Syndactyl Salutations

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

Monday, January 31, 2005

An Actual Finished Object, Again!

Yes, you read correctly. I finished the hat yesterday and I finished a pair of fingerless mitts in the same yarn this evening. They are from no pattern that exists, since any pattern would need dramatic revision to fit me anyway. I'm really pleased that I managed to wing it and make something that fits and serves the purpose. They aren't the most elegant things ever created with sticks and string, but they aren't hideous either. I think the thing I'm most proud of is the thumb gusset on the left one, which was definitely an afterthought. If I get my act together in the next day or two, I'll take photos of them.

Now, I must have a bowl of cereal and think about going to bed. I had another night of waking up every couple of hours all night long. It's getting to be a habit and I'm not sure how to break it.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Convivial Knitting

I spent a pleasant hour this afternoon knitting with Michelle and Rachel at the gallery Rachel has a partnership in. I think we all had a nice time, despite the puppy Elvira's determination to eat all of my possessions. My Sophie was spared and all was right with the world. I imagine we'll try it again, Rachel is planning to make it weekly, I believe.

I finished the-hat-to-cover-my-ears just before I went a-knitting. It's a bit large through the back of the head, but nothing I can't live with. Of course, this coming week will be in the 30s and 40s, so I probably won't need quite that much hat, but I'm ready for the next cold snap. I'm working on fingerless mitts with the rest of the Red Licorice. The left's basically done (I may pick up stitches for a thumb gusset of some sort) and I'm making progress on the right. They are definitely distinctly left and right. I'll pretend that I am on the ball and say that maybe I'll take pictures when I'm done.

A lot of the left mitt was done while watching Before Sunset, which I loved. I bought a used copy today and will probably watch it again before the week is out. I want to go back to Paris again, watching the movie made me miss it and I've only been there three times for a weekend each time.

I wish everyone the best for the coming week.

P.S. My back is nearly normal again.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Drowning at Oh, Susanna

First, let me say that I love Oh, Susanna in all its disheveled glory. Yes, it takes time to find specific things, but there are some real treasures if you're willing to spend the time. I went there today looking for yarn to make Clapotis, or maybe to get yarn and the pattern for Klaralund. I spent two hours looking at things over and over, but I could not make up my mind. I still have Christmas money (part of it in gift certificate form), so I could even be a bit more extravagant than usual. I left empty-handed. But I have ideas.

For Clapotis:

Schaefer Yarns Marjanne or Helene -- They are both wool/silk blends, the Helene is extra high sheen and luxurious, but the Marjanne is lovely as well.

Cherry Tree Hill Farms has a nice slightly-above-laceweight that probably would have made a diaphanous wrap.

Noro Silk Garden or Shinano--I couldn't decide whether I liked the available colorways for a scarf, or a sweater for that matter.

Dyed in the Wool alpaca silk--this was heavenly to the touch, but would have been by far the most expensive item in my wardrobe.

I think my problem is that I am just too inherently frugal to buy the luxury yarns. The opposing problem is that if I am going to make Clapotis, I want to make it in the wool/silk blend, because the fiber mix is lovely and I should let myself deserve something like it, right? Maybe I need to look at the stuff at Mystical Creation Yarns again. I can't remember where I found their link in the first place, but I'm almost certain it was in a Clapotis-related post.

I have done no knitting today, having spent my afternoon surrounded by acres of yarn not destined to go home with me. Right now I have to put our comforter in the washer again because it seems Widget has not yet gotten over his "elimination" issues. Maybe I'll do some knitting once that task has been completed.

Posting Just to Post

I don't have anything specific to say this afternoon, I just decided that since I was online anyway, I'd might as well put something here. How about the few random things approach:

1. My back is better than it was a few days ago, but still hurts a bit. I'm trying to stretch.

2. My hat-that-covers-the-ears will take at least a ball and a half of the red licorice; I am knitting it at a tight gauge, no wind will penetrate this thing.

3. Even though it's a beautiful day, I'm contemplating staying inside again. I do not plan on giving in to these thoughts.

4. I did an entire set of morning pages this morning and plan to do the same tomorrow. I do, however, need to find a new pen first, my current preference is nearly out of ink.

5. The desire to stay home all day does not coincide with a desire to do housework.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Sick Day

I had another rough night with my back, so I decided to take a sick day and just recline. It seems to be helping. I'll be back at work tomorrow. I have to admit not being sad about not having to go outside in the cold today. It was sunny, but I don't think it's managed to get out of the teens.

Of course, all day to myself, and no knitting yet. A little writing, but no knitting. Luckily there's still time.

Okay, this is incredibly boring, sorry about that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Buckhill, Take Two

I actually dragged myself to Buckhill Books to knit this evening, even though my back is still bothering me. It was nice, but I only really did an hour because it got going late and I left early. I worked on my hat and my sock, other people were doing sweaters, bags, ponchos, headbands... Quite an assortment. I'll probably go again, it's good not to be a hermit all of the time.

My back is still tight. I woke myself up everytime I changed position last night, even after having it rubbed and tiger-balmed before bed. I took ibuprofen in the morning and some semi-generic back pain medicine in the afternoon, but nothing has done much good. If it wakes me up again tonight, I may stay home and recline tomorrow, but no decisions are being made right now.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I just finished reading Sock, by Penn Jillette. I know it sounds knitting-related, but it's not. I had a hard time getting into it because the style and language weren't quite up my alley, but I ended up being drawn in. By the time I finished it, I had to admit that I'd enjoyed it. So, if you're in the mood for a book narrated by a sock monkey, with lots of pop culture references, go for it. You may even borrow my copy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Back Out of Whack

The past two days of shoveling did a number on my back. I can move, but it hurts. It's just the right middle, but it's enough. No more shoveling for me, luckily we broke freezing today and are supposed to again tomorrow. No exercising for a bit either, I believe, which is sort of a bummer. But since I can't turn my head all the way to either side or sneeze without discomfort, working out doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it?

I worked on the-hat-to-cover-my-ears for a while this evening, and will a bit more probably. I spent some time on my second sock at lunch and while manning the reception desk at work. I had more trouble dividing the stitches for this sock than for any of the other four I have begun, it was ridiculous, not to mention embarrassing. But that part is done and I'm on my way. I'll work on it some more when I sit at the phones again in the morning. It's nice to have an excuse to knit at work, rare as that may be.

As long as the weather doesn't get unexpectedly ugly tomorrow or my back doesn't completely seize up, I'm planning on going to Buckhill Books to knit tomorrow evening. Of course, a month later and I'll be working on the second of the same pair of socks...But let's not get into that, okay?

Monday, January 24, 2005

Snow and Yarn

That was yesterday's theme (mostly yarn).

I spent half an hour digging my car out so that I would be able to get out of my parking space with a minimum of wheel-spinning and frustrated digging. I have to say that I did a most excellent job. I gave myself enough space front and back to be able to maneuver out practically as effortlessly as if the snow piles at either end of my car had been car bumpers instead.

I also still had my space both times I came home today, and when I came home from work I finished shoveling out enough of a space in front of my car for him to be able to park when he gets home.

Of course, I now have snow shovel muscles and may be skipping Curves again tomorrow because of soreness in the large muscle groups between my knees and the base of my skull. But it's a good sore, right?

As for yarn, once I got my car freed from the snow and had finished the Sunday crossword, Cryptoquip, and Word Find, I spent the afternoon rotating, in roughly fifteen-minute intervals, between the back of Big Sack (which is now 6 rows from its decreases), my mom's sock (the cuff is just over 5" long--I'm going for 6") and the hat I'm making from the red licorice I got at JoAnn (it's still got some work, but it's fun yarn). I'm discovering that large needles hurt my hands more than the small ones, so I worked on the sock twice as much as I did on either of the other two things.

I'll work on something this evening, but I'm not sure I'll do the full rotation. I haven't finished dividing the stitches for my second sock yet, and I don't think I'll do that this evening.

If we only get a little snow on Wednesday I'll probably go to the knitting circle at Buckhill Books again. I don't necessarily mind driving in snow, I'm just not crazy about sharing the roads with the fishtailing crazy people. Of course, the roads are usually spectacularly better in the county than they are in the city.

Okay, back to paying bills and dealing with the avalanche that is my desk. Organizing is not my strong suit, I wish I could get better about it.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


I know, I haven't posted in weeks, sorry about that. My life has just felt sort of out-of-whack lately, for no discernible reason. I've been in some sort of limbo state wherein very little has been accomplished or even thought of being accomplished.

I'm still working on every knitting project I was working on the last time I posted, plus one. I had a gift card to JoAnn Fabrics and I picked up two balls of their Sensations Licorice in Red Licorice (It's mostly red with yellow, pink, grey, green, and orange), on of which is currently becoming a roll brim hat. My pickle hat is great, but it doesn't cover my ears, and now that we're finally experiencing frigid temperatures, it's proving to be a problem.

I finished the first sock of my second pair of socks for myself, the toe is incredibly pointy. I must've been looking at too many Latvian Mitten photos, or something. Since it's for me, I'm not concerned. I just hope I don't do the same to the ones I'm making for my mother. I have yet to swatch for my dad's pair.

Writing has fallen down a black hole. I think about it, but I don't sit down and do it, as is clearly evidenced by my lack of presence here. Maybe it'll happen today, but not until after I spend some time digging my car out of its parking space in anticipation of tomorrow's work day. I'm not a huge snow fan these days. I'm not fond of being cold and wet, what can I say.

Okay, I don't know if I could have been much whinier in the post, sorry about that. Have a nice day.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I keep thinking about posting, then not getting around to it. I'm working on several things knit-wise and feeling like I'm not getting anywhere on any of them. After this spate, I believe I will return to a single project at a time for a while. I'm past the gusset decreases on the first sock of my second pair, I've just begun the cuff of a pair of socks in grey Patons Kroy for my mother, I need to swatch and cast on for socks for my dad, and I'm working on the back of the Big Sack Sweater from Stitch 'N Bitch in Highland Wool I got from Elann during their bag sale, in "New Pine" (have I mentioned my affinity for all things green?).

I keep wanting to write, but I'm barely getting to morning pages and the occasional nightly wrap-up, let alone anything actually productive or creative.

I'm getting ready to begin an experiment in new eating next week. I have no idea how it will go, especially since it will require not only that I cook every day, but also that I eat meat more often than I have for quite a while. I'm thinking about finding out about work-arounds. It's only for six weeks, and if it doesn't stick... okay, that sounded way too defeatist. It will be a learning experience and will probably do me some good in the long run. I need to do a mega-grocery shopping tomorrow.

Tonight I'm going to knit a bit more, then turn in fairly early. 10 pm bedtime on a Saturday night, I must be having fun now!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

I know she doesn't read it, but I want to acknowledge my mom's birthday here anyway. She had three girls by the time she was twenty-five, managed survive us and rural West Virginia until she hit her mid-thirties, then insisted that we moved somewhere that did not require an hour's drive to the nearest grocery store.

She has survived more than her share of physical and emotional upheaval in the past few years and has managed to maintain her role of rock in the lives of people around her. I wish her a better year in 2005 than she had in 2004.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Happy New Year

I wish anyone who reads this a happy new year and I hope that whatever you are looking for in 2005 will make its way to you. I'd thought of doing the standard year-end wrap-up, but it would be exhausting and depressing, so I'll just say that I'm looking forward to seeing what 2005 has to offer.

I'm also not doing a list of resolutions, since the one I posted last year had little or no effect on what I actually did with my time and talents. I have ideas about what I want out of the time ahead, but other than saying I want to move myself forward in various ways, I think I'll keep the details to myself.

Wednesday I went to a knitting circle suggested by Michelle in a comment. I don't believe she ended up attending, but it was fun and I will probably go again. It is held at Buckhill Book Shop and was a relaxed and welcoming group. I'm not fond of meeting strangers, as a rule, but I've decided that I need to break out of my hermit-like existence, and this was a step I could take toward that while getting knitting done at the same time.

I feel like I should mention the tsunamis and resultant devastation, but I am primarily at a loss for words about the situation. Give what you can and take it as a reminder that natural forces are still to be respected and heeded.