the car, I think I may be old enough to be his mom. Well, close. I'm definitely older. I also think "I have never been in the cool car with the tinted windows and reverbing bass before, this is fun, too bad the song is about a stripper." I think I say that out loud.
I did say it out loud, and he responds about asking what kind of music I like. I say something about being a sucker for a sad country song. I am soooo not hip. He responds by asking for clarification: do I prefer Merle or Waylon. This pleases me, as I adore Waylon, Willie and the boys, and we didn't even get close to talking about music when the official date part was going on.
We smooch (well, I kissed him, because I was so pleased about being in a cool car), and make plans to talk later in the week. Something about a new Spiderman movie coming out.
I waltz home, thinking "this is great, this is fun."
I get home and think "he's cute, but dumb as a post".
And, that's harsh. He's not dumb at all, I'm sure of it. He's kind, and hard-working, and a good listener, and all the good things a man should be. I even mentioned the "fiber-arts" a couple times, and he didn't even raise an eyebrow.
This boy has potential. Why am I sad that his eyes aren't blue? Brown is just as fine, especially when those eyes are looking at me.
I don't know what these little purple posies are, but I found them yesterday while raking.
And, I have tulips - exactly two.
There are eight rose-bushes in front, and I didn't take a picture. Next time.
Here's the shawl.
I knit exactly three rows yesterday. Got lots of stuff done, but very little knitting. I'm just nicely started the fifth repeat of the first chart. The second chart is where things will start to get interesting.
I don't think I will be able to hold out and not buy a barbecue. Both neighbours across the lane were having parties last night, and the smell just about killed me. Made me so hungry. And, I felt a little lonely and pathetic, sitting there in my chair, using the steps as an end-table.
There is no need to feel sorry for me, however. This was the first Saturday in weeks that I have been at home, and I needed it. In fact, I was happy that the date called and cancelled. I was exhausted, sunburned and not feeling very sociable. It was all I could do to stay awake long enough to go to bed late enough that I would sleep all night. I was asleep by 10:05, I think.
That destroys my reputation of being a party girl, but yesterday was the nicest day I've had in a long while.
I hope to repeat it again today, but on a slightly less intense scale. My body hurts from all the work I did yesterday.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
However, a colleague did ask me today what it's going to be when I'm finished crocheting it (I keep it on my desk to pet whenever I'm bored. Today was a fairly busy day, I only knit two rows). Needless to say, my response was rather curt.
The socks are growing too, and this is the best colourway I've ever used, I think. It is so much fun!
All ready planning the next lace project. I'm planning this for my knitting teacher. The smaller size calls for 1.75 mm needles. That's tiny enough to make even me pause for a moment. A good sign. I like complicated things, all evidence of plain-jane sock knitting to the contrary.
I also placed an order for some yarn to make these. Those are yummy, and I have a delicious fantasy of sitting in my yard as the evening grows cooler and pulling those over my legs. I know it's a fashion faux pas, but in the privacy of my own home, socks and sandals are perfectly acceptable.
I'm also feeling the siren call of cables. There's been much in the blogosphere lately about cables, and I do have a lovely cabled sweater (on the needles for three, no four, years now) that only needs a collar and sewing up. The pattern calls for a hood, and I have become disenchanted with that idea. Yet another re-design.
I haven't forgotten about all the things I talked about a week or so ago. Those will happen, eventually.
Just about all my seeds have sprouted. This has been so much fun I'm thinking of starting some more. If I do, I'm going to figure out how to trap rabbits and relocate them. They really do live in the hedge, I think. I see them all the time. While it makes me happy that wild rabbits think I'm sympathetic enough to let me come fairly close, I do not want them dining al fresco all summer on my garden. The food and the flowers are for me.
This weekend, I must purchase a lawn mower, a spade and hedge clippers. There is serious work that needs to be done.
I am confident that I won't be able to install a fence this summer, much to my disappointment (Parker is one lucky cat. He hit the jackpot in the human lottery). But, that doesn't mean I can't do all the prep work. Since I only have time on the weekends, it will take me all summer to relocate the juniper and dig out the old fence. It will be a step in the right direction.
Regrettably, that probably means that I won't be purchasing a barbecue or dining set. There's just too much risk, since my yard is right beside a fairly busy street. A Rubbermaid bin used for recycling walked away one day. While I figure that if someone needs a Rubbermaid bin more than I do, they are welcome to it, I would not feel the same about the lovely cedar table and chairs I have had my eye on. Or the snazzy little propane barbecue I've been dreaming about. I know myself well enough to be fully aware that I would get tired of putting everything in the garage every night. So, I'm better off to do without, for a bit. I do have a couple of chairs, and the new recycling bin can serve as an end table for my wine glass.
Oh, and because I'm just nattering, I really do hate my job. It was a beautiful day, and so I threw out an email to some friends, suggesting we find a patio for some adult beverages. While most had other plans, it turns out that I had to stay late, and by the time I got out of the office, it had turned rather chilly. Since, at the earliest, I am finished an HOUR AND A HALF LATER than the rest of the world, that really would have been unacceptable. Anybody waiting for me would have been completely hammered by the time I got there. On a Thursday, and my friends don't drink nearly as much as I do, that would not be a good thing.
Coincidentally, I had my first quarterly lunch with my new mentor (where I can complain to a colleague that I don't directly work with) and I bitched for much of the time. He was very sympathetic. This gives me hope that management is not secretly trying to make me miserable and voluntarily terminate my employment. It's a good company to work for. I adore my boss, and have a healthy respect for most of my colleagues. I just don't think I am in the right role. And, I do want to work hard, contribute to the department, and fulfil a meaningful role. I am not a slacker, by any means. Something, and I have a pretty good idea what it is, is not working.
That said, I had no desire to cry during this lunch. That's a good sign.
One other thing: it's raining men. Just like it does every spring. Now that winter is over, it's really good to be me.
Monday, April 23, 2007
However, about the socks. 64 stitch basic sock recipe on 2.5 mm needles. ON-line sock yarn. There's miles of it left over, enough for a pair of niece socks, I think.
I really, really tried to get identical twins, but I didn't quite make it. These socks are fraternal twins, but I must say, it's the closest I've ever come to having exactly matching socks. I'm pretty proud of myself.
Last night, I started Icarus, and it's going along dreamily. I'm well into the second repeat of the first chart (there are four charts all together). It's not nearly as complicated as it looks. It's basic geometry - building a triangle by increasing four stitches on every right-side row. Fun. This picture is even a sort-of accurate representation of the colour. I adore the variation - I wonder how exactly the really dark pink will appear in each row - it was not noticeable in the skein. Quite the surprise. But, that's the beauty of hand-dyed yarn.
I'm gonna love working on this, and I know it will be over too soon. However, after that I will get to wear it, so that's OK.
Here's the current bar-and-bus socks. Same brand of sock yarn, but I bumped it up to 68 stitches and I'm ribbing all the way down the leg. Loving it so far. These will take longer than usual, because my work knitting time will be spent on Icarus. At least for the next little while.That's it for tonight. I have a roaring headache which I suspect is work-related. So dinner and bed.
Rock and roll single girl, eh?
Sunday, April 22, 2007
She is well, she is happy, and was so happy to hear from me. We exchanged addresses, and so I am going to sort out that basement in short order - I need to find suitable photos of the last 15 years or so and share my life with her.
I wasn't planning on taking a road trip any time soon, but now, I just might. She is 77, after all. I do need to see her one more time. And, she comes to Winnipeg on a semi-regular basis. All the more reason to get this house sorted out and get a spare bed. So she can stay with me on her next visit.
I also need to knit her something. Something really special. Not socks. I'm thinking shawl. Something elegant and graceful, in perhaps a deep green or burgundy. She was stunning in those colours long before they became fashionable in the early 1990's. Something to keep her shoulders warm as she sits and works on her own crafts. Something that is a testimonial to my unending love and affection. Something that, every time she puts it on, she will know how much she means to me. It will be the most important knitting project of my entire life.
And speaking of knitting, she remembers very well my first, incredibly awkward attempts. Though I remember it differently, she says that I didn't have a clue. My very first project was a little bell - a Christmas decoration. Something to give me the satisfaction of a finished project, introducing a couple of solid techniques. I cast on, knitted, purled and sewed it up. I still remember going to Woolco to find the little jingle bells to put inside it. I remember coming home from her house that very first night, and sitting at the kitchen table, trying to continue what I had learned. I can't remember if I managed to carry on, or if I just made a mess. I do remember ripping and trying again. I also remember the absolute joy and fascination with the process.
That little bell has two mates, and as far as I know, my former mother and father-in-law still put it on the Christmas tree every year. Even that long ago, I gave away just about everything I made.
This is why I knit. Every stitch I make is in memory of all the knitters before us. The memory, the love, the endless creativity, the magic of sticks and string making something functional and beautiful.
Oh, and teacher? Thanks, and I love you too.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I just wanted to show how HAPPY I am, to enjoy a glass of wine in my back yard at the end of a day's work.
And yet! There is still knitting! I started swatching for Icarus while watching Grey's Anatomy tonight (I know, it's a shawl. How could it not fit? I should just stop when I'm close to running out of yarn). Well, it's not that simple. This is a custom dyed-yarn. I want to see how the colours play out. I want to get the kink out of the new circ before I start it for real. I'm a pansy, and this gets me out of reading the chart for another day (I don't have a problem with charts, normally. It's just that I'm on my fourth glass of wine and I haven't made dinner yet. I will. Soon. I promise).
In kitty news, Parker managed to scrape off his cone on Tuesday (the surgical gauze holding it on had worn away with his constant scratching. I was growing tired of that sound) and the two non-dissolving stitches were removed this morning. I promised him that it was the last time he was going to the bad place in a very long while.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
My father has worn his socks every day since I gave them to him, nearly two weeks ago. Mom had to rather forcibly insist that he not wear them today so she could wash them (that's an understatement, I'm sure she shouted at him. We do a lot of shouting at the farm. Can't be heard over the machinery, otherwise. Then it carries over into normal conversation).
Sounds gross, I know. He's a farmer. Hygienic feet aren't a priority when you spend every day up to your elbows in dirt, grease, dust and whatever else (and we don't want to know). Besides, as I am hold he said, no one can smell his feet when he wears shoes.
Damn, I'm thinking I should make him a pair for every day of the week. Should have done this fifteen years ago. Wolseley Wardrobe, watch out! I'll be cleaning out the stash of masculine-flavoured sock yarn.
In other news, Mom said that my knitting teacher had called the other day. This amazing woman, who I miss dreadfully and think about EVERY SINGLE DAY, called my parents out of the blue to try and track me down. Mom said they talked for two hours. Mom gave her my number and took hers - but can't find it now! This is killing me! I want to call my teacher right now and tell her about every project I've contemplated, completed and messed up over the last 17 years. Knitting and life-wise. We have a lot of catching up to do.
She was more than a teacher. She was the knitting grandmother that I lost at far too young an age, the sympathetic older woman who managed to keep a straight face while I sounded off about whatever was bothering my angst-ridden teenage soul, the kindly mentor who let me make mistakes and then taught me how to correct them. She watched me try out different parts of my personality, and cheered me on with every performance. She taught me how to act like a lady, mostly that one shouldn't be crude ("fart" is crude. Still struggling with that). She was (is) one of the many shining examples of strong women that I've been blessed with. Women who guide me every day. She is one of the women who have helped mold me into the woman I am today, and I am proud to have known her, and had the benefit of her guidance and the joy of her love and affection.
Please call me! I need to show you what I have become!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I went to Ram Wools this afternoon, with my "let's keep the crazy away and let her leave at a reasonable hour once a week" day. This is what I got:
Not too bad for futzing around, drinking tons of beer and flirting outrageously. Not to mention talking about knitting.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I think I am meaner than this:
|You're a Part Time Maneater|
While you're not a black widow, you've definitely left a few guys feeling used and abused.
You're only out for fun, but sometimes you get a little carried away with your flirting.
Cute guys tend to make you lose control. You really can't help it!
You're a good girl at heart... you just can't help but let your bad girl side out sometimes!
This one is better:
|Your Candy Heart Says "Get Real"|
You're a bit of a cynic when it comes to love.
You don't lose your head, and hardly anyone penetrates your heart.
Your ideal Valentine's Day date: is all about the person you're seeing (with no mentions of v-day!)
Your flirting style: honest and even slightly sarcastic
What turns you off: romantic expectations and "greeting card" holidays
Why you're hot: you don't just play hard to get - you are hard to get
No surprise here:
|You Are Most Like Samantha!|
For you, dating is the ultimate sport
You're into guys with power, looks, or a lot of money.
You rather have a great two weeks than a great forever.
But even you fall victim to love from time to time. :-)
Romantic prediction: You'll find love in the next few months...
But you'll be the last one to realize it.
Why yes, I am killing time until Desperate Housewives begins.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I spent all day in a yarn shop, talking to amazing people. What fun. Didn't sell much, but that's OK. I got lots done on MW's second sock.
I got my hair cut and dyed. It looks fantastic. I feel fantastic as a result.
Tonight, I have a date. Everyone in the salon assured me that it was bad form to knit while on a date (I haven't had a real, honest-to-goodness date since I started knitting ALL the time. The break was self-imposed, it was not for lack of offers).
Tomorrow is for raking. And, I have two new garden chairs, and I can't wait to use them. This is part of my yard:
I can just imagine the possibilities.
Friday, April 13, 2007
I had a few rows done on the heel flap when I arrived. Dropped a couple stitches, but that was easily fixed by tinking back a couple of rows. I'm finished the gusset decreases and pushing on merrily down the foot. One more evening will have it finished.
I should mention that I don't tink very often. I usually rip back where I want to be, or just drop down to the offending area and fix the problem with a crochet hook. However, with this particular dropped stitch, I had messed up the slip one, knit one pattern, and it was just as quick to go back the two rows and and re-establish the correct pattern. Glad I did too, looks quite smart for a plain-Jane sock.
I've got the next few projects lined up. Sock yarn really is the crack-cocaine of knitting:
I've got plenty of fun yarn for my stock of gift socks. And that yummy little yarn cake (the colour is not at all accurate) is going to become Icarus. I had some help winding it up at knit night. I was not going to risk turning 800 metres of hand-dyed lace weight into a huge knot by winding it myself.
Today is a beautiful day, and I fancy a long walk down to purchase the appropriate circular needle (I couldn't believe that I didn't have a 3.25 mm circ. I thought I had every size under the sun).
Yes, I am playing hooky from work, and I feel bad enough about that, so we won't discuss it further.
I was talking to some women last night who were quite intrigued that I could merrily knit along, enjoy a beer and a conversation and not even look at my work. I just blushed demurely (ha! there is nothing demure about me) and said that I had been knitting a long time. They won't see me sitting at home drinking iced tea (not wine), frowning over what looks like pink barf and cursing because I've counted what should be 600 stitches for the fifth time come up with a different number each time.
Yeah, knitting really is fun.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
It's not as if this is the first time I've been late with a present.
I've been knitting madly on it all week, and last night, I realized that I'm making horrid mistakes because I'm rushing. So, frog it is. Probably back to the beginning of the heel flap, so only a couple of hours of work gone.
Slow and steady really does win the race.
Still love the pattern. I just need to remember that I can't get cocky and think I don't need to pay attention. That kicks me in the arse every time.
Monday, April 9, 2007
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Doesn't Parker look good in pink? Please disregard the unmade bed. I didn't want to disturb the little fella.
He is sitting in front of me right now, and I'm telling him that he's going to be famous, but somehow he seems unimpressed.
And, if this is too much information for some of you, too bad. Here's Parker's coiffured rear-end:
I could have gotten a much closer shot (and did) but I thought I would spare you the detail of his stitches. That I am to inspect daily. Must admit, that grosses me out a little. I'm OK with scooping enormous amounts of excrement, force-feeding pills, etc. But, inspecting a wound for inflammation is the creep-out line for me. I try to get a good glance as he's performing amazing contortions in order to clean his bum (not possible right now because of the collar, but that doesn't stop him from trying), and I'm calling that good enough.
I do have another cat, that I just tried to take pictures of, in order to be fair. They were all crap, so the photos got deleted. I have learned how to do that, now, so many pictures will be disappearing from my camera very shortly.
Scout has had his fair share of attention. I just didn't have a blog or a digital camera then. He developed diabetes about two years ago and was the subject of much obsession. Those were dark times in the Peepee Flat. He requires an insulin shot every day (down from twice a day). I'm sure my pharmacist thinks I'm a heroin addict because I buy syringes but no medication to go with them. Scout is registered as a patient, however (so that I can safely dispose of the needles). He even gets invitations to diabetes clinics. Sadly, his attendance has been less than stellar.
I hung out at the LYS (website-less) for a couple hours this afternoon. Just for fun. I helped out some folks, offered some advice. Encouraged some people to try something new. Once I become familiar with some of the product lines that I haven't worked with, and establish the rules for special orders and such, I think it will be lots of fun. Proprietress-extraordinaire was a wee bit concerned about the pay scale. I had to assure her that I wasn't doing this to get rich. I'm doing this because I love it, it gets me out of the house and I can supplement my yarn habit (sock yarn is the crack cocaine of knitting). Given the expenses lately, and my desire to continue adding to my yarn collection, it gives me the best of both worlds.
When I mentioned this to the family yesterday, they ALL perked up (except the babies. They were busy throwing cookies on the floor). Especially about the teaching part. See, a million years ago, when I was a young girl leaving the farm, I was going to university to be a teacher. Things changed, reality intruded, and the teacher idea got kicked to the curb like yesterday's newspaper on recycling day. But, I'm a born teacher. It's just in me. The problem was, I needed to find the subject. Perhaps, now I have. If this works, it will be feeding a part of me that has been long neglected. It bears repeating: I will get more out of this than Wolseley Wardrobe ever will. My reasons are completely selfish, and money does not even enter into the equation. Some things are worth more than money.
And before things get too serious, another thing I love about my house:
I never, ever thought, when I considered owning real estate, that it might be spiffy enough to have a dishwasher. Now, I can't remember what I did without. Certainly, I cooked less frequently.
You all know about my crushing poverty these days, as a result of cat-plumbing disasters, and my desire to make some improvements to the grounds of Chez Peepee.
I am very happy to report that my choices were determined by how big the book was. Not in terms of type-size, or length, but rather, would the hard-cover beast stay open with minimal propping so I could knit and read at the same time.
I realized I had a couple of hours to kill between work and Knit Night at my LYS (sadly website-less), and wandered over to the liberry to hang out for a while with the homeless, crazy and addicted folks who also hang out at the downtown liberry. I immediately found the adult science fiction section, and there it was, exactly where the on-line listing said it would be.
I am sooo happy. I have done very little reading this winter, and while my knitting production went through the roof, I also watched far too much bad TV. This bodes well for improving my state of mind.
The only hard part is remembering to write down what I want to read, so that I will not be overwhelmed by choice once I get there.
The fit is perfect. I only hopes he wears the damn things instead of saving them for "good." I promised to make him more.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Yup, that's my desk, and it is remarkably tidy, for a change. That's because I'm DESIGNING right now. Well, that loosely describes what I am doing.
My inspiration pretty much follows this routine:
1. I want to make fill in the blank (in this case, a hat).
2. Look at pictures for inspiration.
3. Pick a picture that I like.
4. Read instructions.
5. Decide that I want to use different yarn, needles, method of decrease and work circular-versus-flat (or vice-versa), etc.
7. Calculate required number of stitches using different gauge, needles and yarn. (As an aside, call Mother to measure Father's head, because this hat is intended for a man, and I need to know NOW, and I will not ask any of my male colleagues if I can measure their heads. Somehow, in my way of thinking, that crosses a line). By the way, my dad has a big head. I hope I have enough yarn.
8. Cast-on and knit merrily for a couple of inches.
9. Remember to write down what I'm doing because in six days I will be teaching this to a bunch of complete strangers who have no idea how to knit (hence the sticky-notes).
10. Drink more wine and blog about it (the blogging is a new step. The wine is a constant).
Once again, this is fun!
Starting next Wednesday, I'm teaching a lunch and learn knitting class. It will be loads of fun, I'm sure. I really sold my teaching skills to the yarn-shop-proprietress extraordinaire, and I really am more than delighted to have this opportunity. However, as movingly as I can speak, and write, about knitting, I have no idea if I will remember all those things when the time comes and I will be standing in front of people trying to sell knitting-as-fun. And be able to teach them how to do this in four short lunch hours. The one upside that I can think of (and this is strange for me) is that there will not be any wine.
(Note to self: make notes of what I'm going to say. How strange is that? I don't need notes to remember to talk. I love talking).
It would be better if the sample were done, instead of just starting it tonight (the 10 steps described above took about a week).
Why is my desk so clean? Well, because I haven't unpacked yet. These are my "current" office files, yet to be unpacked from October. I'm a wee bit behind:
The peepee problem was (hopefully) eliminated, due to emergency surgery yesterday. I'm picking the little boy up tomorrow and I'm told that he has completely charmed the staff at the veterinary hospital. I am not surprised, he is darling (I am desperately hoping I get a good picture of my fellow in his cone. He is so funny looking when he has one, and he hates being laughed at. I can't help myself) .
Landscaping/fencing plans may be post-poned due to aforementioned emergency surgery. Brother #2 (the handy one) has lots of holidays, however, and is willing to provide labour. In exchange for knitting. I think we can work out a deal.
Loving the bathroom. Want to paint more, but day off from hell, oops I mean work, to do so has been hijacked by volunteer commitments and a trip to the vet. My new car rental place doesn't love me as much (yet) as the old one, and will not let me pick up my rental eight hours early. They will learn how valuable I am.
My back has not yet recovered from the painting. I can't decide if the long-term damage of many years of lifting very heavy things improperly is catching up to me, or if I'm just horribly unfit.
I've said all there is to say tonight, perhaps more. Except: what the hell does Showcase broadcast at night? The telly is on over in the other room and that is the weirdest stuff I've heard in a while. Then again, it's past midnight, and I don't normally have the TV on at this hour. That's it, to bed. Now.