Monday, August 29, 2022

Rolling with the Lack of Mojo

I wrote last week about how I wasn't feeling the usual urge to knit (and then of course I whacked my hand hard enough to not feel able to knit for a few days there). But late last week, thinking about it, I decided that if I wasn't eager to knit anything in particular, there was one thing I might as well turn my attention to.

A couple of months ago, my cousin asked me if I would be willing to knit her a particular shawl. I looked at the pattern, which was for sale on etsy but not listed in Ravelry, and decided that it was within my capabilities, and according to my adopted knitting mantra ("Knitting is like sex: if I love you, it's free, and if not, you can't pay me enough"), that would be a yes. At least, a conditional yes: I couldn't do it to a deadline, I told her, and since the yarn the pattern used is discontinued (because of course it is), I would do my best to find similar, but it might not be identical.

The pattern is a little ... how shall I put this ... light on certain details. It actually provides a link to Ravelry stashes for the yarn, which is nice, but all she says is that she used "blue" and "gray" yarn. In the pattern photos, though,  the blue at least is clearly more than one shade of blue, and in that Rav link, even accounting for variations in people's cameras and lighting, are a variety of colorways in the blue family but clearly not all the same. It's not easy to reverse-engineer, is what I'm saying.

I tried Michaels on Saturday, since that's nearest to me, but they had nothing even close. I was surprised how little yarn they had, actually, at least at that particular store. I had a bunch of other errands to do, so I didn't go farther afield, but on Sunday, I trekked up to Joann's, which had much more yarn, and found something that, although not quite as boucle as the Sensations Rainbow, should look pretty similar to what the pattern used, I hope. 

I cast on last night, and it felt nicely normal to be knitting again (after close to a week without doing it!). It's not exciting, but it looks like it will be satisfying knitting, at least. I'll take that as a win.

Friday, August 26, 2022

What. A. Week.

This was an irritating week. Nothing catastrophic, for which I am truly grateful. But so many small-to-medium annoyances. There was a lot of deep breathing and pep talks to "just get through this minute, this hour, this day" for me this week.

  • Mom's had a health thing this week: after feeling fine on Monday, she woke up very dizzy on Tuesday. The doctor prescribed something for vertigo, which as she keeps saying, is nothing she has ever experienced! Well, here you are, Mom. It does seem to be helping somewhat, but she's not her usual self. So aside from the concern I feel, since we usually split household stuff, there's been more of it on my shoulders than usual this week--which, mind you, is one of the reasons I moved down here, to be here when needed. But there's no denying it's work.
  • And I have a job. Which was quiet at the beginning of the week, but on Wednesday I got one of those awful reports out of the India office that just depresses me no end to work on. They are so bad. So bad. It's just dispiriting to work on these for a week.
  • Dad's birthday was Wednesday. He would have been 93.
  • My hand hurt quite a bit on Tuesday and Wednesday, which made everything just slightly more complicated. Even the left hand gets used for so much! Carrying things from one place to another, lifting things in and out of the fridge or microwave, driving. Not as bad on Thursday, and today also not too bad, so I'm not worried about it. But it's periodically annoying. 
    • And no, it never did look as dramatic as it felt, which continues to annoy me. No swelling, no bruising? But it hurts!
  • Because of my hand, I didn't want to do aqua fit earlier this week, so on Tuesday I went for a walk around the block (two blocks, really, it's just over a mile) instead. I did this again on Thursday, and in addition to the usual sore back-hips-knees, I rubbed a spot on my foot sore. Sigh. Exercise. Never feel good in any way after that, but I don't always need a bandage.
    • I did do half an hour of water-aerobics moves in our pool this morning, holding back on the left hand/arm when I could feel it. It doesn't seem to have made anything worse (other than the tired-and-sore I always feel after exercising).
  • We learned that the elevator is going to be out again next week, Tuesday through Friday: "Expect outages to occur during most of that time," and please plan accordingly--plan to be on the 6th floor with no working elevator for four days, sure, no problem at all. This fucking elevator. 
    • In the past, Mom and I have fantasized about what we'd do if we won big in the lottery, and sometimes it was buying the unit next door to combine with this one, or getting the penthouse. This year, for the first time, the fantasy considered finding a building with similar amenities to this one, like the gulf view, but with two elevators. It's been a rough year for the elevator. We are so over it.
    • Anyone want to place bets on whether it will actually be done next Friday, versus being out that weekend? Or maybe not, that's a depressing thought.

I believe that completes our current venting! Whew. Hope your week was better than this, but feel free to vent about it here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022


I have often described myself as uncoordinated, or as really, really uncoordinated. I'm a klutz. This is just a fact. But based on something I did yesterday, I've decided that instead of describing the categories as coordinated and uncoordinated, there needs to be another level: anti-coordinated.

Yesterday, I refilled my water glass and headed back out to the lanai. Moving at a normal pace, around furniture that has been in place for the four-plus years I've lived here, I somehow managed to absolutely wallop my hand into the corner of this:

I somehow managed to hit that corner directly between my first and middle fingers, and HARD. Somehow, I kept on walking and didn't drop my water (on autopilot, I guess?), though I did immediately start crying from the pain. Wow. Couldn't have done that if I had been trying to, right?

So I have spent the time since studying my hand looking for evidence, and finding remarkably little so far. I would think, is that swollen? And then look at the other hand, and no, it's just how my hands look (apparently I don't look closely at my hands that often). I just feel that if something hurts this much, it should show. All I have is two small red spots between the two fingers, as though I got bitten by a teeny tiny vampire. And yet here I am, resting up and icing my hand after such strenuous tasks as washing my hands.


Sunday, August 21, 2022

Misplaced Mojo; Other Fun

I had lunch with a knitting friend yesterday and it turns out we're both in a bit of a lull, knitting-wise. I finished the little rainbow shawl a few weeks ago, got back to the Circle of Friends, picked up Close to You, worked on the latest sock, and eh. Just not feeling a thrill for any of it, yet not really feeling startitis either. I still want to make the Electric Slide Wrap with the yarn I got, but, I don't know. Not now.

I want to be excited to knit something, but... I don't know. Knitting blahs. It happens. It will pass.

It was very fun to have lunch with my friend, and we agreed that we need to do so more often. Most of this group goes north in the summer, so those of us who don't shouldn't wait until everyone else is here. Also, she is in a charity knitting group, so she came here after lunch and took half of the yarn I was looking to rehome, which is great for everyone involved. Leaving this, which someone else is going to come get next month.

And on Friday I also had fun: I took a vacation day to go with friends to a flea market and have lunch. It was fun! A lot of the booths were closed, it being off-season, and even with periodic pipes of air conditioning, it was hot, but it was fun.

I really, really want this. 

Anyone have $1400 to spare? I don't really have room, but I'd find room.

This was one of the closed ones. I'm really curious what the booth would look like.

And lots of fun yard things.

I should take Fridays off more often; it was so nice to have the day off and then get the weekend! Long weekends are so civilized. And it was a beautiful day:

Thursday, August 18, 2022


I was taking a picture of my sock in progress, and I thought it was interesting what different backgrounds did to the colors.

The red is more true in this one, but the purple is too dark.

And this one shows the purple better, but dims the rest.
Interesting, eh?

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Colors and Patterns

Sometimes I go somewhere I haven't been before and see things that make me wasn't to stop and just look around. Get to a meeting? But look at the pretty!

The skylights? Look up into the pool above. Which I would never want to swim in, thinking of people below looking up at me!
But, hey, if the 'meeting' is going to involve being given a "dry tai" to drink, okay, I'm coming! 
It was delicious.

Sunday, August 14, 2022


Maggie would like you to know that it is perfectly normal and not at all weird to have a bath while balancing on a cardboard scratcher. 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Picture and Pictures

As a hockey fan, I enjoy seeing pictures of the Cup-winning team getting their day with the Cup (even when it isn't the Bruins). But in this one case, though I am usually looking at the Cup, I couldn't take my eyes off the car.

The car!

That, my friends, is an absolutely pristine 1968 Caddy. I knew at once that it wasn't a '69, like the one I had in the mid-80s, because the headlights changed from stacked to side by side, but it is close enough to bring back all sorts of wonderful memories. Perfect car for a little Cup parade.

Meanwhile, her highness would like you to know that, first, the vet gave her a clean bill of health, no pre-hyperthyroid here, and second, she remains extremely adorable.

In case you wondered.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

A Practically Perfect Project

This weekend, I finished a knitting project, and I couldn't be more pleased with it. I mentioned starting it two months ago; it's Centrifugal, and the yarn I used is from Gauge Dyeworks. I showed its progress a few weeks later, but then put it aside for my trip up north. And then there was the emergency baby blanket knitting, so there was no picking this up for a few more weeks. But its time came again, and here it is, done.

Pre-blocking, laid out to look at:

I just love the way the colors flow.

And isn't it pretty soaking?
Laid out: I didn't pin it, as I just wanted it to be what it was, no hard blocking required.
It grew a few inches, which is nice. It lays around the shoulders well, due to the shape, but it can also be worn sort of kerchief style, bundled around the neck.

It's so nice when you love how a project came out!

I'm still working on the cashmere-silk Circle of Friends that I started for travel knitting; it makes good social knitting, though photos at this stage are sort of blobby.

But today I picked up another project, Close to You, that had been pushed to the side, as shown by this mention of it from March. It's coming along!

It's a funny thing to pick something up after a few months. What was this, how was I...? Oh yes. Onward.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

What a Knitter Leaves Behind

In writing about the stash left behind by a recently departed knitter, I mentioned that there were some interesting supplies, and here I am with photos to show it. Much of it was the sort of thing all crafters will leave behind, though I have some questions. 

Needle sizers, darning needles, crochet hooks. A few surprisingly long ones!

I mean, this is so long. Why?
Scissors, stitch holders, thimbles.
On the right, those make me think of the latch hook kits I did as a kid. Cable needles in the middle. Some mysterious tools on the left, maybe for making icord or pompoms? I'm guessing here.
And in the front, what is that? It looks like a small crochet hook, except for the undeniable lack of hook.
A couple of safety pins--the larger is so stiff I actually can't move it at all, let alone open it. And a couple more mysteries.
I believe this is a sewing tool, but it looks like a mini pizza cutter to me.
And this one looks like it would take the eyes out of potatoes, don't you think? 
What would it do in the craft room, though? The whole tool:
Also kind of like a latch hook?
But look how long it is!
I have more questions than answers, is what I'm saying.

She had a ton of knitting needles, as one does: mostly straight single-points, but also dpns and circulars. I kept some, but there are a lot left:

I threw away a lot of photocopied bits of patterns, and booklets that were incomplete or falling apart. There are a few books/booklets that I think are at least worth giving to the thrift shop, though. Maybe?

A solid, basic hardcover.
Mind you, it's as old as I am!
And her poor students, that's a backhand compliment.
This one is a bit more modern.
Old but in decent shape.
This one, honestly, just amuses me. The look of mild panic on her face!
I'm keeping a couple of books for myself. There's the book that the baby blanket pattern came from: it seems a useful addition to my library.
Oddly enough, Ravelry lists the first edition of The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting, but not the second. Oh well, whatever.

The other keeper is Elizabeth Zimmerman; always room on the shelf for EZ!

There's a lot of yarn. Next weekend I'm having lunch with a friend who is in a charity knitting group, and she's going to come over and see what she wants to take for them. Then I can pass the rest on to others. I am keeping some of it, but most of it will go to those who can use it now. 
There is a lot. Though when my mother was saying she couldn't believe how much there was, I had to point out to her that I have more than this. It's just spread out and thus not so obvious.

There are some very funny things in there, which make me wonder how long they were in the bottom of her stash. Mind you, I'm not judging! When I went through my stash four years ago to move, I got rid of a ton of "where did that come from, how long have I had that, why did I get that in the first place" yarn. Tons of it.

Still, this is funny:
Orlon! In what appears to be its original bag.

This kit looks like it was a gift: it's unopened, with a scrap of wrapping paper still stuck to the back. Anyone want to crochet a dog sweater?

Some fisherman yarn: "the feel of the sea," "the look of Scotland"...
Straight from California!
We all have our favorite yarns, and apparently hers was this, Latte Cakes from Caron:
She had two dozen full balls in a variety of colors, as well as some partials. It's soft, but I'm not a big fan of the fuzz level.

Which also rules out me keeping this mystery:

It might be mohair? I really don't know. It's big and fuzzy. And at least it makes me smile in the midst of a sad task.

If you're a knitter or other crafter, how do you think your stash would hold up to such scrutiny? If you got hit by a bus tomorrow, would your loved ones be shocked by how much you had? Have you ever made a yarn will, or thought about who your treasures should go to in the event? Kind of depressing, but kind of fascinating to think about.