Archive for September, 2006

It has been one of “those mornings.” I awoke, again, to a sky full of smoke and ash… that’s just getting depressing now; walked in to start the coffee and noticed the refrigerator seems to be leaking, had a run-in with D#2, found a mistake I must have made in my Fair Isle last night, sat down to play the piano and noticed my favorite piece of music is missing, then started to work and couldn’t get the audio to load for my transcription.


I knew restarting my computer would probably fix the audio problem. While I waited for the computer to restart, I picked up my Fair Isle. I’m always fascinated by the back of it. I started thinking, this mess of threads, and the messy order of all these rows on the back side are how I see my life at times… messy, unorganized, flawed – it doesn’t look like it’ll all ever come together.

The front of the work is something altogether different. It all comes together for a purpose. The mess of the back is glorified in the right side of the work. This is how God sees me. He sees the big picture, the finished object. He see’s the perfect me, the me who has been made righteous through Christ.

Then I thought of how simple it was to make things right with my computer by simply hitting the reset button. I remembered I have a reset button for my life. The one that will get me back on track, focused, living with a purpose – Prayer and God’s word.

I know that in my particular case…. being one that likes all her ducks in a row – Satan scatters my ducks all across the pond, just to see if I will flounder, or remember to ground myself in the Lord. The little annoyances will try and get me every time.

Today I triumphed. I remembered MY reset button. I sat back down at the kitchen table, read God’s word, and prayed.

“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23

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Halloween Mistake #2

…. or more appropriately titled “Know Your Target Audience.”

Fall church carnival again… this time I’m feeling completely inventive and unique and go dressed entirely in black, with a cool beret and some black rimmed glasses.

I kind of forgot how young most of our church is…. and spent the entire evening explaining what a beatnik was.

Maybe I should have carried a set of bongos and recited poetry.

I felt really old. Really! – I had no idea people these days did not know what a beatnik was.

Oh yes – that’s Kaity on my left, a flapper, and Lilly on the right in a wetsuit with a dolphin on her head, being a dolphin trainer. Now, that costume really was brilliance. She carried a little pail of swedish fish candy, labeled “bait” and made all the little kids do tricks, then she’d toss them a fish. Brilliant. Why didn’t I go with that one… Because I’m not getting into a wetsuit – that’s why.

In the fiber news…. check out this pretty Polar Morn Kaity spun up for me! It’s about 145 yards of spinny Merino perfection – destined to be wrist warmers.

Wrist warmers – like I need another pair of those. It’s 90-ish degrees outside today, the Santa Ana winds are blowing like nobody’s business, and in the back country, about 7 miles from us, is a brush fire that’s burning, going on the 4th week now. All we’ve had for weeks now is heat, smoke, and ash.

Yeah – I think I’ll work on my wool Fair Isle sweater and make me some wrist warmers.

Ya know what??? I can knit whatever I want. It’s a pretty little fantasy world I live in, and quite a bit colder, too.

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Deferring to Common Sense

Our church used to hold a carnival on the night of Halloween, where you could dress up, play old fashioned church carnival games, like the cake walk, etc, and all the various groups within the church would man the game booths. I was always at the “fishing booth” – you remember, where you toss your clothes pin attached to a fishing pole through the curtain, and someone on the other side would clip on some “Smarties” or “Tootsie Rolls” and then you’d reel in your prize.

They encouraged the adults to dress up. One particular year, about 7 or 8 years ago, I was having trouble coming up with something so I decided to go as an 80’s rocker chick – you know, ala Pat Benetar or the Wilson sisters from “Heart.” I made my hair really big, put on a head band, little pink mesh gloves left over from a bridesmaid outfit from years ago, a short-ish skirt with a big belted top, leg warmers and little ankle boots.

I know – what was I thinking. I sure wasn’t listening to that little voice of common sense.

I live in a small town, and people STILL talk how I turned up at the church carnival as a hooker. (and, no, I don’t have a picture)

So now that I have obviously become a stasher…. I hate sticking all my lovelies in big Ziplocs and putting them in the cupboard. I want them out where I can ogle them, and pet them from time to time. But common sense is telling me they need to stay safe from yarn-munching critters – they need to be safe in their baggies.

So…. here’s a little of the stash I’ve put at my desk on the shelf, where I can look at it all day long. This is just the stuff I have immediate plans for…. like that crock full of that gorgeous teal Cascade 220 (a cabled zip-up sweater)…

But I really want to go all “rocker chick”, throw caution to the wind and fill the rest of the shelf with sock yarn. Good idea? Bad idea? All the yarn in the yarn stores is out in the open… why can’t mine be?

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…. and it can’t be good for my newly acquired stashing issues.

I can hear you out there – You can all just stop laughing and saying “I told you so.”

Yep – it’s a spinning wheel… and yes, it’s now sitting in my family room.

No – we did not buy one, yet.

See, I have this daughter who everyone just seems to fall in love with – and our new friend, Deb, at the new roving/yarn store in town is particularly taken with her. She already gave her free spindle lessons, and a freebie spindle, and always seems to send us home with at least a little free fluff every time we go in.

She has been trying to get Kaity to try a spinning wheel from the first time we met her. Last week, with a little help from mom (she’s who got Mom going on the weaving…. what an enabler!!!) – Deb decides that Kaity needs a wheel – so badly that she’s just gonna send us home with one of her very own personal wheels!

So yesterday I took Kaity into the shop, where Deb spent about an hour-and-a-half getting her all acquainted with her new Ashford loaner, and gave her a big bag of practice fluff – all for free. This woman is a gem!

So, Kaity’s one happy camper – knee deep in fluff, and already spinning up some very nice stuff! (go check out her blog to see her first efforts). Of course, I bought 8 oz of merino/silk for her to spin up for me…. and I was feeling up some real purty cashmere roving while Kaity was taking her lesson.

Believe what EVERYONE says…. that spinning, it’ll suck you right in. Don’t even touch a spindle, much less a wheel, unless you’re willing to fall under it’s spell. Kaity tried to get me to sit down and try it last night…. but so far, I have resisted…. She even had Lily giving it a try.

I and SO doomed. Ya’ll wanna take bets on how long I can hold out?

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My mom recently bought a loom and has been weaving. Every Monday Night Dinner she shows us what she’s learned, and the cool stuff she’s weaving – little swatches of fabric, very cool.

Last night, at MND, she said “here… check this out,” and plopped this shawl on the kitchen table. It was beautiful!! She kept pointing out little flaws, saying it ended up a “learning piece.” I kept gushing over it, but she kept saying things like maybe she would felt it and cut it up, and make it into a purse or something. I said she was crazy! She pointed out the pretty colors, and how it was angora and wool, but also kept pointing out her mistakes…

I whipped it over my shoulders and gushed some more and told her she was crazy to cut it up, it was gorgeous and she should wear it, All The Time!

Then, I noticed my dad standing to the side, watching us. He looked at me, then looked at mom and said, “Well, are you going to tell her?” Mom said, “Well, I was making it for your birthday, but I just didn’t think it was good enough, I can do better.”

Dad said, “Yeah, I was all confused at your birthday last week when you opened your gift from us and it was a music box!”

So, of course, I pleaded “Can I have them both???!”

You can tell from this happy picture, I got to keep it. I love this shawl, that my mom made – just for me, and it’s more than good enough, it’s perfect.

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Ok – for someone who doesn’t, really doesn’t stash yarn, I certainly seem to have acquired quite a bit lately.

Hmmm, let’s see, some pretty soft gray-green Shine Worsted for my Sizzle, some burgundy KnitPicks Gloss (oooh, merino and silk), and some Knit Picks dyeable yarn for nothing in particular, just because they make lace weight dyeable now…

Oh yes, my favorite yarn store owner called and said my special order yarn is in… so I guess I’ll have even MORE yarn tomorrow! Sweet!

And, for your amusement (and, with Ms. Booshay most in mind – she enjoyed these last year) – the L.A. County fair commercials. Too funny…. Seriously, if you haven’t seen them, it’s more than worth your 30 seconds.

But, I hate to admit, yesterday when Kaity and I were ooohing over my new mohair yarn, Daughter #2, Lily, actually asked, “What’s a Mo?”

I kid you not… she really did. I’m slightly embarrassed ;o)

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Getting Away From It All

This weekend the hubby and I took off, just the two of us, for a weekend away…

Dinner at F. McLintocks – $$$

Sleeping on the sand at Pismo Beach – $10

Leisurely walk around Morro Bay on an unusually clear, warm, and gorgeous day – free

A beautiful cabin with fireplace at Cambria Pines Lodge – $$

Shopping at the Ball & Skein in Cambria, where the hubby says “take your time,” but then makes sure he walks back in just in time to say “I’m buying!” – $$$

Spending the weekend with the hubby you still can’t get enough of after 25 years, and even having him say “yell if you see a yarn store and want to stop” …. PRICELESS

** Mountain Colors, Mountain Goat, Painted Rocks colorway; Colinette Parisienne, Marble Colorway

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Here we are… one-third finished with the body of my Fair Isle sweater. From here on out, these patterns repeat twice more, with the colors getting lighter and more subdued as it works its way up.

All this pattern and color – I’m loving every minute of it. I’m sure it’s a bit much for some, probably most, people – but, heck…. I come from a family of men who wear dueling plaids on a regular basis – color and pattern don’t scare me.

Through the college years, my now sister-in-law even made up a “multicolor person” song that she would sing to my now-hubby on a regular basis.

(To the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy)

“I’m a multicolor person – multicolor yes I am. If I had done my laundry sooner, I would have something that matched.”

We still sing that song occasionally around here – it’s a family classic.

I’m no stranger to a lot of color.

Actually, in my own wardrobe, this is a bit “loud.” I tend to play it safe most of the time – with a few little touches here and there just to make the kids say “ew.. Mom!”. Like throwing on the fishnet stockings with the conservative pencil skirt and blouse, for church. But, really, most of what I wear is boring… your basic Old Navy, Gap, Levi’s….

I could use a little “multi-color dueling plaid” in my wardrobe – this oughta do it, doncha think?

Hey – if it makes ya twitch – just look away… I won’t make you wear it.

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I CAN be focused and stick to a tough project. I can put my mind, and hands to task.

I’ve learned my part of a four-hand piano duet for church, and was actually able to play in in front of the congregation without my shaking knees bouncing me right off the piano bench – barely.

I knit Rogue.

At “Scrapbook Summer Camp” this summer I was actually voted “Most likely to actually finish what she came to do.”

Hey – I even had 29+ lbs worth of three kids in 3-1/2 years. I can do the tough stuff.

It helps if the hard stuff is also the fun stuff.

I do have it in me somewhere – to succeed. I WILL finish the Fair Isle sweater – I’m not even worried about it. It really doesn’t even matter how long it take. Right now, we’re still in the “loving it” phase, and it’s actually coming along quite well. I’m still having fun with it – not yet looking for that inevitable project “vacation.”

But, I have ordered yarn for what that vacation will be – Sizzle. Just gotta order the pattern and wait for my yarn to show up.

The timing should be perfect.

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Caught in the Act

It always pays to have the video camera ready when it’s time for Kaity to do the dishes. Check out her sweet skills (although the kitchen is no where in sight…) I tell ya – that kid just makes me happy :o)

(sorry about the video being sideways, but it’s worth it).

And, because it’s always fun to see an FO out in the wild, and to prove that I do wear what I knit…. Here’s Prosperous Plum on it’s way out the door to Bible Study this morning.

There ya go – it’s all about you guys…. just putting ourselves out there for your entertainment.

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