Tuesday, January 31, 2012

i'm going to let someone else do the bloggin' for a change...

Hey, look! I ended up on someone else's blog.

I'm so tired, I think I'll just let you go read that!

(AmpuTeeHee = Slacker)

Monday, January 30, 2012

tinkering with the camera

Downtown Benicia as seen from the hill MyFavoriteKid's clarinet teacher lives on. I always have to find a way to kill those 30 minutes. It's never enough time to go somewhere and come back, really. I usually knit and listen to an audio book. Today I drove around with the camera. I might do some more of that. I spotted wild turkeys.....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

tuck me in...

I'm about to tuck myself into my cozy bed with a thick layer of blankets...it's been chilly out! It's Sunday night, and that means another episode of Downton Abbey and some simple knitting.

I was able to sleep in late today, and I woke up and didn't feel any worse for the wear through the arms and back from the bellydancing yesterday (although it's been so many weeks since I've moved my hips and midsection, I swear to you, I pulled an abdominal muscle instead.....feels like my right psoas muscle, actually). Today we had a very late breakfast out and then spent the day over at the new house given it a much needed deep cleaning.

And that is where I think I figured out what the heck has been causing my arm so many problems! I did a lot of light vacuuming today at the new house with this cordless stick type vacuum. I love that thing. It's way lighter than a regular vacuum, great for a quick clean up, and there is no cord to get caught up in wheelchair wheels. I only used it when I am cleaning there, though....and that is not that often. But! I love the ease of that vacuum so much, that I decided to get another one to keep here at my main house. I have been using it daily to go around the house and pick up all the animal hair (4 animals = lots of hair!).

I think it's the way I have been wielding the damn thing! I am positive that I can find a way to still use it, but just be ergonomic about it, and if I am right about this being the culprit, it means I'll be on the mend before you know it. But today, with the deeper cleaning, and the improper wielding, the back/arm thing has now been slightly reactivated. I think it shall pass quickly.

Ok. 8:56. Downton. Knitting. Taa-taa.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

snaps on saturday

My early morning:

Amended soil with worms, and a plate full of lovely things that were harvested just this morning....out of the gardeners belonging to the people that are teaching the gardening class we are taking. TheMostImportantGuy and I have signed up for a 9 months series of classes (one Saturday morning each month, January through September) that is all about vegetable gardening.

We have great hopes for all of the empty land at the new house, but since be both lack real talent in the garden, we aren't going to start there. We're going to start by using what's already in place at my existing place while it is still available to us. My place has 6 raised beds that I sort of just plop tomatoes in and maybe a few herbs and then I take what I can get. This is the year to learn some mad skillz. Then we'll consider applying what we are learning to the new digs.

My late afternoon:

Special dance class with live drummers, taught by one of the DancersAmeritus of our dance ensemble (ahhh, I got to be a student for awhile!). I went to the class even though I am under doctors orders to limit crutch use and not use my arm much, at least until the physical therapist looks me over on the 8th. I started off just be being the class photographer with everyone's cameras....but I eventually caved in a danced for just a few. My fellow dancers wagged their fingers at me and I was ashamed. Sort of. LOL

Friday, January 27, 2012

part deux

I was so tired last night when I posted after dance class that I didn't give the whole story about my mom's (excuse me. TheMom's phone call).

The reason TheMom was calling was because she had made a batch of matzoh ball soup for MyFavoriteKid who had been home sick for the 3 days at that point. AND.....she also packaged up and entirely separate bowl...

for me.



I wasn't sick, but I loved every bit of it, and MyFavoriteKid ate some too, and this morning he magically felt well enough to go back to school.

Ahhhhhh, Jewish penicillin!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Today my mom left me a voicemail. Usually she says something like, "Hi. It's mom," or "Hellooooooo....it's your mother."

Today she said, "It's TheMom."

It almost sounded like maybe she's been reading my blog for so long that she wants her own moniker, like MyFavoriteKid and TheMostImportantGuy.
Made me chuckle.
And of course, when I returned her call and my dad answered, that's exactly how I asked for her.

Being Present I Noticed....my chihuahua being still but alert for a very long time, quietly doing some bird watching out the front window (a big black crow).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

laundry list

You know the place:

You look at all the little troubles and situations going on in your life, and when you think about each one individually, it's just...not a big deal. Everything is pesky, or requires a little extra time or attention, or maybe it's even a doody thing, but you're trekkin' on through.You know that, right?

And then one day you look at the list of all of them, and then you realize...holy crapoli! Things are a freakin' mess!!

Today was the day the list was tallied up. A good friend made the silly mistake of asking me how I was doing, and I listed 3 or 4 things, and she said something like, "Oh, no!" and I said something like, "...and that aint the half of it."

Thing are seriously stacking up in my life.

I am in not feeling well, and everything is tainted by pain right now.
We are one year into remodeling an entire house and it's in-law unit, and we are just getting to the kitchen and bath of the main house, and we have fired our contractor and are switching to a new one.
My dad has a new medical issue developing that occupies a good amount of my brain space. MyFavoriteKid has been home sick from school for two days.
One of the kitties has had the trots for over a month, and after 2 weeks of treating the wrong cat, we are now settling in for two weeks of treating the right one (ie multiple force feedings of liquid nastiness with pills thrown down the throat for good measure).
The dance troupe has an upcoming performance, choreography being built ground up.
I am flailing around trying to feed myself things that I am not allergic to (which turns out to be enough to make feeding me a royal pain in the arse).

...and I'm sure there is more, but I think you get my drift.

Any of these are normal life, shit happens, do-able sorts of things. But for me, things just always seem to stack up. And I actually think they might not be feeling so stacked up at all, if it weren't for the stabbing little pains in my back nagging at me all the while as I deal with everything else. Like I said, it just taints everything.

I would like to not be the public whiner here, but I use this blog to keep track of myself, and well...I am marking this here moment.

Life right now is a bit of a pile.

On a lighter note (ha. yah. RIGHT.) , I'm going to try something new out here on the blog, starting now:
Being Present I Noticed....an older man sitting on a folding lawn chair in his driveway in front of his open garage. In front of him was a very young child (I assumed to be his grandchild), 3 or 4 years old maybe, crawling into a kid-size "big enough I can sit in it and drive around" sized toy car. And the old man had the biggest most happiest smile on his face I have ever seen.

pardon the errors & typos, I have no desire to reread this ;-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

things that make me smile

Smile in the end, that is (because for a few second there I had a serious scowl going on there). I know this has gone viral already, but here:

As for this one, well....I am a big fan of watching the Tour de France every year, and I'm also a big fan of downhill skiing, and so I ended up being pointed to a video of downhill biking. This run is amazing, but the commentators....oh. my. god. CRACK ME UP. I laughed so hard the first time I watched it that my eyes watered, and I had to watch it again, and I laughed and my eyes watered the second time through, too (it might just be me....I've turned into quite the mushy spectator). Be warned that the last quip of the video might not be office appropriate (probably the entire video is not so appropriate--lots of excited yelling involved).

Monday, January 23, 2012

ohhhhh the minky-ness!

That hat is dry (and so is the weather outside, but MAN, did it pour last night!)

Here's my new favorite thing:

This is the Monkey Bread hat by Anne Hanson of Knitspot, and it was an easy fun knit. So fun, that I'm going to knit this hat again, but as a complete set with the matching scarf this time, because sometimes it's just nice to be matchy-matchy. And besides, I really need...and I do mean NEED...an excuse to work with this yarn again.

Loooook at it!

That is 70% mink (no minks harmed in the making of this hat, so they tell me) and 30% cashmere. How luscious is that?!?! The finished hat is a light and airy fuzzy soft mass o' goodness.
I am in love.

I can't say enough about this yarn. For starters, it's from a smaller independent company called Great Northern Yarns (website/rav group), and I love supporting this type of business. Secondly, the yarn is just amazing. When you see the skein it looks nice and all, but it's not nearly as impressive as what you will find in your end product. The yarn is has a bit of remnant spinning oil still on it (not that you'd notice or be bothered by it while knitting, though). What you do notice as you knit though, is that the yarn starts to fluff up as the oil starts to works its way off. The wonderful resulting texture is enhanced by the wash and rinse done when you're finished knitting.

So I've been bitten by the mink-bug (although I hope the poor minks don't have bugs LOL), that four more skeins of this yarn just arrived this afternoon in the colorway "Peacock", which is nice teal-y turquoise-ish blue. I'm offf to go wind it up a skein right now and get this scarf rockin' and a rollin'.

Here's a link to my ravelry project page for the hat.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

i got nothin'

I had this grand plan for today's post. It was supposed to be a photo of me wearing the warm and cozy mink beret. Except it's not dry, and I don't dare put it on until it is, because I don't want to stretch out the hat band.

And so now I have nothing.
(because everything else today was about rain, and knitting with nothing much to show for it, and football games, and roasting vegetables to last for the next couple of hectic days, and tiger-balm patches applied to my aching back......like I said: nothing.)

Another day.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

snaps on saturday

A snap of my television screen....

Medieval backdrop, a little ol' lady knitting fireside, telling stories to kids that are sick in bed .

Me someday, maybe?

(spotted in the series Game Of Thrones, btw)

Friday, January 20, 2012

soggy but happy

I am so tired from being so tired! How is it that it works like that?!

I cancelled everything today and took it easy on my back. I am happy to report that I am improved today, and not at all looking around the house for the machete so I may lob my own head off. Today I just hurt a bit, but I don't feel like dying, and I'll settle for that.

It was nice to be inside in a way. We had sprinkles yesterday, but today was the first real big soaker of rainstorm, and we have not had rain in ages. I don't even know how long it's been (I should probably go look that up somewhere), but I don't believe it rained at all during the month of December. There was no snow in the hills for winter break skiing, that's for sure. And I also had to turn the sprinklers back on.

Anyhow, the rain was nice. Boobing out on costume dramas was nice (TheMostImportantGuy set up me up with a Roku box last week, so I've been streaming all sorts things via Netflix...Upstairs Downstairs, Daniel Deronda, and one I enjoyed quite a bit called The Wingless Bird). Pots of warm tea have been nice. Also nice is that I am happily knitting away on a soft, warm, and fuzzy beret that is made out of yarn that is 70% mink and 30% cashmere.....yummm!!

All things soft and cozy and comforting.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Busy day. Teacher mode. High school knitters, senior center knitters, dance class. All done while feeling like I have knife in my back. Every. Single. Minute of it.

Tomorrow? I rest.

I am supposed to be doing a 3-day meditation thing at the zen center, but I just can't see that happening. I'm voting for bed rest and ice packs. Movies, knitting, tea, and my prescribed stretching and strengthening exercises in between.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

a brief update

I had the doctor's appointment today for my back, finally. She did enough poking and prodding around to determine that it is not believed to be structural (*phew!*), but that it's muscular.

Exactly as I had suspected, it probably originated from the neck (I had an incident in August and the neck hasn't been quite right since then, either), and all things being attached, the issue has no migrated into the area of my right shoulder blade. As I also suspected, it is the muscle that runs from the spine, underneath the scapula/shoulder blade, wrapping around my ribs. In other words, it's a muscle that can't be directly massaged nor can topicals be applied to it...because it is under a bone!

See called over to the physical therapy department, and one came over and met me for an assessment. She also confirmed it was muscular and originating from the neck. She did a little work on it and showed me some exercises and stretches to do until they can get me set up on round of PT appointments to do some deeper work. I was given some new anit-inflammatories, too.

So all is good, in that I feel like I was taken care of and set on the path of recovery, but.....nothing has really changed much for the moment. I'm still in quite a bit of pain, but smiling through it with gritted teeth, trying not to let you know that I feel like I am living inside a torture chamber or something.

I'm also horribly hormonal with pms today, and so I'm getting all sappy and teary-eyed about it all whenever I have a moment alone. It kinda sucks.

In much happier news, the new knitting group met up last night at the sports bar, and I thought it went fabulously. We had 8 people just by word of mouth, and now that we are certain that the lighting is good and it's not too loud and that the management didn't mind separate checks and all that, well...we're going to list it Ravelry and also put a little poster up in the bar on their bulletin board.

A local knitting group. Ahhhhhhh. One that is only minutes from home and at a time I can actually attend. I have been hoping for this for years, and I sure hope it sticks! Whee!

please excuse typos.....
I blame them all on the pain meds! ;-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Days and days of stockinette, and 54 woven ends later....

Done! (well, at least I am done with this one....remember I am doing v.2-the-small also)

Here's a link to the project page.

If my scale and maths are correct, it looks like I have enough left over yar to kick out this little beret, too. I've been wanting to do that one for awhile. I also have one other very warm looking beret that I'd love to kick out pretty quickly because it is goshdarned f-f-f-freeeezing here lately! We were down in the mid 20's F last night (and yes, I realize that some of you from other parts of the country are laughing your arses off because it is far colder where you live...but this is pretty cold for us LOL)

As for the much needed lace, I've decided the best thing to do is to mere the lace need with my desire to clean out the knitting basket of any WorksInProgress. I realized that I have a shawl in there that has the body done, but needs it's schmancy lace border put on. I put the project on a time out when I was picking up the border. Not that picking up is all that difficult normally, it's just that I was picking up as directed, and it was looking crappy. And by crappy, I mean uber-crappy. You are picking up along a bias edge, and you are doing it by knitting into the front and back of a garter stitch ridge every other time, and it was making little f-ugly holes and an wonky uneven edge. I couldn't get it to look right, so I tossed the thing in the pit o' knitting doom.

Luckily, one of the ladies in the new knitting group I have been going to on Fridays (still need to tell y'all about that) was wearing one a couple of weeks ago. Hers looked fabulous, and she told me that when she was picking up it looked uber-crappy too, so she brought it into the group for some help, and ended up just forging ahead, and it all came out fine in the end once it was blocked. So I am now inspired to just get on with it.

Oooo, something else to tell you about! I'm trying to get a new knitting group going in my town here at the local sports bar. Tonight is the first meeting! The owners are a husband and wife duo, and their two kids (boys, no less) are both knitters (they are part of the high school knitting club I teach at). The mom has just taken up loom knitting because she's scared to try actual knitting, but I have a feeling she'll be up for giving it a try once she she sees what we're all up to. Anyhow, the owners are totally supportive of bringing a knitting group into their establishment. They are setting us up in a back corner that is a little quieter and has better lighting....plus I go there pretty regularly for food, so I already know that it's fresh and yummy. Woot!

I'm crossing my fingers it goes well.

Monday, January 16, 2012


I love the smell of wet wool and Soak in the morning.

It smells like...victory.

Stupid tweak of a famous movie quote, not to mention that it's not morning. It's 9pm at night. It took me all day (in between things) to sew in the kajillion loose ends this project had.

I have finally completed the miles of stockinette, and the shawl is blocking.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

bed. rest.

Ohh, man....today had a horrible beginning! The whole neck pain, back pain, arm pain thing was in full swing, and I sort of just wanted to die (Not literally. You can't get rid of me that easily. But you know what I mean.) The pain in the neck/back/arm was reinforced by a headache that was approaching migraine status, and then at some point midday, the stupid shooting pains I get in my soopah-short-leg started going. There was so much pain happening at once, that on top of it all, I started feeling nauseous.

TheMostImportantGuy asked me what might help, and I asked for a machetti. Twice. (I don't know how I manage to eek out jokes during times like these, but hey. Yay for me.)

I took something for the migraine, got in bed, and knit. I would have stayed there all day, too...but MyFavoriteKid (who felt so bad for me he even offered up a back rub at one point) had a buddy over for a visit, and I went out to get them a pizza because the pizza joint we like doesn't deliver here.

I did eventually improve. The headache decreased, the tummy settled. And the pain in the neck/back/arm seems to stay at bay, so long as I am in a supported and reclining position. As soon as I sit up erect though, or heaven help me, get on crutches or push myself in the wheelchair, I start hurting again. IT SUCKS.

I have never anticipated a doctors appointment more eagerly--Wednesday cannot come soon enough!!

Thank goodness I can knit and watch Downton Abbey tonight....in a supported and reclining postition. hahahaha

Saturday, January 14, 2012

snaps on saturday

smells like...

....teen spirit??

When your boyfriend is the audio engineer for an all ages, teen-band rock concert, you actually get the rare opportunity to see your kid in a mosh pit.

Friday, January 13, 2012

ok ok ok....

My ack is still killing me. The pain is smacking the sparkle right off my sparkling personality, and it is tainting everything.
I booked a doctor's appointment for next Wednesday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Enough yarn for a sweater.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Well, at least the miles and miles of stockinette stitch I am knitting are colorful miles! I'm so ready to be done with this, though. I'm doing this pattern, in the largest size. I am knitting with this yarn, but I also have the small version of this very same project also on the needles and at the halfway point. V.2 is being knit with yarn from Sincere Sheep, and the goal was to have it done sometime this century so should could use it as a shop sample. I'm really loving the colors of the second one. It's also got the purples and pinks, but the variegated section is replaced by a lovely shade of gray. The color scheme just has a really nice vibe to it.

As far as it being a snore-fest, it's not that there's anything wrong with the pattern---it's interesting enough. And I also think the finished garment is going to be lovely and worn a lot. I find that I wear the simpler things I knit far more often than the fancy. I also really like having a very simple project on the needles all the time, something I can pick up here and there without thinking about it much. Something I can knit on while we're watching a movie or whatever. The problem with simple knitting for me right now is that I feel like I am also experiencing the deep need of some sort of mind-numbling or at least slightly challenging project right now...for times when my head is busy and I need the knitting to shut it up. And I don't have anything like that in the works right now.

Anyhow, I'd probably be getting these two shawls done faster if I could just focus and knit more, but I keep finding myself at the computer trolling on Ravelry and looking at all the other things I could be knitting!

I might just need to whip out quick hat or something in the middle of all this just to keep myself from slipping into a knitting coma.

One of the reasons I am pushing to get these done is that one of my knitting goals this year is to either finish or frog (for the non-knitters, frog = rip out...get it? rip it. rip it.) anything projects that are laying around partially done. I'm sick of looking at them, and I'm sick of my needles being tangled up in a project that's not getting worked on.

My other knitting goals this year?

* Deal with the un-knit club kits (packages of yarn with a matching pattern) that are stacking up in the closet. I either need to knit them, sell/trade them, or match the yarn up to a different pattern (because when you sign up for a club, you almost always never know what you are going to get in the mail, and sometimes you just aren't into the project even if you like the yarn).

* And, I want to knit a skirt. I've been pondering the notion for years, and now is the time to do it.

What are your knitting goals this year?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

full of complaints...

Nothing is really wrong-wrong, but today everything is tainted by the fact that I am in a pretty decent amount of pain. Last week I pulled something in my back behind my right shoulder blade, and my standard arsenal of fix-it maneuvers aint fixin' it. Every morning I wake up and it feels like it's just getting worse (at present, I have shooting pains traveling all the way down my arm).

Because I am ouch-y, every other wee little nothing of an event that would normally just be slightly irksome, well.... it's now becoming a big deal. Pain has a way of discoloring everything, doesn't it?! I keep catching myself squooshing up my face, and then when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I'm looking like the crabby old troll living under a bridge.

Since I really don't need to see any more of the written version of my whiny voice, I think it's best if I just go back to what I've been doing to keep my mind off things (even though I am pretty sure that what I am doing is also turning out to be one of my complaints!):

I am knitting what feels like miles and miles of stockinette stitch (for the non-knitter, it can be a bit of a snooze-fest). I'm not quite sure how that it happened that everything I have on the needles right now is booooo-rinnnnnng, but none of it is distracting me enough from my physical complaints.

Need. Lace. Or. Something.

Served straight up with a sidecar of muscle rub ;-)

Monday, January 09, 2012

bird and apple haiku

outside in the yard
bird snacks on leftover fruit
drag: glare from window

Sunday, January 08, 2012

pardon me while i....

....delve deep into my knitting project, and

...season two of Downton Abbey.

I've been waiting for this for months :-)

Saturday, January 07, 2012

snaps on saturday

Handwoven dishtowels, that I purchased in November when we went to a craft fair on a farm outside of Petaluma. I smile every time I use them. The only thing could make me love them more than I already do, would be if I had woven them myself.

Maybe someday....

A note about yesterday's ball o' yarn and back again story: I posted it last night! TheMostImportantGuy even read it from his phone, I was watching him scroll through it! And as I went to make this post, I see it's been held back as a draft. SO ODD!

Friday, January 06, 2012

storytime: a knitting perfection picture book

Once upon a time, there was a ball of yarn.

It wanted to be a long loopy cowl type scarf.

So the perfectionist girl cast on.

And knit.

And it was good.

When the knutcase perfection knitter was done knitting, the scarf laid out beautifully.

Flat, scarf...flat!

Zig, scarf...zig!
Zag, scarf...zag!!

Roll, scarf....roll!!!


I didn't mean roll like THAT, scarf.

THAT is poooopy looking!!

You roll so much you are inside out, and you curl this-way and that-way, and many of your colors all disappear!!

Guess what that means?!!

No more.
Bad bad scarf. :-(

Thursday, January 05, 2012


MyFavoriteKid went to stay for a few days and his buddy's grandparent's farm. This is one of the many resident critters I got to meet when I went to pick him up.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

dear anonymous....

Thank you for your comment to yesterdays post! :-)
You wrote:
next time (and we all know there WILL be a next time!), you can simply duplicate stitch over the wrong color with the right color
sorry to have to tell you this after you ripped back 6 rows . . .

And Guernseygal, you wrote something similar!
You wrote:
I understand. I hate knowing there is an error, but as it is colourwork there was actually a simpler fix. You could of swiss darned ( duplicate stitched) in the correct colour over the incorrect stitches xx

When I was at lunch with MizzSheep yesterday, she had offered up the very same advice. I have to admit, that while I know very well how to duplicate over a stitch, the notion escaped me that it could be used as a solution for my little (and I do mean little) knitting mistake. It had never entered my mind at all as being an option (which is saying something, I think).

Before I ripped back the 6 rows, I did exactly what you all were suggesting. I went to the other end of the ball of yarn, I cut out a section of the color of yarn I needed (it's variegated yarn, making the mistake even less noticeable, if you follow *sigh*), and I did exactly what both you and MizzSheep suggested I should do. I duplicated over the stitch. For those of you that aren't yarnies, what I did was to follow the line of old the thread exactly, and I "sewed in", or covered over, the old stitch with the new/correct color of yarn.

I did the fix. And I looked at it. And I looked at it some more under better light. And I looked at it again after putting reading glasses on. And I squished it between my fingers. And I hemmed and hawed about the texture and whether or not I could live with being able to feel it, even though I could not really see the mistake anymore. Much. And I thought about other sensible people I know use duplicate stitch to fix mistakes all the time, but how for me, I only use duplicate stitch to sew on a design, like a face on a stuffed toy or something. And I thought about how stupid that is, to not be willing to use a skill I use for decorating something, and also have it be a tool for fixing something. And I looked at the shawl some more. And I put the shawl down, ate some chocolate, surfed the internet, and came back and looked at the shawl again. And then, because my brain was still yelling something loudly at me (something I couldn't quite make out), and because my stomach was still doing backflips, I picked out the duplicate stitch that I had just sewn in. And then I ripped back the 6 rows.

It's like I just couldn't stand myself knowing that I hadn't really fixed anything....I had only just tried to cover things up (and the fact that I cant stomach that, is also saying something).

For me, this question really is not about the knitting. I know that. If you are someone reading this post, and if you would have also ripped back, do you also feel like that isn't the question? (or is it just me that is the knitting knutcase here?!). For me, the question is not about how I handle mistakes in knitting; it is about how I handle mistakes in my life. Knitting has just become an analogy.

I am not at all dis-ing people that can leave a mistake in their knitting and live with it, or people that make a repair to a mistake so that the mistake blends in to the background or even becomes "a feature". Seriously, I do not disrespect you at all. In fact: I want what you have. Or at least I think I do. I guess I'd least like to have the emotional option to choose whether to fix a mistake or not and still be able to live with myself, if that makes any sense. But right now I do not believe I possess the ability to have it be a choice. It feels more like I am obsessively driven to achieve perfect knitting. Not because people are going to see my knitting, but for me. Heck, even if I decided in advance to never wear my new shawl out of the house, I still feel driven to not leave a mistake in it.

Where else but my craft do I absolutely have the sole power to start from scratch, like nothing ever happened, if I don't like the result? Where else in my life can I get a total do-over? And why do I think I need or should be allowed to have this sort of power over my craft when the rest of my life doesn't all allow that at all? Why do I spend time even questioning myself as to whether or not I should fix a knitting mistake, when I know I will always end up fixing it....and why do I waste countless hours wishing that I could rip back the last 6 words or sentences that I said to you, the ones that were such the huge mistake, when I know it can never be undone?

I'm not sure if I'm making any sense here.
And I probably am a knitting knutcase.
But knitting IS analogous to my life, and my life and its varying components are integrated, not compartmentalized. And so this head of mind gets full of questions, and it is inevitably where I end up when I grapple with a mistake a see in a knitted work in progress.



Love you all. Thanks for the comments. :-)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Late last night, I put my knitting down in frustration, because I had found a stupid little mistake I made in the shawl I am working on.

By stupid mistake, I mean that it's stupid that I'd even consider fixing it. It's barely visible. I had been knitting along on a row, and the mistake occurred at the spot where I should have switched colors, but I did the color change in the wrong place. I changed colors one stitch earlier than I was supposed to. One stitch.

And so now there it is: one. danged. stitch. was the wrong color, an what is even more stupid is that the wrong stitch lays on a background of its neighboring colorway, and that color is barely a contrasting color. The colors are so similar, you can barely even see the difference. Let us also not forget that this project is a shawl, which means that in the end, it will be swirled around my neck all the time anyhow.

In other words, the mistake is barely visible.

I had lunch today with MizzSincereSheep, and showed her the mistake, and while she was kind enough to not laugh in my face, she did think it was rather silly to even consider ripping back to fix something so minor. Each row has over 300 stitches in it at this point by now, with colorwork happening on every row (albeit simple colorwork, but still), and the mistake was about 4 rows back. I was certainly not going to tink (knit backwards) 1200 stitches. And I couldn't drop directly down and fix the mistake because of the way I had changed colors (there was no yarn there in the correct colorway to fix it and pick it back up again). If I was going to fix this mistake, I was going to have to take the shawl off the needles, rip it back 4 rows, untangle the color changes, and get all 300+ stitches back up on the needles. And I was going to have to do all that for one. danged. stitch. that is barely visible.

MizzSheep totally talked me down, and I sat there with my iced tea and my lunch and I knit another 2 rows.

And then later tonight, when I was at home alone, I took the shawl out of my knitting bag, I freaked out, and I ripped it back and I fixed the mistake anyhow (ripping out 6 rows by now, not just the 4). I just spent quite a long time getting the damn thing back on the needles and getting all the stitches oriented the correct way. The mistake is fixed, and I my breathing is back to normal (it had been a little shallow). But my vision is fuzzy because my eyes got all crossed and kooky while implementing the fix.

I don't know what it is about me and knitting and not being able to let mistakes go when I see them. I certainly make mistakes all the time in the rest of my life that I don't fix, and many of them are mistakes that I absolutely should be fixing, because some of these mistakes are way worse than just a single stupid invisible stitch.

Maybe it's because the mistakes I make in the rest of my life cannot actually ever be fixed. I can apologies for things, try to smooth things over, but I can never really fix them. I can't undo my screw ups. I cannot repair them. I cannot rip them out, erase them, rewind them, make them go away, start all over, and have things in the end come out looking like nothing ever happened. Even after the apology or the correction, the effects of the mistake are often still quite visible.

Maybe I fix my knitting because it's the only time I can every really truly fix a mistake....fix it to the point where you (and I) would never even be able to see that anything wrong happened in the first place.


I ask myself these questions all the time.

Monday, January 02, 2012


I am feisty. And a bit "worded out". With the holidays now officially over, many emails needed to be written today, almost all of which required me to think much more than I would have liked to. I'm not ready to think this hard yet!! MyFavoriteKid is still on vacation from school this week. In fact, he is out of town for a few days with his buddy at the farm of the buddy's grandparents.

In other words: I'm freeee!!!!

I should be throwing a wild party. Or sitting in my underpants and knitting and eating bonbons (which is more true to form, these hermit-esque days). I should not be typing and editing and editing and editing and editing all of these wordy, I-need-to-make-myself-perfectly-clear emails that I have been writing all day to contractors. Nor should I be over thinking emails to students and comrades regarding upcoming dance performances.

But I have been. All day, it seems. Except for a quick break to go to the zen center and then to the convalescent hospital.

Well, the emails are done. And now I will sit and eat cookies (I don't even keep bonbons in the house *sigh*), and my sitting will and eating cookies will probably not be done in only my underpants (too cold for that here), and rather than knitting, I will be fixing a mistake that I made in my knitting, because I-need-to-make-my-knitting-perfectly-clear just like my emails.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

happy new year !

Wow, that title is creative, eh?? Hahaha. Sheesh. Let's start this year's entries off with a bang, shall we?!! ;-)

So, how was your new year's eve?

My new year's eve actually involved a party this year, which is not usually how it goes. How does it "go", you ask? Well, that is a good question! As TheMostImportantGuy and I backed down the driveway to head to the party, I asked him to help me put together a list of how we have spent all of our new year's eves past. We couldn't remember all of them. We knew that last year we went to a chanting thing at the zen center. And we also knew there was at least one year (perhaps two?) that included dinner out with my folks followed by coming home to turn on the tube and watch the west coast airing of the New York ball drop on the television. But there were several new year's eves unaccounted for (was there a concert or two in there? if so, who?!). I'm not sure if we are forgetting because we are developing the early stages of age-related brainfog, or if it's simply because we just don't usually do anything terribly exciting or memorable (I should just go back and see if I wrote about any of them on the blog...duh!).

What I do know for a fact though, is that even though I cannot remember what we have done, I can absolutely tell you what we have not done:
Every year since TheMIG and I have been together, I've refused an invitation for us to go to a party at the Warren's.

Who are the Warrens. Well. Back in the day, when I was still together with TheEx, he had met MisterWarren on a train platform and they quickly became fast friends. They had noticed that they were always getting on the same train car each morning to go to work, and one day they started chatting and found out they both had just become dads. When Warren and TheEx learned that their offices at the other end of the train ride were only minutes apart, they quit the train altogether, and carpooled together for years. During those years, TheEx and I were throwing lots of parties, and I would invite my friends, some of whom had partners and kids about the same age as ours, and the Warrens would come, too. Of course, TheEx and I never looked at our friends in the "your friends, my friends" sort of way. They all became "our friends", and in the long run, the families all got quite tight and everybody was inviting everybody to each others gatherings (mostly kids birthdays, barbeques, holiday parties, etc). A few of us ladies started a weekly craft night back then, and the guys in the bunch even created a separate poker playing faction.

When TheEx and I split up, we had our tough moments, but it really was quite the amiable break up. There was never the feeling that we needed to be "dividing up" our friends. Not one bit. But I always sorta felt like MisterWarren and the Warren family were more TheEx's friends (his best friends, actually), and at that time, and TheEx seemed like he could use a little support. I had a pretty solid group of women friends of my own as I transitioned out of the relationship. But Warren was TheEx's closest source of support, and so I kept my distance a little bit. We still stayed in touch, of course, but I always made it a point to avoid the annual new year's eve party the Warrens kept inviting me to. Every year TheEx would say that he had no problem whatsoever if I came to the party ...but every year I didn't go (and after awhile, I was dating TheMIG, so we didn't go....even though we were both invited).

Instead, TheEx and MyFavoriteKid would go to the party (and TheMIG and I would do....whatever), but also going to the party were most of my friends, the friends whose families had become mutual friends of the Warrens by that point, and were also invited.

Are you seeing how this all went?
It's part of how I ended up with the not-so-memorable-NewYearsEve-syndrome, I think.

Well, this year, as usual, I got an invitation to the party by email. And I don't know what came over me this year, but this time I accepted (after talking it over with TheMIG, of course...and MyFK...and TheEx....in that order).

Actually, I do know what came over me. What came over me is that early last year, a beacon of light shone down upon my sad little self, and I realized that I had been behaving like a hermit, and that I had been doing so for years. It just sort of crept up on me, so I didn't see it, if you know what I mean. After months of trying to figure out why I was a hermit-lady, I finally came to the conclusion that I had no friggin' idea! And that figuring out why might not help me solve the dilemma anyhow. I just needed to act. I needed to do something about it.

I spent a few more months trying to get up the nerve to try. And then around September or October I started really making a concerted effort to place myself in the path of people for a change.

It's been good (well, mostly good --- it's been sort of trial and error, and I've blown it several times, and in the process I have lost as many friends as I have tried to make, but that's another post), and last night, we went to the party. I got to ring in the new year with TheMIG, and with my friends, and with all of their kids (who, after a decade, aren't little kids anymore), and I also got to toot a new year's eve party horn with MyFavoriteKid.

Half the group.
Fuzzy. Because we were all laughing and carrying on ;-)

I am on the path out of hermit-town.
And I am hoping to keep traveling down it during 2012.