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December 2008
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February 2009

Scattered

I thought about doing the "Ten on Tuesday" theme of favorite clothing, but while I enjoy reading memes on other blogs, I can't get my act together to follow through. Just so you'll know, my favorite clothing item is a pair of well fitting jeans. Eddie Bauer's are long enough for my 36" leg and fit well in the hip (low-rider enough). However, I must try on every pair, as within a size one does not fit like another, and light denim stretches out more than dark denim. I know my jeans well.

Scattergories sounded fun, but I didn't want to think that hard.
Name: Margene
Four letter word: Muck

The end

Maxisverycutebutnotveryhappy

I thought about taking pictures of the boyz, but the dreary weather has made it difficult (until yesterday as you'll see). Neither one of them likes to sit still for long. I've tried to get Max to do a Chuck, and he does a pretty good job, but I can tell he feels put upon.

And, I thought about doing Eight "things about me", but couldn't pull together a list that long.  Here's one two:

  1. While I haven't found much time for spinning I have joined a fiber club (or two) and purchased other fiber. (Anne's alpaca/bamboo grabbed me by the nape and made me push the buy button).  When the little cut on my thumb heals I'll be back at the wheel and put in my 10 minutes a day (at least!). 
  2. The pantry is haunting me. I can't open the door without angst.  It's piled high in a balancing act that keeps me in awe. Why doesn't everything inside fall out onto my head?  Must decide what stays, what goes.  This could be a perfect place to house my tea collection if only it was cleaned out, painted and reorganized...a tall order with my current state of mind.
Afterthemonthwevehadwedeserveadayortwolikethis

Thank goddess, yesterday afternoon as I left work the sun was shining so brightly and the sky was shockingly blue! What is that big beautiful thing in the sky and LOOK at the mountains covered with white. WOW! It was then my mood changed and I realized that January would be over this weekend! Hasta la vista, January!!  February may be colder and snowier, but it's SHORT! 

So...I think can  gather myself together and figure out the best way to accomplish something this weekend and that just might make it good one. Enjoy yours!


No Hus(sle) Bohus

It felt good to divert from sweater madness and knit a mitten, but as soon as it was finished (and before starting the second one), I went back to Wisteria…beautiful, elegant Wisteria. While it feels like I've been knitting this sweater for a long period of time, the truth is it's been just over two weeks! If there happens to be enough knitting time this week Wisteria could be finished, but I'm not going to push. Susan and Larisa have put everyone to shame by knitting three sweaters this month (so far) so I won't be feeling smug about knitting two.

Fullbodyofwisteriaforblog

I'm several rows into the bottom cables and enjoying their beauty, enjoying the soft and beautiful yarn. The sleeves shouldn't take long once the body is finished. It will be awhile before I knit another one piece sweater on large needles. Wisteria weights a ton and she's hard to pack around (as was Acer). My hands and arms are tired of big knitting and that just might be what's needed to push me back to the Bohus.

Beginstitchesofneckline

I am feeling is a little bit chagrined because I have ignored Gray Mist. I've deluded myself by filling my knitting basket (which travels with me often) with only the Shetland Shawl, Wisteria and the mittens. Bohus sits at home, alone, sadly forgotten. The poor thing is out of sight, out of mind and someone should do something about it. That someone can only be me. Since it appears I may be ahead in the sweater game, I may take a week and knit only on GM. She deserves the attention for being patient with me. In any case, I'd like to see the yoke grow and the colors change. Wouldn't you?


Bitten By Mittens

Yesterday started out with skies clearer than we've seen, but it was so co-o-old and it stayed cold all day. When the weather is frightful it's so nice to wrap up in the warmth of wool scarves, hats and mittens. I've found that fingers just don't stay warm enough in gloves.

Fingers are happier snuggled together in a warm nest of wool. In my last post on mittens I said they weren't very comfortable and it was Sylvia's comment that helped me see the light. She said the fit of a mitten could make a difference and it was then I realized fingers confined in a too small area were unhappy. One must find the right mitten, the right fit and style.

Birdinhandmittens

In an effort to find the perfect fit I wore all the mittens shown in that last post.   When wearing them one after the other the one I thought would be the least likely to be comfortable was best pair for comfort and warmth. The worsted weight yarn of the Bird in Hand has softened with wear and the stranded fabric is extra warm for very cold days.  The best part is there is plenty of room to wiggle the fingers. Wiggle room makes them easier to wear and easier on the psyche, abating finger claustrophobia. The answer is to find mitten patterns with a nice sized "finger box".

Deepbreatheprettypinkmitten

Now that I have some idea of what it is that makes a mitten work for me, which styles best fits my needs, I'm ready to start knittin' mittens. Leftover worsted yarn (ahh, Beaverslide!), along with Kirsten's new mitten pattern (ONE of her many new mitten patterns) combine to make a very nice project. Who'd a thought a month ago I'd be joining NaKniMitMo09 (another Rav link).  Maybe this mitten thing will work out after all. Are you happy now, Katherine?


Weekend*

Beautifulanniversaryroses

What I didn't do over the weekend:

  1. Knit (as much as I'd like)
  2. Think about the blog (much)
  3. Go out to celebrate our 29th Anniversary (we ate in because the weather was sucky)
  4. Spin (as much as I'd like)
  5. See the sun

Acoldmountainviewonsaturday

What I did do over the weekend:

  1. Had dinner Saturday night with Mel and friends

  2. Walked in the rain far enough to get quite wet
  3. Hung out with Mel and friends at the Outdoor Retailers show
  4. Bought a new Haiku bag (priced to good to leave behind)

    Anewhaikubagforme

  5. Walked (back) in the snow far enough to get wet and cold...bleh
  6. Called 911 for a man passed out and laying in the snow (bad part of town--the Buddha is in everyone)
  7. Saw the inversion lift (which happens when it snows)
  8. Finished a mitten (when I should have finished a sweater)

*After writing this post I read Claudia's re-entry post.  I'm chalking the similarities up to "great minds". 


Always Learning

We're 3 weeks into MoDo and already the lessons learned are stacking up.

It's futile to create a list of twelve sweaters and have it stay unchanged for more than a day. Something new, a yarn or pattern always comes along to change the "list of desires".  About 1,000 lists have been made while laying out plans for MoDo, and yet, before any list was acted upon, it was changed or deleted. Sweaters on, sweaters off, sweaters moved from month to month, one sweater deleted, many new sweaters added…too much time spent thinking about the sweaters, not enough time knitting them...it all got a little too obsessive.  To remedy this anxiety producing, and ultimately futile exercise, there are now two lists; one of sweaters in process and the other of available yarns (as in the stash).  It felt good stop to madness.

Another thing I've learned (at this early date in MoDo)... stashing yarn is a good thing. (Maybe I'll change my mind in the future, but for now it is a good thing.)  At the first of the year the stash did not house enough yarn for 12 sweaters, however, a few short weeks later there is now more than enough to fill the bill.
Let expound on this for a minute.

Feltedtweedin145

In the past I thought it a waste of money to stash sweater yarn. Wouldn't my taste change, yarn desires change, and/or would I ever knit all that yarn? At this point in the sweater game it's apparent I would knit from the stash, especially if the yarns were classic and good quality. When a high quality yarn can be purchased at a discounted price, and you have the funds to do so, it's a good idea to buy and stash.  I've found a couple of good deals and now have what I consider to be a good mix of weights. New patterns come along on a regular basis (more so now than ever before) and it's nice to look at the stash and find something on hand. One must be ready to knit at a moments notice. (There are pitfalls, such as too much yarn, so I keep the motto "All things in moderation".)

The real lesson is to stop the constant list making, the constant desire to look into the future, but rather to stay in the moment with my current sweater.  I will not push or rush to finish and get onto the next sweater.  (Having two sweaters on the needles isn't a bad idea, however.) The knitting will unfold as it should, without anxiety, without expectation, yet always with joy.


Let's Talk About Me

I don't want to think about that dreaded January inversion any longer, so in an effort to brighten my mood during this disgusting time of year let's talk about something fun. 

Just for the record I want to say how much I loved Michelle Obama's inauguration outfit and the gown she wore to the inaugural balls. The gold (lace?, brocade?) coat and dress, with chartreuse gloves and scarf, was stunningly beautiful. Did you know she wore a Victorian (Lincoln era) paste brooch at the neck line?  What style! Despite others criticism of her ball gown (I don't think we could really see how beautiful it was), I thought it elegant. She glowed, she looked fabulous. Maybe thoughts along this line are silly and shallow, but admit it…it's nice to see color, glamor, and style on our First Lady and many of us like fashion (even if we're not so fashion conscience ourselves).

Now let's talk about me...

I've had this like/dislike relationship with my hair all my life. It's always been hard to handle, either too much body or too little. During high school when every one had long straight silky hair, mine was long and slightly fuzzed, as in not frizzy or curly, but fuzzy.  It was too thick with too much oomph. As time went on the oomph went away and it grew to be silkier, like corn silk silky. It's tough to handle hair that silky, hair that has a mind of its own, hair that defies styling.  

Myheadofhair

Many of you commented on how great my hair looked in the Acer photo shoot and I thank you for the compliment. Sunday was an okay hair day.   It's cut a little shorter and I like it, overall. Cheryl's picture shows it off nicely.

My stylist says my hair is "too" healthy and I could use poor quality products to give it some "tooth". Now, let me just say, it isn't the hair that bugs me as much as the hair products. How do you find something that works on your specific type of hair (if there is such a thing) without breaking the bank? I can't tell you how many times I've used something expensive ONCE only to find my hair doesn't like it. My $1.50 hair spray sucks, but it's better than spending $20 on can that doesn't work any better. If any of you have suggestions I'd love to hear it.  A little something that would control static (this is an arid climate) and give a little body is all I need.

To keep the good mood going tell me a fun (or funny) story about your hair or fashion sense.  We all have fashion faux pas and bad hair stories, right?


Not So Fast

Itsgrayhazyyuckyunhealthyick

So, here we have another day of inversion and a couple more to come. You may think it doesn't look THAT bad, but the air is considered "unhealthy" and we're cautioned to stay indoors as much as possible.  The sky is bluer when you look straight up, but the only reason I can see the mountains at all is because I'm so close. If the picture had been taken just mile more down the road you'd only see haze. This is why January is my least favorite month of the year with July (which has days that look just like this one) following in a very close second place. But, let's talk about something good.

This sweater will not take a mere 10 days because, it has already taken that long to finish the cabled yoke. However, I expect it to be finished before February begins, or shortly after it starts.  That means I'm a little ahead of the game (but, not as far as some people who will remain nameless). Instead of spending time with Gray Mist Bohus, I took the easy route (if you can call it that) and started Wisteria. There just hasn't been time to spend with a dark, non-portable, teeny needled project.  Her time will come (soon).

Thecontrastisntthisgreatonwisteriaforblog

Wisteria's yoke is entertaining and interesting, but it takes a certain amount of concentration to stay on track and not forget either to cross a cable or do an increase. (Some rows have both.) More entertainment is provided by the shading o'the yarn, the lovely, ShibuiKnits Merino Worsted. The yoke was knit with one ball, but the body (I've just divided to place the armscyes) will be knit with alternating balls in two by two rows. There is no desire to have surprising bits of untoward flashing or pooling of the lighter shades.  So far I feel like things are going well for MoDo...let's hope they stay that way.


In the Pink

Heading up one of our many beautiful canyons is the very best thing you can do when the inversion comes to camp out and uglifies the air.  The day in the mountain sun is even better if share with friends.  Cheryl and I, in our hand knits, were dressed appropriately for the sun and warmth.  We also happened to be the best dress people at Snowbird. She's wearing her darling hat from our SnB swap and I'm wearing the Just Enough Ruffles Scarf that Susan made for the exchange. Yes, it's green, but don't you think it goes beautifully with my pink Acer and the Leafy Mitts?  I do and I love them all together.

Cherylandiinourhandknits
Acer is one of my favorite sweaters because she is soft, warm, nicely designed and knit from one of the best worsted yarns around. (Cheryl's sweater is also knit with Beaverslide!)
Smithcapturedaprettygoodpose Itsunnylovelyandwarm
Nicedetailontheback
Part of what makes this sweater fit well and look fabulous is the design detail of the yoke and the darts that create the waist shaping. Acer was a very quick knit because of the pattern was well written and easy to knit (large needles, size 9 also help). Acer is my first 10 day sweater...10 days from start to finish.  Of course four days off for the New Year holiday came at the right time. 
Comfycozywarmandlovelypinkacer
Some people have finished their second sweater for MoDo (and are going full steam on their third).  I'm knitting as fast as I can to keep up!

P.S. Our day of service was wonderful and we (25 of us) moved 67 TONS of canned goods! The food bank was so appreciative and said we were the most productive group that had ever volunteered.  We walked out of the facility a with our chins high and feeling like a million bucks (even if we did have aching backs).   Today I am a very grateful and happy to be an American and very excited for this moment in history.  Yes we can!