Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's a Small World After All

I started reading blogs on the regular in October 2010.  Less than 4 months ago.  It really started as several blogs bookmarked that I didn't read on a very regular basis.  But in October, I discovered Google Reader.  I now subscribe to approximately 46 knitting blogs.  Minimalists everywhere no doubt just gasped.  They should see all my yarn.  I mean, it's not all that much, honestly, have you seen the Yarn Harlot's stash ROOM?  It's as big as my house.

Forty-six is a rather large number.  Some of them I subscribed to only to discover that they're famous knit world personalities, like Jared Flood, and Franklin.  Others, like Ysolda, have work that I've admired for a long time.  I've had Vivian in my Ravelry queue since December 31, 2008.  I haven't even bought the pattern yet because it's so beautiful I'm afraid to own it.  If I ever ran into Ms. Teague on the street, I might behave like a 6th grader meeting Justin Beiber.

Many of my initial forays into the knitter's blog world began at Knitty.  Before Ravelry, I waited anxiously for each new issue to be released, then I studied patterns and clicked blog links.   Now, the process is rather reversed.  Recently, Ann Weaver, of WeaverKnits had a pattern published in Knitty, called Oranje.  I don't like orange, so I am imagining it in blue and teal and purple with more ease and long sleeves, or perhaps as a vest.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to read the customer reviews for JC Briar's new book Charts Made Simple, and recognize Cat Bhordi.  Maybe recognize isn't quite the right word, since it says Cat Bordhi in plain English, my native tongue.  But I know who she is.  She rights books, and more importantly taught her middle school students to knit and ignited a movement in her area to combine knitting with academic pursuits.  I too work in a middle school and have taught some students to knit, with differing levels of success.

Thanks to recent blog posts about Madrona, which I'd never heard of until a bunch of people started packing and going on about Washington State, I even know who Sivia is.  She made those lovely beaded gloves that look like veins and tendons.  Not in a gross way.  They're beautiful and one day I might work up the courage to do beading and fingers in the same project.  I know there's a fingerless version, but I don't think it makes the veins and tendons visual as clear, and I think fingerless gloves are silly and inefficient.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What I Do On Sick Days When I'm Not Sleeping

So, once in a while I muster up some energy and do something.
1. Cancel Plans.
  • Buddy/Pal Tea and Puzzles Date.  This is when my good friend and I put aside time for each other and talk about work, school, boys, politics, religion, etc, while drinking hot beverages and sometimes solving physical jigsaw puzzles.  
  • Work, twice. "I'm running a fever and can't work today, even if your daughter is having a root canal.  Sorry!" (there's some sort of time limit on returning back to work after these things.  I don't make the rules, I'm just grateful for them.)
  • Pancake Date with another good friend.  ( I was really hoping the fever would stay gone, but it returned, higher than before, at the same time as my appetite for pancakes) 
2. Part 1 of a TB test for work, as well as H1N1 and Tetanus shots. Hooray!

3. Take Brother #1, mechanic extraordinaire, currently unable to drive, to pick up Cheerwine and Sister #2's car from work.  We didn't pick up her car, some excuse about not enough time to fix it, but he did add Cheerwine to his daily soda intake today (supplementing his SunDrop addiction).

4.  Make MACARONI!  After years and years a day and a half of no appetite, I decided to woman up and cook something to eat.  

5. While the water is boiling, I take a couple minutes to upload a picture to the internets for my Father and his handy, much more technologically savvy assistant, Brother #3. 
A pretty, shiny motorcycle Speedometer!  My dad is putting together a bike more or less from scratch.  This process has introduced him to the wonderful world of online forums, where he gains insight from other BSA enthusiasts.  I can't help but smile when I think of thousands of guys like my dad (60-something, ex-biker/hippy types) bumbling around, figuring out how to use a tool that was mostly science fiction when their bikes were new.

6. Halfway through my dinner, Brother #1 gets a phone call from Sister #2 that her car died on the side of the road.  Off we go to rescue the fair damsel in distress.

7. Write this.  Now, it's late late late, and I'm about to succumb to sleep's call.

You may notice that I didn't mention a smidgen of knitting.  I haven't knit since SUNDAY!  What is the world coming to?  Well, I'm just not very good at knitting laying down.  I thought about taking it to the doctor's office, but knitting in public opens up conversations.  Most of the time I welcome such communication, but I didn't feel like talking today so I brought a book instead.  

I did, however, take time to admire this blanket on Design*Sponge and marvel at the artist's patience. I don't yet have the patience to knit a blanket, in pieces or other wise.

What do you do on your sick days?

Sick Day

I am ILL.  Sunday night, my throat started itching and making coughing sounds, and by Monday morning, I was miserable.  Achy and lightheaded and coughy and gross.  My first thought was Strep, since I work with kids and both myself and my sister have been exposed to it in the last couple weeks, so I scheduled a throat culture, just to be on the safe side.

I don't have strep.  I was almost hoping I did, because the other option is a yucky cold.  (This is how sick I am.  I said yucky).   When I am sick, my number one fix is sleep.  So Monday was spent sleeping.  I also don't feel like eating when my throat is like this, so I drank a couple fruit smoothies to keep my sleep well-fueled.

By midnight, I was running a fever, which means even if I feel up to it, there's no going to work for me.  I didn't feel up to it though and spent more time sleeping.  I'm also plowing through my stack of library books in a way I haven't since highschool.  My current nonfiction reading, has been replaced by three works of (young adult) fiction, so far.

First, Girl, Stolen, April Henry.  A blind girl gets accidentally kidnapped while her stepmother's car is being stolen.  Also, blind girl has pneumonia.   It's not a pile of terrible things happening though, it's realistic, I think. Even the ending isn't quite as immediately happy as I was hoping.  (Obviously, blind girl regaining her sight and marrying prince charming and then riding off into the sunset is a little farfetched.)

Second, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow, by Jessica Day George.  I like fairy tales.  I have several volumes, including the Blue Fairy Book, and I'm aghast and appalled when I learn my friends don't know who Rose Red is.  This book is a retelling of the story East of the Sun, West of the Moon.  It has Isbjørn, trolls, centaurs, and spinning.  Is there really a better recipe for a book?

This evening, I finished Light Years, by Tammar Stein.  This one was a tearjerker.  I don't normally cry in books, but due to my compromised state, I'll allow it.  Maya is from Israel.  She comes to my own lovely state, Virginia, to study, escape and find peace.  I wasn't sure this book was going to be good sick day reading, but Ms. Stein opens the story with a detailed, accurate description of the humidity here.   I immediately felt right at home, and since I spent the last part of the book shivering under several blankets, it was a welcome reminder of warmer days.

This being said, I'm almost out of books because during my last visit to the library, I managed to be slightly realistic about the amount of books I read in a week.  Unfortunately, this is not a normal week, and now I am down to my last three books and I'm not sure I want to read them.

So I stare at this for 15 minutes, utterly defeated, since the three books I have left are all downstairs anyway.

Sick Day

(Lemon Perreir tastes like lemon lollipops from the bank.  Too sweet for my taste. I washed the bottle out and put plain old tap water in it. So much for making lemonade.)

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

A Pearl is Born

It's been a long time since this particular piece of cyberspace has held new words.  My words have been elsewhere.  Many things have changed.  I have a facebook now.  Okay, that's not the biggest change.  There are actually a lot of little changes that have caused and are caused by the biggest one.  This is a story that is best told from the beginning, with a sneak peek at the end with bits of the middle thrown in.....

No, not really.   The last post here is from October 2006.    I was 19.   Homeschooled, still pretty shy.  In my second fall at the community college studying international business.  I had just decided to stop calling the boy I was hanging out with and see what would happen.  I had red hair.  I shared my room with my 3 sisters.  I still said I could play guitar.  I went to church with my parents, worked with kids and tried not to have too much contact with adults.  I rode the bus though, and people were always striking up conversations with me.   I was taking Arabic.  I discovered Regina Spektor and the Postal Service that fall.  I visited my first yarn shop.  It has since closed.  I still don't frequent yarn shops, but there's one that opened close by a few months ago that I've been meaning to visit.  I think I'm afraid if I ever set foot in one more than twice a year, I'll become addicted and never have any money ever ever again.   I'd just bought my computer.   I guess it is that old.  My sister was talking to the boy who would become her fiance, but only for a little while, since they would break up.  Paramour was on the radio.

Now, I'm a woman.  I can talk to strangers and be confident and I'm my own supervisor most of the time at work.  I can drive a car, and I'm not afraid.  I don't share a room with anyone anymore.  I have confronted my parents like an adult.  I left my parents' church filled with people who've known me from birth, and now go to one around the corner where I am an adult, and not someone's child, where the community is as much a part of their daily lives as it is mine, and were God is more important than religious rituals.  My hair is its own color again.

And, I've become addicted to knitting.  If I leave the house without something to knit, I have to take deep breaths and reassure myself I'm going to be fine.  I can't knit at the grocery store anyway.  Last fall I had some time off of work, and the only thing keeping me from insanity was some yarn and a couple of needles.  Christmas came around and I decided to knit my rather large family hats.  Christmas Eve found me weaving in ends at 10 PM.  I thought that I would be tired of knitting.  I knit so much my my arms would be sore at the end of the day.  But Christmas day found me knitting another hat for a good friend, and Boxing Day I was making my sister the twin to my brother's hat, the next week I worked on the last couple of sleeves for Grandma's sweater and then it was January.  My grandfather died, and my brothers were pall bearers.  It was cold, so I made them hats to match their suits.  Three simple hats in three stressful days.  I wanted my own mittens, so I made some.  Just big enough to be too big, so I gave them to my brother.  My aunt asked for a  hat to sleep in, so I made her this.  I used Caron Country, in Silver Service and Charcoal.  

January was supposed to be punctuated by a camping trip in the Shenandoahs.  It gets much colder there, and a dearth of handknits or anything woolen at all was discovered in my wardrobe.  The camping trip was canceled, but the idea stuck and there is now a lovely sweater of my own design on my needles.  It began its growth on Monday, and the weather immediately became ridiculous.  Wednesday I wore a tshirt to work, because it was 65 degrees out.  This time last year we were gearing up for 18 inches of snow.   So, here's crossing my fingers that when this sweater is born, it will bring snow with it.