Syndactyl Salutations

Thoughts on writing, knitting, and the world around me.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

More Yarn

I haven't gotten photos developed lately, or taken photos of my recent acquisitions, but let me tell you that I have recent acquisitions. I bought yarn for the next baby blanket, purple and pinkish Jaeger Baby Merino and consulted with the owner of Oh Susanna about the best way to approach its construction. She was very helpful, and made nice comments on the BBBB, which I am ten rows from completing.

I went to both Oh Susanna and Labadie Looms today, and although Labadie is less confusingly laid out, Oh Susanna is actually better for me. She has a wider range of natural fibers and she is willing to help with advice and problems. I will probably be going to her more often than to the other. She is also closer to home for me, not that that's a major thing, but I can go to her over lunch if necessary.

I have taken the initial step toward sock knitting: the purchase of two US 2 circular needles and a large ball of sock yarn. I have a feeling I probably should have started with worsted, but I'll survive. I'm actually pretty excited, though I don't know when I'll actually cast on for them. I also bought the needles to start the Tank Girl tank from Stitch 'n Bitch, but haven't started that either. I've been trying to finish BBBB since I'm so close.

In other news, while I was knitting at Long's Park by the pond, a heron flew right up to within a few feet of me. I had my cameras handy, so I took copious photos, I'm hoping I managed to get a few good shots. We are having significantly humid weather today here in Central PA, so I'm not sure why I was knitting a merino blanket outside, but there you have it. It's become an obsession.

Dinner time, must go now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Birthday Wrap-up

My birthday turned out pretty well, I satisfied my curiosity about Havre de Grace, had a nice lunch, took some photos, bought some beautiful yarn, ate a delicious Indian dinner... If I ever get around to getting film developed, I'll be able to post examples of some of these things. One of these days I'll go digital, just not quite yet.

On BBBB, I'm an inch from the top border and I think I should have enough yarn (I hope, I hope, I hope) to finish it completely. Then I get to start another baby blanket, but I'm going to do a different one, probably a simple diagonally knit one this time. I will have at least one more after that to do, so I need to keep it interesting, or simple, or something. I haven't done anything else on the Bottoms Up Bucket since the weekend. I'm getting so close to the end of the blanket, I just want to do it.

I haven't done much writing since this weekend. I got up early enough to do most of a set of morning pages this morning, but that's about it.

Family stuff has taken another turn for the weird, I should have called my parents today, but I just didn't have the energy to try to be strong for them, or whatever. Maybe I should find a nice therapist to talk to, but that just feels so not me.

I had a revelation about my work life yesterday morning when I didn't really want to get up and drag my sorry self into work after a three-day weekend. I realized that it's horrible to know that even after taking a little extra time away from work, I still dread going in when the time comes. Shouldn't having a bit of a break re-energize you? Isn't it sad that it so plainly doesn't? The problem, of course, is that I am so invested in this place now, it's been four-and-a-half years and I'm succumbing to inertia. And who's to say that another place would be any better than this in terms of jumping out of bed raring to go to work?

Okay, enough whining.

We skipped racquetball because we were tired, so I should go to bed now.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Skipping Shakespeare

We usually go to Shakespeare in the park when it comes around, but today it was Romeo and Juliet, and, frankly, I don't think I could have survived yet another production. It's a good story and all, but it's not exactly interesting to me any more. Besides, it was grey and cool and I just didn't feel like sitting in a sea of people squinting at the stage for two or three hours. I'll go to whatever they stage next year, I promise.

The positive side of eschewing an evening of culture in open air was that I did some writing on random topics. I began by opening Julia Cameron's The Right to Write for the umpteenth time. Sometimes I just need something to jumpstart myself, especially of late. I did a couple of her exercises and did a couple of short pieces I thought up all on my own. I'm pretty excited, although that's an embarrassing admission, because I feel like I could sit down and start writing again, and that makes me happy. That part of me has been missing for a few months and I'll be happy to have it back.

I don't have to work tomorrow, so I plan to celebrate my birthday by driving to Havre de Grace, Maryland for part of the day. I've never been there, I don't know anyone there, but it's something I've been meaning to do for years. I've been wanting to do it for the past two or three birthdays, at least, but something always comes up. This time I have my directions and map ready on my desk, my phone is charging, and I shouldn't have to worry about sleeping in. I just want to see water or something. I want to go somewhere a little different and I want to go by myself. As far as I know, I will come home to the promise of a birthday dinner at Taj Mahal, so it should be nice all around.

No knitting today. Feeling frustrated because I had to re-cast-on for my Bottoms Up Bucket Hat last night after breaking both strands of yarn whilst attempting to stretch the k2tog stitches. Don't know my own strength, I guess. The sorry partial brim I had is huddled on my nightstand, I only ripped back to where the thread let go. Maybe I'll make it into a nice necklace or headband... All of those painful cotton stitches, I was  disheartened, but at least I cast on again immediately -- only knit twenty+ stitches, but still cast on immediately.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Some progress on some things

Knitting has been going well, I'm three inches from the top border of BBBB and am on the last balls of yarn. Of course, I'm now looking at it and wondering if I will actually have enough to finish properly. This baby may end up with a severely wonky blanket. What was that warning about swatching?

No writing has been accomplished lately outside of a few half-hearted attempts at morning pages. This has to change soon.

I got a battery and a lens cap for the new-to-me camera and found some basic how-to information about what all the wheels and dials mean, I'll probably start playing with it this weekend.

Work is a grinding torture and I found something that needs to be fixed by someone who just doesn't have time to fix it, which will mean my head in the long run. Yeah, I'm ready for the three-day-weekend.

However, none of that really matters when I have the evening to do some reading and get ready to be lulled to sleep by the impending storm.

Oh, yeah, no progress on the bucket hat since the first few days. I should get it out, but just the thought of it makes my hands ache.

Hopefully back before too many days.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Houston...we have photos

Blue River Sunset test photo Posted by Hello
I've been wanting to be able to put the occasional photo here, but have been reluctant/nervous about trying Hello. Today I took the plunge and it worked! Thank you Blogger and Picasa.

Rainy Sunday

I knew it had been a bit since I'd posted, but I didn't realize I'd let an entire week pass by -- long enough for Blogger to change again, I see, how interesting.
I'm making progress on my blanket, I'm past the first third of the second half of the middle section, if that makes any sense to anyone but me. I've not done anything on my bucket hat for several days, my hands were bothering me and the Sugar 'n Cream cotton needs to be wrestled with. It does explain why my first scarf project upon returning to knitting took so long to do, though.
I'm finding myself gathering knitting patterns like crazy lately, not good, considering how slowly I knit. I'm going to Borders tomorrow evening for the monthly knitting group there, we'll see how it goes. It would be nice to meet other knitters, but I'm not holding my breath for instant rapport or anything.
On the writing front, not much. No fiction, but I did write a nice little diatribe when I signed's petition against the Federal Marriage Amendment. Maybe I'll post it here if I think about it soon.
I have another camera to play with as of yesterday. He gave me his father's camera because his stepmother and daughter weren't going to use it. It's a Canon EOS Elan II with a 28-80 zoom. I need to look for a manual so that I can find out what all of the knobs and dials and buttons do. I know where the battery lives and how to load the film, so that's a start.
I don't think the outdoor concert is going to be in my cards this evening, it's been raining consistently since early this morning. I'll work on knitting and maybe look at some quilt fabric in the meantime.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Great Day So Far

Today has been a great day, and that's not something I have said much lately. After spending the morning bonding with him, I looked through Stitch 'n Bitch and decided how I was going to use the Berocco Flax I bought on sale at Kitnits yesterday afternoon: Tank Girl, here I come. Of course, I needed more than I initially bought.

I went to market and got the requisite veggies we were out of, then went to Kitnits for the additional skeins of Flax. The linen yarn is so soft and shiny, I can't wait to play with it.

I then went to explore Labadie Looms, which I'd read about somewhere in the Knitting Bloggers webring (sorry I can't remember where), you know, rather than in the yellow pages. They have some really amazing yarns, though the only thing I bought today was a package of cable needles (I'm thinking of trying a swatch, just for the heck of it. I'll definitely go back, it's just that I bought more yarn than I'd intended yesterday.

While I was there, I actually spoke up when the other customer and the owner were talking about knitting, and the three of us ended up having a nice conversation about knitting and politics and a few other odds and ends in between. I exchanged contact info with the other customer (on a Labadie Looms card) and we are planning on getting together at some point.

Oh, cool, when we were talking I mentioned Big Bad (which I had in the car, of course) and she said she'd like to see it. When I brought it in, she asked to see how seed stitch was done / circular needles were used, so I sat down and showed her! Me, miss shrinking violet.

Once I left Labadie, I stopped at a little ice cream shop and got a rootbeer float with chocolate ice cream, yum!

Like I said, I've had a great day.

And I still have time to knit or write or both. I'm a happy human.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Back to the grind

The long weekend is gone and back to work. We had a pretty good holiday, though I'm riddled with mosquito bites. We went to a couple of cookouts and witnessed small-scale fireworks in a friend's yard. We didn't go in for the professional shows, though.

I managed to increase my knitting project by three inches -- knitting during movies and conversations seems to be the way to go. I'm glad I've picked it up again, and I'm anxious to finish it, though that could still take a while. It does take me at least half an hour a row, after all, which adds up to more hours than I care to think about before it's done. I'm seriously thinking of a very basic quilt for the next baby due.

I wrote over 250 words on the 2003 nano today! I know it doesn't seem like a huge thing, but it is. I've been mired for so long that it was incredible to actually produce words of fiction.

Uncomfortably sticky, thinking of hanging out in Borders while he's at practice this evening. Or maybe hibernate instead.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Indian Food and Enigma

He didn't end up getting his kids last night, so we went out for Indian food for the first time in ages. I had forgotten how good the food at Taj Mahal is, though I may want to back down from a 4 to a 3 next time, it was on the verge of being too spicy. I can't imagine what a 10 would do.

We came home and watched Enigma, which I accidentally rented last week, thinking I was getting Elizabeth. It was good, and I got some knitting done while it was on. I finally measured my "Big Bad Baby Blanket" project (from Stitch 'n Bitch) and it appears that I'm about a third of the way done. I've been working on it more lately though, after a dry spell of a couple of months. Working on something for a baby was just too difficult for a little while.

I should go out to the yarn shop again on one of my free Saturdays, but I feel like I need to finish something before I buy more yarn. I know a lot of people work on several things at once, but I just don't knit fast enough to feel like I can do that. The Charlotte's Web shawl does look tempting, though.

Of course, I should do a lap quilt next, really.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Fake First Day

Today was officially the first day of my promotion, but since I'm basically going to be doing the same thing I've done for the past four-and-a-half years, it went by largely without comment (except by me). I wore my ceremonial grey Brooks Brothers suit and changed my voicemail and email signature, then went back to doing the same things I always do. My new boss is at the beach this week, and today was my old uber-boss's (UB) last day, so it was sort of limbo anyway.

We did manage to surprise the UB again by showing up at the bar where she and her husband were allegedly going to have dinner after work. Nearly the entire office hung out and drank and ate and talked for a while, a good time was had by all, and she's having us all out to her house next weekend. Tomorrow will be very strange.

I'm not quite sure how to approach the new old job. I feel like I should automatically kick into some higher gear activity, but at this point I don't exactly know what that should be. So I'll keep doing what I usually do until inspiration strikes, or something.