Monday, October 15, 2007

Notes from the Not So Underground

Have I really not posted since September? Time flies when you're having fun, or when you're not having exactly what I'd call fun, i.e., cleaning, but I guess time just flies 'cause it's life. So, here's a quick rundown of the lowdown -

1. Lack of Blogging - I have wanted to blog, truly. But, I feel the loss of my digitial camera, deeply. Whenever I try a case, I try to condense things into charts, photographs, visual aids. Usually, when I'm surfing through blogland, what catches my attention is a photograph. I guess I could wax poetic about what I'm knitting, pick the perfectly descriptive adjective to describe a yarn, a pattern, a texture - but I'm lazy. I want the picture. So, why haven't a bit the bullet, and bought a new camera - see #2.

2. The House - So, I decided to keep the boy, and clean the house. Mulling over the decision with my friends turned into an intervention - ideas came pouring forth, cleaning hints and tips, storage solutions, window treatment pointers, it was nothing short of an intervention. I never knew how much my messiness was "hurting" others, how pained they were that my lovely house was such a slop shop flop house. I won't bore you with the home improvement details, because that would be as exciting as watching paint dry, literally. I will share one little story - while moving a rather heavy object on the second floor, I wrenched my back. I fell to the floor, unable to move. About 10 minutes went by, the pain hadn't passed. I recalled the opening moments of Bridget Jones, where she's clutching a bottle of presumably bad wine, singing "all by myself," and having visions of dying, alone, and being eaten by dogs. This was it, I thought I'm going to be eaten by dogs. So, I sucked it up, and dragged myself to the medicine cabinet, and popped a Vicodin. Then, I hobbled downstairs, and went to the icebox to get an icepack. No icepack, just Lean Cuisine's and Weight Watcher's Smart Ones. Well, that will have to do. I took a Lean Cuisine, shoved it down the back of my pants, grabbed a beer, collapsed on the couch, and watched Sunday night television. I may not be clean, but I'm resourceful.

What does all this have to do with not having a digital camera? After runs to Target, Ikea, Linens and Things, and Home Depot, I'm el broko. I really would like to have a camera for Rhinebeck, so hopefully, by the end of the week, I throw myself into further bankruptcy, and buy a camera.

3. Knitting -

a. I finished one Anemoi Mitten, started the second and bought this book . Truth be told I rarely ever read the text of knitting books. I skip the intro, and head right to the patterns. Occasionally, though, the text is a really fascinating history of a technique, or a pattern, or a cultural movement, like Victorian Lace Today. I haven't finished any projects from Victorian Lace today (although I do have, er, three on needles), but I have read the text, and it's a good, juicy read. Same can be said of Selbuvotter. Did you know that knitting these mittens can be traced back to one woman - one woman knit herself a black and white stranded mitten, and it was like the birth of microwave popcorn, or well, something like that. And these mittens were central to mating and courtship rituals - no flowers, no candy, no lipstick, or nailpolish, or f??? me shoes - mittens. It was all about mittens. Dating is hard enough as it is, can you imagine an entire relationship rising or falling based on the workmanship of your mittens? And I thought being a bridesmaid here was a pain in the ass, what with the dress, the shower, the batchlorette party, etc., - can you imagine having to knit and exchange mittens with the entire wedding party? Unfortunately, after reading the text, my little obsession with these mittens is somewhat soured. I can just see myself surrounded by rejected mittens, lying on my back in pain, being eaten by dogs.

But, don't worry, I have every intention of finishing the second mitten, and then, next up, I want to knit these . After seeing them on Ravelry, I became, shockingly, obsessed. Found in a pattern in Piecework Magazine from December 1995, I tossed apart the backroom of Rosie's looking for the back issue. Then, I started bidding like a maniac on ebay. The first time a copy of the magazine surfaced, I was outbid in the last three seconds, argh! On my second bidding war, actually, I hit buy it now, I secured a copy, and have it safely stored in my house for a rainy day, or a Koigu day, because I intend to make them in a brown, a safety orange, and a multi Koigu. Someday.

b. Sweaters. The ribby pullover in Brooks Farm is done, just waiting to be photographed. I have the body, one sleeve, and 3/4's of the second sleeve done of Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I cast on Eunny Jang's Venezia Pullover, did the hem, and screwed up the first three rows of the fair isle pattern, so some ripping needs to happen. That project is on hold, while I knit the boy a sweater for his birthday . . . which is in 2 days.

What, you say? Aren't you worried about the boyfriend curse? Eh, whatever. His favorite team is the San Diego Chargers, so I custom ordered sock yarn in team colors. Unfortunately, the yarn was coming from Canada, and as of today, it's still not here. So, on Wednesday, I had a decision to make. I could switch up the Chargers idea, and knit a scarf, or whatever, in nice worsted weight yarn, like Cascade 220. But, what would I do with the sock yarn when it finally arrived - you can only do the team color thing once -- once is sweet, twice is uninspired. So, I knew I had 2 bags of Katmandu Aran in my stash, one bag already paid for when I had Courtney order it a year ago because I HAD TO HAVE IT THAT SECOND, and one on hold. I really really really liked the Cobblestone Pullover
from this month's Interweave, and I was looking for an excuse to make it - of course, I wasn't really looking for an excuse to make it in a week, but that's what I decided to do - knit a sweater for a 6'4" guy in a week. So, at Stitches, I was the crazy knitting lady - I bought a wristlet pouch for my yarn, and knit like a person possessed. I cast on at 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, and by the time I got home last night, I had knit the body to the yoke, and 90% of a sleeve. One sleeve and the yoke to go. We'll see.

And the curse? Well, if I knit him a sweater, and he immediately vanishes, I'll still be happy that I knit him a sweater, and I'll say no more about that at this point. I think writing about it on the internet would be more of a curse than knitting a sweater.

4. Stitches - I took Thursday and Friday off from my real job, and worked Rosie's booth at Stitches East in Maryland. Can I just tell you I have never worked so hard in my life? The packing, the unpacking, the selling, the standing, the repacking, the loading, OY!!! But, I'm glad I went, and I bought fabulous yarn - laceweight from Blue Moon, Lisa Souza, Skaska, and Habu. Sweater yarn from Brooks Farm. New patterns. Beads. More later when I do have my camera.

I'll write more about Stitches when I have the camera (I think), but I really want to say a big thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth, introduced themselves, and told me how much you liked the blog, and/or how much you missed the podcast. I do miss doing the podcast, but there just isn't time. Too much life going on. And, I also want to mention how tickled I was that so many people asked for the pattern for my pi shawl: As part of our Rosie's display, we had a wall full of completed Koigu projects, my shawl being one of them. While I love the stitch patterns in my pi shawl, and the colors, as I've mentioned before, I find it really hard to wear without feeling like a have a bull's eye on my back. But, because so many people asked for the pattern, which is really just Elizabeth Zimmerman's pi shawl numbers, with Barbara Walker patterns plugged in, I'll put a free PDF up for download, and it will also be a freebie at Rosie's.

So, that's it for now. The more I think about it, I have Sunday's money from Stitches still in my pocket - I feel a purchase coming on at lunch today - Ritz Camera is only a hop skip and a jump away, so hopefully, I'll be back into visual aids very soon!


Anonymous said...

Wendy, As one of those folks who stopped by Rosie's booth on Saturday, I was happy to finally meet you too. The market was good - I was bad. I bought some beautiful gray cashmere for a scarf, some sock yarn from blue moom and lots of things I didn't need. Have fun at Rhinebeck. Someday I'll get there or to Maryland Sheep and Wool.

Emily said...

I'm totally cool that you're not podcasting anymore - though I enjoyed it - as you sound so much happier and kind of getting on with your own life.

I found the challenge of cleaning up my act (to some extent, I'm still a terrible messy person) because it was upsetting my partner a real boost - like it all much better, and it was interesting to see what I was prepared to do for that person.

Enjoy your house looking like it's on the market - but like that for you!

Mariss said...

I think it is refreshing that you're taking the time to live your life. Even if it includes the *taboo* task of knitting the man a sweater ;)

Go get your camera, girl!

Sunset Knitter said...

Hi Wendy,
I stopped by the booth on Saturday, and I should have said HI but I didn't want you to think I was a stalker. I would have like to seen your BF sweater. I can't believe you are almost done it. I still haven't knit my first sweater. I'm strongly considering the titled duster. I'm just afraid it will take me years to finish it.

Bridget said...

I'm so glad you are flying in the face of the boyfriend-sweater curse! I was already married when I learned to knit,so it wasn't an issue for me ('cause oh God, getting a boyfriend too would just be way too much work ...)

Elysbeth said...

Did you breathe in there somewhere?

Good luck finishing the project. Enjoy Rhinebeck.

Sherry W said...

See, crazy little mittens are addicting! I have a pair going now from Terri's book I'm done with that project you saw last night.

knittingdragonflies said...

Glad you are bloggin again, missed seeing what you were up to. Your knitting makes me get mine out.

Dorothy said...

Wow you have a good bit going on! I hope the home renos are going well and the learning to live less cluttered is taking. I find it hard to keep on top of until I think about having someone over for coffee. Then the pickingup/straightening/cleaning happens in a whirl.

The Anemoi mittens look great. I have that pattern and I've been eyeing it lately. Maybe someday I'll get off my hinney and learn the stranding thing.

WandaWoman said...

I'm a bit sad that you aren't podcasting, but dude, life totally takes over and you have to do what needs taking care of most. Podcasting is a hobby to me, so if you can't maintain, then that's how it goes.

I'm a pretty messy person too, but I do have to "clean up my act" literally a bit more, so my partner doesn't wig out. I really shouldn't live in a sty, so I make the effort. Good on you.