Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sex and the Knitting

Crap. Only 50% of that post defines my life lately. The sentence itself defines my life last night. I was feeling kind of miserable, so I spent the evening, and most of the night, watching "Sex and the City" and knitting, and crying. And eating chocolate chip cookies. Can't forget the chocolate chip cookies when one is feeling lousy. True to form, at least for me, I just started watching "Sex and the City". I couldn't get into it when it was on HBO. Now, of course, it's in reruns, and I watch it when I can. That means I'm getting a very disjointed view of it. It doesn't seem to be shown in any particular order, which means I'm usually in the dark as to what is going on. HBO is no help - they only have four episodes on their On Demand service. So much for watch what you want, when you want.

August is a hard month for me. The beginning of the month marks the day that my partner of 30+ years upped and left, after telling me a raft of lies about how he loved me, blah, blah, blah. Tucked his tail between his legs and skulked out the door (right after a quick stop for lunch at his mom's, natch.) How many women can count their mother-in-law as the "other woman" in their lives? Then, at the beginning of September, we have my wedding anniversary, or what would have been my anniversary. That surprises me that it bothers me. He mostly ignored it, along with my birthday, Christmas, Valentines day; any time he had the opportunity to make me feel loved and valued. The reason? I "wasn't doing things his way, so I didn't deserve it." Holy shit. So, I've spent most of this month so far wondering what led me to this place in my life. Why didn't I dump this loser before this, and give myself a shot at a life?

It seems like all I've seen lately are happy couples. I work on an OB floor, and I see lots of happy dads thrilled with the birth of their new baby, and the start of their new family. I see other women who seem to have caring relationships with a man who cares about them, what they feel, what they like, if she's tired or whatever, just generally being there for her. And I wonder, what the hell did I do wrong? Why did I spend so much of my life with a man who is so emotionally unavailable. Why didn't I notice sooner? Hell, why didn't I notice that until he moved out? Why do I have my head so far up my butt? Why did I sell myself so short for so many years? Why am I such an optimist that I kept thinking I could fix this, when a part of me knew he was beyond fixing? To this day, I don't think he could tell you anything about me, favorite book, movie, whatever I like. This is a man who thought pots and pans were a good gift, on the occasion I got a gift from him.

It's not a nice world out there for women my age. Men my age are not looking for women my age. And, while I don't have a particularly bad life right now - I have great kids, a good job, and causes I care about - I miss holding hands with someone, I miss just talking to someone - I miss the complainionship. Granted, it's been a hell of a long time since I've had those things, but I miss them nonetheless.

Well, with all this misery, I accomplished a lot of knitting last night. On Something Red, I'm nearly at the point where i have to put the sleeve stitches aside. I finished the first ball of yarn, and started the second. Again, I will say that this yarn has no orange in it; it's more of a marooney red than the picture shows. I'm finding this a nice knit, I'm enjoying the pattern, and I'm going to work on it some more tonight. What you're looking at in the picture is the front. Excuse the mess on my desk in the picture, and as usual, Gremlin has managed to cram himself into the picture. He is snoozing on the bag that contains the rest of the yarn, which is TLC Cotton Plus, by (gasp) Red Heart. It's a bit splitty, but I like the feel of the fabric I'm making. I'm working for the next few nights, so probably won't accomplish too much knitting.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I'm Actually On Time, For Once!!

Wow!! Not only did I take and post my Saturday Sky picture on Saturday, but I have another Finished Object to put on my sidebar! That make three FO's this year. Amazing what I can do when I'm not bogged down with schoolwork.

I finished Clapotis last night. I thought it might come out too big, but it might actually be a smidge on the small side. I love it!! The colors are amazing, and I love the way the finished fabric feels. Silk Garden rocks! I've already ordered it in color 8, a mixture of blues, to make another one. I think it'll go quicker this time, because I know how it goes now. The only problem with Silk Garden is that the ladders need a LOT of help. I still have two or three to work down in the finished Clapotis, but that's only a small problem. It is biasing like mad, and needs a good blocking, but since I'm working tonight and tomorrow night, it'll have to wait, just like my Creatures of the Reef shawl, which I'm embarrassed to say I still haven't blocked. How long ago did I finish it? In my defense, I've worked 60 hours this week. I was called in last night for an additional 8 hours, and even though it would have been overtime, I had to decline. I really need to sleep every now and then.

We finally had some rain. My trees have been shedding leaves like crazy, and we had to water the flower gardens every day. I was sitting on the couch last night, knitting on my new project, when I see lightening, followed closely by a huge clap of thunder, and then a downpour. It was the first of several hours of thunderstorms we had last night. I didn't mind, until my son comes home a few hours later and says "hey Mom!! Did you know your car window was open?" Uh, no, I didn't. Fortunately, he closed it, but I still have a very wet drivers seat, which made today's trip to ShopRite very interesting.

So, this is what I was knitting last night. It's Something Red, in red. I know I said in a previous post I was going to make this in blue, and I am, but I got this red yarn, tlc Cotton Plus. It's 51% cotton, and 49% acrylic, and it's knitting into a nice fabric. It's actually a deeper red color than the picture shows. I think it tooks like an orangey-red in the picture, but there is no orange in this at all. This project is knitted from the top down, and it's the first time I've ever done that. I still intend to make this sweater in the blue Cotton Ease. I would love to make it in Rowan Calmer, but I don't like their current color selection. Tangerine, pinks pale blues and greens - not my colors at all. I would like to make this in a khaki green, or a jewel color. I wish I had gotten Calmer in the Amour color, or the Peacock or teal they had last year. I had no idea their new color palette would be so blah.

Monday, August 21, 2006


This is getting to be a habit. Here I am once again, posting a Saturday Sky picture during the week. I did take the picture on Saturday. it was nice and grey, and for once, we are hoping for rain. Quite a change from the beginning of the summer, when we were hoping the rain would stop. Now, even the weeds in my front yard are crispy and dry. You just know that things are bad when the weeds start dying.

Not too much knitting going on. I went to work yesterday (Sunday) at 2:30 pm, and came home this morning at 8:30 am - that's a 16-hour shift plus travel time. I thought I would only be there for 4 hours yesterday. Silly me. I have been knitting on Clapotis, and am on the decrease section. I hope to finish this one up by the end of next week. I'm on my fifth ball of yarn, so I'm near the end. I have to say, I love this project. I love the way it looks, I love the way it feels, and I love the yarn. Noro Silk Garden is a wonderful yarn. I love the color changes, and I don't find this to be scratchy at all. I think it's wonderfully soft. I frogged this project after I had finished knitting three balls of yarn, because I thought it was too big, and now I kind of wish I'd left it that way. It isn't that much smaller now, but maybe the next time I knit this (and there WILL be a next time), I'll go for a bit bigger. I used Noro 47, which is a black, grey, tan, and bronze combination, and it looks wonderful with a black top. It also looks nice as a scarf/shawl with a tan coat - even a tan coat like my barn coat, which I wear all winter long.

I have a 60-hour workweek this week. This is going to be a killer, and I'm not going to get a chance to relax, but Fuzzybuns showed me how he relaxes. He has always been one of the most relaxed cats we've ever had. Nothing bothers him. He just goes to sleep, stretches out, and occasionally falls or slides off whatever he's sleeping on. No matter - he just goes back to sleep in the new spot he landed in. Wish I could do that. When I went to sleep this morning, I spent my sleeping time dreaming about last night's work. Not relaxing at all.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Is It Tuesday Already?

Wow. I took a picture of the sky on Saturday, fully intending to blog as post it before I left for work, but as usual, real life took over. While I was in the bathroom, I noticed that my foot got wet near the toilet. Uh-oh. Sure enough, it's leaking down near the seal. Now, I already had a bathtub leak in this room, which messed up part of the floor, and some of the tiles are missing. I don't know if the plumber is going to be able to fix the toilet unless I get the floor fixed. I don't know if I can afford to get the floor fixed, as I'm a single parent with a million other things to pay for, and my husband just says "well, I can't help you". Thanks, hon. Reminds me of why we're separated in the first place. So, I have people coming out to give me an estimate on what it'll take to fix the floor. Which brings me to the second problem. Why don't people show up when they tell you they'll be there? One guy told me he could come out Saturday afternoon. Great! Gave him directions, etc, and waited. And waited some more. Called home after I got to work. Never showed. Nitwit. I won't use him, that's for sure. I have enough unreliable people in my life right now.

The bathroom problem means I'm going to have to work more hours at work. In addition to not being able to help with the repairs, I was informed the real estate taxes need to be paid. Guess who gets to do that? If you guessed me, you guessed right. I feel a little overwhelmed right now, and a lot frustrated. I can't even put it into words. My mom used to say "every dog has his day", and I certainly hope that this particular dog gets his.

I am forcing myself to not work on Something Red I really would like to finish Clapotis before the Labor Day deadline of the Amazing Lace. I think I'm on the twelfth repeat of the straight section right now. I just got off working three days in a row, so I didn't have any time to work on it at all. For the same reason, I still don't have Creatures of the Reef blocked. Hope to get on that this week. I just got a few pairs of Inox circulars today from ebay, so Something Red is really calling me. I think it's goikng to look nice in the blue yarn I'm going to use, and it's taking every ounce of self-control to not start another project. I already have several sweaters started. To be fair, they are heavy wool sweaters, and I haven't felt like working on them during the summer. I want to finish Something Red while I can still wear it, though. Decisions, decisions.

While working on the computer today, Cal was desperately trying to settle down on the desk next toi me. Things are kind of a mess, because I woke up this afternoon, and didn't really get any straightening up done before I sat down at the computer (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it), so he gave up and flopped down on a pile of catalogues and phone books and mail and sacked out.
The picture is going to have to stay at the top of the post, because my mouse is giving me problems, and I can't highlight things to move then.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happy Furry Friday, Again

Huh. Just when I think everything is going ok, something comes along to throw a monkey wrench in the works. I posted earlier this week that I was going to go to Joann Fabrics and get a blocking board to block my shawl. Later on that day, while running some errands, I noticed my car was having problems. My transmission was shifting like crazy while I was driving home, and by the time I was five blocks from home, I was doing 25 miles an hour, which was all I could do, and the car was roaring like crazy. I DID manage to get home and into my driveway. Called my friendly local transmission place, and they picked up the car for me. Fortunately, it was not a major repair, but it did mean I was without a car for a few days. Got it back today, and ran a bunch of errands I had to do, including going to Joann Fabrics. Guess what I forgot? Right. The blocking board. How aggravated am I right now? Aargh. I don't want to go out that way again for a few days, so I am going to have to wait.

In the meantime, I am knitting like crazy on my Clapotis. Even though I switched to smaller needles, this is going to be one big shawl. I am working on the 10th repeat of the straight section, and every time I drop a stitch, the shawl gets wider. I'm
only on the fourth ball of Silk Garden, though. I love the way this yarn feels. I've seen a lot of discussion on the Ample knitters says this yarn is scratch, but honestly, I can't believe how soft it is. It feels wonderful on my shoulders.

Last night, I swatched for a new pattern I just bought from Knit and Tonic. It's called Something Red, but I am making it in blue. Blue Lion's Brand Cotton Ease, to be exact. I never thought I would hear "Lion Brand" coming out of my mouth, but here it is. And, to my surprise, this knitted up into a beautiful swatch. I forgot to take a picture of it, but unless this yarn does something godawful when it's washed, I think this is going to be a very nice sweater, and I can see myself getting a lot of use out of it. And, another surprise. I'm also going to swatch it in Red Heart's TLC, which is 50% cotton and 50% acrylic, similar to the Cotton Ease, and see how I like it. I don't want to use a wool for this, and I don't want to use 100% cotton, because I don't like what 100% cotton does after wearing (stretching and sagging!), so I'm trying something different.

I also want to continue working on "Audrey", but I'm going to wait until the end of the Amazing Lace to do that.

In the meantime, I am enjoying our beautiful summer weather. What happened to Global Warming? Not that I miss it. I haven't had our central air on in days. Wednesday was wonderful, yesterday was a mite humid, and today is incredible. The high temp is only about 80, no humidity, perfect blue sky, puffy white clouds. And, it's supposed to last through the weekend, at least. I can't remember when we've had such a nice August. While I'm enjoying today, I do have to work this weekend, which means I'll be sleeping through the days. Oh, well. Fall is on it's way.

And, last but not least, a Furry Friday picture of my computer supervisor, Megan. I've had Meggie since she was three days old. The litter consisted of her, her brother Cal, and two other kittens who died shortly after we rescued them. Happy Furry Friday I thought all four of them were dead when I got them. They were cold and not moving. A few hours on a heating pad brought them around, but the two weaker kittens could not survive the combination of cold, and not eating. Meggie's brother Cal still lives with us, as does she, but Cal recently lost an eye to cancer. So far, he seems to be doing well. We're keeping our fingers crossed for him.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

C'est Fini!

At least I hope that's the way to say it in French. I took two years of French in high school, back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Haven't used it too much since then, and since my French II teacher got fired halfway through the year (but they let him stay til June) my French has always been rusty. Should have taken Spanish, instead.

Anyway, look on my sidebar. It's done!! I finished Creatures this morning. It only took me about 15 minutes of knitting, and I finished it before another cat came to sit on the instructions. I'm done!! I'm so happy! It feels good to have an actual Finished Object. And, while it definitely came out smaller than the pattern size, I think it will be ok. I won't be able to block it for a while, though. I can't find my pins or blocking board. I used to have a sewing room, before we cleaned it out so my sons could each have their own room. I don't know what my husband did with a lot of my stuff. So, I'm off to Joann Fabrics this week to get a blocking board, and some pins. There's a Wal-Mart closer to me, but I don't shop Wal-Mart ever, for any reason. Aside from social problems I don't like, I think Wal-Marts are the most depressing stores ever. I don't know what it is, but when I used to shop there, they always reminded me of a rathole. Actually, this subject is another post by itself.

But, I digress. I've started working on Clapotis, too. Got a few rows in this afternoon, but we are all busy doing laundry here today. Our new dryer arrived yesterday, right in the nick of time. I was wearing t-shirts that formerly lived at the bottom of my shirt drawer. Now I can wear something presentable, and good thing, too. We're going out to dinner tonight for Chris's birthday, which was last Tuesday. Apparently, my husband is going to be there too, which should make things interesting, to say the least. I haven't seen him since his father's funeral, back in December. Since this is for one of my children's birthdays, I will have to be nice.

I will post a picture of the blocked Creatures later this week. I work for the next two nights, and have a CEU seminar the next day, so I'll be busy for a while. I'll try to get more done on Clapotis, which incidentally feels like knitting with broom handles and rope after size 2 needles and fingering yarn.

Since I don't have a new picture of Creatures or Clapotis, I'll leave with a picture of Gremmie. I have a Vera Bradly Carry-All (which I love!) Vera Bradley advertises that this can be a pool or gym bag, baby bag, or picnic bag. Grem managed to stuff all 15 pounds of himself inside it, to prove it can be a cat-carrier, too.Gremlin + Vera Bradley

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Wherin, I Tell Why I Didn't Finish Creatures of The Reef Tonight...

THIS picture tells why. I was knitting away on Creatures, up to row 197, when Gremlin jumps up on the couch, and settles down on the bag holding the yarn, and my instructions, which are laying on top of the bag. He settled down and went to sleep instantly, purring contendedly. I didn't have the heart to move him, so I will finish tomorrow. Besides, it gives me a good excuse to go blog slogging, which I haven't done in a while.

Here's my Saturday Sky photo. Nice blue sky, no humidity, no 100 degree temps. A very nice Saturday. Still a bit too warm (86) for my taste, but nice nonetheless. David and Dusty were outside for a bit, and my dog is loving this weather. You can see him hauling
David down the sidewalk. I'm hoping I can turn off my air conditioning tonight and open the windows for a change. I love fresh air. I hope it stays this way for a while. It will be nice to go outside without feeling like I'm in an oven. And, since I think that I'll finish Creatures tomorrow, I want to pick up my other partner in the Amazing Lace, Clapotis. I'd like to see if I can finish that one, too. Two finished objects in one month will be cause for celebration. I usually don't finish one a year, much less two. I want to pick up Audrey and finish that one, and I have two Philosopher's Wool sweaters, one for me and one for Chris that I would like to finish this winter. Socks! Sweaters! Whatever! I'm on a roll!
The prospect of having an actual FO in my hot little hands is obviously a pretty heady one, and is making me think of more projects I have in my line-up. Woo-hoo! This is the first time I've ever done a KAL, and I liked it. It kind of gave me a deadline to finish by, and boy, do I like deadlines. I work well under stress. Go figure.

While I was happy that my Saturday Sky picture showed beautiful blue skies, I was kind of disappointed that I couldn't get a sunset like the one I got last night, so I'm going to post a couple of Friday Sky pictures here, too. I went down to the park at the end of my street to take some pictures.
This sunset last night was gorgeous. I did piss off a herd of deer who were waiting at the edge of the wood. I was standing there, balancing on the outflow pipe of the culvert, taking these pictures, and I kept hearing this sound behind me - kind of like a sneezing sound, but I could tell it wasn't human.
Since the sun had already set, and it was dark in the woods, it creeped me out. I figured I'd better try to get a look, and I saw something waving back and forth just in the edge of the woods. It took me a minute to realize it was a deer tail, attached to a really annoyed deer. She was making the sounds I was hearing. I don't know if it was a warning to the rest of the herd behind her, or a warning to me. At any rate, she turned and ran back into the woods, and I left the park with some very beautiful sunset photos.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, Chris!

Today is my son Christopher's 28th birthday. Happy Birthday, Chris! He is my second oldest, and I owe a lot of my front yard landscaping to him. He kept an eye on the house and his younger brothers after his father left a few years ago; which allowed me to go to school to get a degree and a better job. I hope he has many more happy birthdays after this one. Like most of us in this household, he is somewhat camera shy. I did my best to get a picture of him, but this is the best I could do.

Haven't made too much progress on Creatures since my last post. I spent this weekend studying for my NRP (Neonatal Resusitation Procedures) certification. I had an 8-hour certification class and test yesterday, and I'm happy to say I passed. That's a load off my mind, and adds to my employability in my specialty.

I did take some Creatures pictures today. I knitted this shawl tightly, on size 3 and 2's instead of the 4 and 3's called for in the pattern. I wanted a slightly smaller shawl than the size given. I think I may have done too well in that department. I think I'm gonna have to block the hell out of this thing, or just accept that I have a shoulder shawl. I'm really pleased with the pattern and the color. I found it to be an easy knit, and I like the way you start out with a huge amount of stitches at the beginning, and decrease as you knit. I think that may be part of the problem with my unfinished Flower Basket shawl, aside from the fact I don't think navy is a good choice for this pattern - you start with only a few stitches, and work your way up to a zillion stitches at the end. I think I prefer starting with a huge amount, and then at the end, when I want to move on to something else, wind up with just a few stitches. Designers, take note! The colors in this yarn have given me exactly the effect I was looking for it, and I'm so happy with that. The yarn was from ebay - Twinkletoes light, in the colorway Ocean. A perfect match, I think.

And, in other news, our silly cat report:

Did you ever wonder what your cats do at night? Catch mice, raid the cabinets, move furniture, whatever? I found out what a couple of mine have been up to: they're learning to play the guitar! We caught Frankie and Fuzzybuns passed out on the couch after a hard night jamming on Jonathan's guitar. Looks like they were in the catnip.

Today was blistering. 100 degrees. Tomorrow's more of the same. I know it's summer, but I would love to live somewhere with more moderate summer temps. Is there even a place like that? According to the weather reporters, it's been hot everywhere lately. Our power keeps going off, I've been saving this post as a draft every few sentences, so I don't have a repeat of my last post, wherein I lost the whole darn thing.