Friday, September 26, 2008

On the Rocks With Salt

Which is how I enjoy a margarita. Actually, that's how I enjoyed two margaritas tonight, which is why I'm not knitting or spinning. Tequila can be such a drag when it comes to gauge and/or twist, so I shall type instead.

Why the margaritas? First, it's Friday. That alone is reason enough, right? Second, I had my "photo shoot" today (yes, LeAnn, I smiled pretty for the camera!) and I feel pretty good about it. The results will be in the mail. I don't know if that's good or bad, but the tech didn't gasp in horror or make me wait around for the radiologist to review. Third, My Friend Paul (MFP) was in town with his wife and we went to Rose Peppers for dinner. YUM!

Paul, if you ever read my blog (and I doubt you do because you'd give endless amounts of crap for all this knitting nonsense) I totally love Emily. Good job! I'm so happy for you I could just burst. Could you be any more perfect for each other? But for the love of God man, do not move back to Minneapolis. It's cold there all the time and they get snow. Don't you remember snow? Down here it's pretty for a day or two and then it's gone. Up there it never goes away. It snows on Easter and sometimes Memorial Day and you have to shovel it. You don't even own a shovel. Dude, snow sucks! Seriously. But if you go, I'll knit you a sweater. Or maybe a nice scarf.

I talked to The Dad tonight. It seems The Parents (along with Aunt and Uncle from Oregon) have been reading the blog. Folks, it was bound to happen. Must remember to keep my big mouth shut about stashing the stash, et al. Ha!

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

She's baaaaack! (and she's in the mood to type)

Did you miss me? I hope so because I kinda missed blogging. I really have no excuses for staying away for so long. Maybe I just had too much to say but I didn't know how to say it...if that makes any sense. Let's call it "blogger's block" and leave it at that.

So what's been going on? Besides the whole back to school thing, I have had many busy weekends. And I'm not talking about busy like cleaning house busy, I'm talking about making new friends, learning new things and letting the grass grow.

"Letting the grass grow" reminds me...go here and watch this. If you're from the middle TN area, Atlanta or Tallahasse, the video will have you in tears and you can skip to the next paragraph. For those of you not following our local news, here's what's been going on. Nashville basically freaked when hurricane Ike hit Texas and everyone went out and bought as much gas as they could. Panic ensued. People were waiting in line for hours (I kid you not) for gas. By the Saturday after Ike hit, 85% of the gas stations in the area were out. That caused even more panic. It was like a run on bread and milk when someone mentions snow. (By the way, I bought gas 2 days prior to Ike reaching Texas...because I was out.) Had people stuck to their normal gas-buying routine, there would have been no panic. But what's the fun in that? Local gas stations sold 4 to 5 times their normal volume that weekend. I will concede that Ike did cause a disruption in the supply, but had Nashvillians stuck to their normal gas buying routine we wouldn't have run out. People were filling milk jugs, 5 gallon buckets, pickle jars (yes), anything that would hold gas. Last weekend it started up all over again. By lunch time on Friday people were leaving work early to line up at gas stations. The police were called in to direct traffic, road rage quickly turned to gas rage, total melt-down of society. How are we going to react when there's a real crisis? Seriously.

Monday morning I was in the elevator at work (I'll quit on the gas thing after this) and a guy I had never seen before got in behind me. He was a nicely dressed gentlemen and I nodded a good morning nod and went about looking for my ID tag. Rather than nod back or say something like "good morning", dude says, "have you got gas?" Smile and wave boys, just smile and wave.

I have been knitting.

The cabaret raglan is nearly finished. I have about 3 inches left on the sleeves. Then I have to sew the bloody thing together. That's been known to take years.

I knit a dumpling bag (pattern in Interweave Knits Fall 2008). Fulling will occur this weekend. I hesitate to use this picture, but I don't have one of my own. I'll make it small and maybe they won't get mad.

I also finished the Vibe Tote that I started umpteen years ago. No photos of that yet either. Lame, I know. It's lime green with black flecks and black web handles. Love it!!!

I have been spinning.

Last weekend I did probably the coolest thing I've done in a while. I went to a hand spinning workshop at the Appalachian Center for Craft near Cookeville. I was so excited when I got there that I almost cried. That may sound weird, but here's some background. I got my bachelor of fine arts degree from Northen Michigan University, a smallish school in Marquette, Michigan, within spitting distance of Lake Superior. I had some awesome professors, some of whom had taken summer workshops at the ACC. When I was in college, the thought of moving to an Appalachian anything made me cringe. Little did I know that I would settle and raise a family 70 mere miles from the school. I've driven by the sign hundreds of times, always curious, but never courageous enough to turn into the drive. Then I got a flier in the mail. I had just gotten the tax incentive check and that was all I needed to sign up.

The weekend was lovely! Claudia Lee was our teacher at the ACC and I thought she did a great job. I'd say the biggest thing I learned was being ok with experimentation. I tried things I wouldn't normally try at home. Maybe it was because I was back in a studio environment, who knows. Lately, I've been "production" spinning. I was all caught up in twists per inch, wraps per inch, long draw, from the fold, etc. After this weekend, I loosened up my grip on the fiber and gave myself permission to just play and enjoy it. I left the technical stuff behind and let the artist shine through. Dang it felt good!
This is where the making new friends comes in. I spent the weekend with two other wonderful spinners, julig and kimz0519, in a cabin at Edgar Evins State Park.

Oh, and I nearly forgot! I won 3rd place at the novice wheel spinning competition at the TN State Fair couple weeks ago. Seriously! 3rd place and $5! This guy was cheering me on.

I also been dyeing, but I'll save all that for another post.

Good stuff coming up:

  • TACA Show at Centennial Park this weekend (Sept 27-28). Several fiber friends will be there displaying and selling their creations. Free
  • Race for the Cure, October 4th. I won't be able to participate but I'm helping spread the word. The team is Susan's Village. If you have a few dollars to spare, please help out the team.
  • Prayer Shawl Ministry workshop at Glendale Methodist Church in Green Hills (Oct 18th). $40 in advance and $45 or $50 at the door. Lunch included. Fran and I will be there!
  • Harvest Days at Old Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro (4th Saturday in October). Free. Lots of fiber to buy. Great place to see some spinning wheels in action too.
And finally, (this is the mushy part that I told myself I wasn't going to do), but I just want to thank everyone for being part of my life and putting up with me. God has been so good to me to give me such wonderful friends. Sometimes I am just awed into silence and wonder what I've done to deserve everything I have. It's been a particularly emotional month filled with anger, doubt, fear, quiet tears and now I'm finally starting to glimpse a little peace. Zack had a wonderful time on the church retreat this past weekend and I can't thank everyone enough for watching over him. And all my fiber friends have helped me find my hidden artist and your words of support are so encouraging. You all mean so much to me (you know who you are and I know you read my blog!) So, love and hugs to you all, now I need to go find a kleenex.

p.s. Tomorrow is mammogram day...say a prayer, or more importantly, if you haven't had one recently get one scheduled! Early detection is so important.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Algebra the KnittyBits Way

The first problem on Zack's worksheet goes something like this:

There are 24 Booster Club members and each member bought either a pennant or cap from the concession stand. The pennants cost $1.25 each and the caps cost $1.50 each. The total bill came to $34. How many caps were sold?

The "algebra" solution:
c + p = 24 and 1.25p + 1.5c = 34
p=8 pennants
c=16 caps

The "knittybits" solution:
Sack the dude who is running the concession stand. He is too preoccupied with flirting with the cheerleaders and is not keeping track of the inventory. It's not harsh. You're doing him a favor.

When my teenage son asks why he needs algebra, I'm at a loss as to what to tell him. I guess it comes in handy when someone is purposefully vague and only gives you part of the story. Other than that...sheesh...maybe it would make more sense written as follows:

Chris purchased 2 balls of merino lace weight for 7 bucks each, 1 ball of single ply Tilli Tomas silk for 30 bucks and a 16" Addi Turbo circular needle in size 7. What color is the scarf she's going to knit?

The "knitty bits" solution:
The scarf is going to be a lovely blend of toasted almond and spiced ginger, knit in twisted garter stitch pattern of 2 rows silk and 2 rows lace weight and will be approximately 6-7 inches wide. Length depends on how much yarn I have. Beads would be nice...

On to better things. I have lost a 5-pound sack of potatoes. Five pounds may not sound like a lot of weight, but the next time you're at the grocery store, pick up a 5 pound sack. It's appallingly heavy! That amount of weight was unnecessarily IN MY BODY. Would you want to walk around with that strapped to your butt all day? No way, sir!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Much a Blog About Nothing

I apologize for not posting more often. I've probably lost all 7 of my subscribers, but I haven't felt like talking/writing about much. There have been several times in the past couple of days that I've started a new post, only to write a few lines and hit delete. That could very well happen tonight also.

Lately, my moods have been all over the place. I still can't believe that Susan is gone. I'm angry about it for many reasons...mostly selfish reasons. Susan was my age when she found out she had breast cancer. When she died, she was my mom's age when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have my annual mammogram in a couple weeks. I hate the annual "squish" (what woman doesn't), but this year it's going to be particularly painful. And right now I'm very close to a complete melt down.

So with all that crap going on in my head it's been hard to come up with interesting stuff to share with you. My knitting and spinning have taken a bit of a back seat. Now that the parents have gone back home (the visit went well) I can free the stash and air it out a bit. That might get me back in the swing of things. You would be shocked (maybe some of you wouldn't) with the places I crammed yarn and fiber at the 11th hour.
Under the bed (too predictable, I know)
Ottoman (get one with storage...worth every penny!)
Behind books on bookshelf
Trunk of car
Various baskets and bags placed artfully around the house
Dresser drawers
Closets (plural)
I even seriously contemplated the dog house, but there are dog hair and dog smell issues. The line had to be drawn, but I used pencil in case I need to erase it in the future.

At one point during the weekend, my dad asked how much yarn I have. (Dude, are we talking number of skeins or total mileage?) My answer--not enough.