Thursday, March 24, 2005

Panic Attack

I found myself wanting to breathe into a felted tote bag today to try to calm down a bit. I get this way before we leave for vacations. There's always so much to do and I lull myself into believing that I have plenty of time to do everything and then suddenly *WHAP* - the end of the week arrives and my milelong check list has received very little attention (now how's that for a run on sentence?). Now the house/pet sitter is really sick and I'm worried about leaving Mavi and the guinea girls.

Most importantly, I've been agonizing over what to take with me to knit on (cause we KNOW how important that is on a vacation). Ideally, I'd have an entire bag full of knitting but I need to be more rational. I may take the DH vest just to be done with it and MAYBE Rogue.

I'm 2/3 finished with Kyoto (this is a quick knit) but really am pushing to finish it before I leave so I have something fun to wear on the trip. I based my modifications on this pattern from the Queensland Collection.

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Here's a sneek peek of her before I finished the sash last night.

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Whadda ya think? Is it a keeper or should it head off to the frog pond? I'm still debating.

I'm also leaning toward knitting Tempting on the plane but wonder if I'll get bored (its just ribbing in the round). I found some great yarn in my stash (I've been stash busting like a MoFo) and would like to give it a try. But I'm drawing a blank on whatelse to bring. I got tons of knitting done last Spring Break. I need more projects! I need suggestions. ARGHHHHHHHHHHH! Please help me. Please...

I received a lovely RAOK (a Chocolat notepad) from Susan yesterday. She was so sweet to congratulate us on our anniversary :) Thanks for the RAOK and reading my blog, Susan. I'm going to enjoy using this notepad since chocolate is one of my favorite things :) Susan's working on a Klaralund in the most beautiful colorway. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

For those of you wondering what happened to Zira's Knitterviews, I've kinda put them on the back burner. It seems like blogland is awash with people responding to the interview questions that Domestigirl started. There are so many interviews flying around these days that I don't need to pile on. I'll still do it but just not right now. I do have a related super secret monkey project that will start in April that everyone can get involved with. More details in a couple of weeks. I think its going to be lots of fun.

I'll miss ya'll next week and will post if I can access the internet. I'm praying for lots of sunshine, good food and fun. Curli-for-nia, here we come!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Sprung

I'm so glad that spring has sprung around here. I finally saw some flowers peeking their little heads above the ground, the grass is getting green, buds are on the trees, little birdies are chirping everywhere there's lots o' sunshine. Just what the doctor ordered to chase my winter blues away.

I had a great weekend of knitting and spinning and not too much of anything else. I spun up and plied several skeins of roving for DH's cabled vest. I even figured out how to use a wine bottle and a lampshade to make center pull balls of yarn (I'm holding out on buying a ball and skein winder. I'd rather use the money to buy fiber).

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The vest is moving along slowly but surely. I have a few more inches before I have to start decreases for the arm holes. I really don't want to take this monster with me on the plane because I think I'll get bored with it so if I haven't finished the front before I leave, its headed for a trip to UFO island.

As you may (or may not) recall, my first Nikon met its untimely demise after I'd had it for only 6 months. A friend of mine accidentally dropped it, jamming the lens inside the body of the camera. In an effort to keep my new baby safe and injury-free, I decided to whipped up a little felted camera cozy. Check it out.

Before:
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After:
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It's pretty much a tube that I made into a double knit pouch. Half of it was Noro Kujaku and the other half is pink Cascade 220. The Kujaku didn't felt nearly as much as I expected it to (yes, I even made a test swatch) and the Cascade 220 felted beautifully so it didn't turn out like I wanted it to. However, after I stopped pouting, I worked with it and am thrilled with the resulting product. I made a little buttonhole on the side for the strap to pop through (so I don't lose the cozy while I'm taking pictures) and finished it with one of the Celtic buttons that I bought this fall from Knit Happens. I also added a super thick hairband on the inside to elasticize the top to keep the camera from accidentally falling out. My new baby is now as snug as a bug in a rug.

Since I was itching to knit something with the Ironstone yarn that Heaz got me, I decided to play with modifying the Kyoto pattern from Knitty.com based on a couple of others that I've had in mind. I cast on and hope to finish the front soon. I'll post pictures if its worthy. However, I keep telling myself that its okay to frog it if I'm not happy with the results. Can you tell that I'm avoiding Rogue?

In non-knitting news, Suppa Club met last night. Our hostess, Sandy hired a chef who cooked the most incredible meal. Fresh tapenade with crostini, goat cheese breaded with panko, wild salmon (that Sandy had flown in from Alaska) with a balsamic reduction, portabella mushroom risotto and asparagus and for dessert, yummy bananas foster. Here's everyone munching happily...
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Life IS good!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Luck O' the Muse

I've felt the luck of the Irish all week. There's been much to celebrate. Spring arrives in just two days, the days are getting longer, leaving for Cali and Las Vegas in less than a week and DH and I had our 20th dating anniversary yesterday. Here we are at prom (which was actually two years after we started dating).
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(Sorry about the quality of the picture. Its a picture of a picture because I don't have a scanner). Damn we were skinny. I can't believe that we've been together for that long. We've actually known each other for 25 years (since we were ten) but we didn't start dating until high school. Our first date was at Chi Chis (it wasn't actually a date because he didn't ask me out until we finished dinner but we count it as that moment in time that changed our lives) so to commemorate the occasion, I made fried ice cream for dessert. Yum! I also cast on a cabled sweater vest for DH as his present. I'm using my own handspun Romney - my first major project made with my handspun wool.

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It doesn't look much yet but I think it will look really nice. It's hard for me to get a consistent gauge with the handspun though I'm learning to like the slubs that give it character.

I also received a wonderful and unexpected RAOK on St. Patty's day from Heaz.

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Some yummy tea and a tea bag rest that looks like Monet's Garden, a totally 80's mix CD, a gorgeous notecard by Mustard and *gasp* Black Ironstone Herb Garden yarn. The two purplish Ironstone skeins that have languished in my stash are dying to be knit with my latest additions. Heaz's gift was the high note of an already spectacular day. Thanks chickie!

BTW, all of these pictures are courtesy of my new camera. I got another Nikon (sometimes I'm a horrible creature of habit) but this one is the 4600. Its even smaller than the last, has internal memory which will come in handy while we're on vacation and wonderful clarity. I don't even have it set on the highest setting and the detail is incredible. I'm working on a felted cozy for her. I *heart* my new techno toy.

On the spinning front, I'm working on more Romney for DH's sweater.

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I couldn't find regular roving in the same color so I was stuck with buying pencil roving. Repeat after me - spinning pencil roving is not as much fun as spinning roving. However, it goes fast and I need to finish more yarn before I run out (which will be soon).

Not much else happening, I rescued Rogue from the UFO pile and am mustering up the energy to frog the sleeves and start over on smaller needles. I'm ready for a spring knit to take with me on the plane ride to CA. Anyone have any suggestions? A good spring tote or top would be nice. Or something out of all of my new mohair. I'm drawing a blank.

To start your weekend off right, I leave you with Zira in the snow earlier this week (I hope that it was the last snow of the season) and a shot of the Guinea girls. See you next week.
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Friday, March 11, 2005

Muse - lost and found (edited)

* edited to include...In usual fashion, Blogspot and/or Blogger SUCK today and many of you have emailed me to note that you can't leave comments. I'm looking into another host but that won't be for a while. Please email me at indigomuse (at) verizon.net if you want to say "hi". Sorry for the problems and thanks to Jen and La for bringing it to my attention in their blog post.


I started a blog post on Wed. I was actually in the middle of it while DH was recounting the hairy meat incident (see Wednesday's post for more info). I've added it below for those who wondered what I was futzing about...
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I'm admitting here and now that I'm stuck in an inspirationless desert. I'm surrounded by oceans of yarn, fiber, unfinished projects and project ideas and yet I thirst for something that I can't put my finger on. I haven't knit or spun for two days (unheard of in these parts)! What's wrong with me? Here are a few of my theories on why my muse is MIA:

1.) I think I was severely depressed this Winter (my own diagnosis because I wouldn't admit that I had a problem and seek help) with SAD and am finally coming out of the fog thanks to the longer days and sunshine. How do I know that I WAS and no longer am depressed. Because I was crying for no reason almost every day and I haven't cried in over a week. In my effort to "find myself again", I'm trying to schedule ALL of the details of my day so that I can remain focused. This is not fun nor easy for such a free spirit as I tend to be. But I'm hell bent on reclaiming my spirit so I'll make myself do it. Needless to say, all things fiber related have barely found its way onto my schedule :(

2.) I read so many knitting blogs on a regular basis and was starting to feel like I was less of a knitter if I didn't knit garments. I've seen so many beautiful Rogues, ballet sweaters - you name it - cranked out and posted over the last couple of weeks. And my poor Rogue languishes in a bag waiting for her sleeves. I'm capable and don't mind knitting sweaters, etc. But I had an epiphany this week - I don't get real pleasure knitting them (at least not at this point in my life). I believe that everyone should find their niche in the world and with knitting, I've learned about myself that I love to make accessories. It doesn't mean that I'll abandon garments all together. Coming to grips with this reality, will hopefully free my spirit in a different way.

3.) I'm wayyyyyyyyyyy behind on house stuff because of work stuff. Even though I work from home, I try really hard not to do house stuff during the day. Sure I might pop a load of laundry in or clean off the counter but I save most of the heavy duty work for the evening. Well, being out of town for the weekend didn't help and now we're half way through this week and the house is going from bad to worse. I feel guilty sitting down to knit when there are dishes to do, laundry to fold and stuff that needs to be put away.

4.) I'm not even motivated to spin because I found two major cracks on the base of poor Arwen :( Boo hoo. The crack on the right runs almost the length of the base. Just look at it...
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I'm crushed. I treat her like a princess. No one touches her. How could this have happened? The wonderful Majacraft people are going to have to make one from scratch because they don't have any in stock to fix it. They say they've never seen this before. I'm going to have to use a c-clamp to hold her together so that it doesn't snap completely in half before the part arrives. Poor baby :(

OMG, I'm even boring myself with this blah, blah, blah. Enough said. I hope my muse just needed a little vacation and finds her way back to me SOON!
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Pretty whiny, huh? I can lay blame on PMS but for the most part, I can say that I was guilty of taking life for granted. Well, be careful what you wish for because you just might get bitch slapped with reality - which is exactly what happened.

I was in the school office checking on Strawberry Festival related messages when one of the teachers walked by crying. Everyone is the office was really sad and after inquiring, I found out that one of our students had surgery the day before for a brain tumor. Talk about feeling like someone punched me the gut. This little girl is only 5 years old! How do you as a parent deal with something like this? How do you help your child deal with it? To top it off, the mom is expecting her fourth child any day. The good news is that her surgery went well and now they're waiting on the pathology report. I'm praying that she doesn't have cancer. The whole thing is so unfair. Why do kids have to suffer? Trust me, stuff like this makes me struggle with how to reconcile it within my faith.

Yup, this was the big ole bitch slap I needed to wrest me from my self pity. I have two wonderful, healthy boys, a loving husband and family, great friends and all of my needs are more than met. I'm going to work on a little Kittyville hat for BJ since they had to shave all of her hair off for the surgery. There's nothing else I can do besides pray for her health and well being. Inspiration can certainly come in the most unexpected and sometimes small forms.

I'm saving the Zira Knitterview for next week. It seemed so frivolous for me to do it today. I WILL share some inspiring good news from other knitters since I don't have butt squat didly to show you. Have a super weekend!

* Boogie just found out that she's expecting! I'm so excited for her.
* Teresa just finished an 8 year old UFO - now I have no excuse for not finishing some of my languishing projects
* Bonne Marie finished a modified version of the IK Spencer that is just breathtaking.
* Stacey has inspired me to do some Spring felting with all of her cute button bags.
* Amy is almost finished with Audrey - yippie!
* And for those who are in need of a regular fiber fix, check out Hello Yarn. I drool everytime I check in.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Excerpt from an actual conversation this evening...

(DH and I are at the kitchen island. He grabs a beer immediately after walking into the house - not usually a good indicator of how the day was. I'm working on my blog post for the day which I will now save until tomorrow am because this was too good to save.)
IM - (nodding toward the beer) Was your day that bad?
DH - Not really. I don't really remember. I still have my job...I think.
IM - I had a board meeting today. The board chair forgot about the meeting and was 45 minutes late. Other than that, nothing exciting happened.
DH - Oh yeah. Had an interesting lunch today (editorial note - DH comes home for lunch every day since his office is now less than 5 minutes away).
IM - (typing away on the laptop) Really? Why?
DH - My turkey had hair growing on it.
IM - (I stop and look up) What?
DH - Yeah, when I opened the package of lunch meat, I found hair growing on the edges of the turkey.
IM - Ewwww, you didn't eat it did you? You know that was some kind of mold.
DH - (matter of factly) It smelled fine.
IM - Tell me you didn't eat it.
DH - I tried to pull the edges off.
IM - Tell me you didn't eat it.
DH - (sips his beer) The hair kinda creeped me out while I was eating it.
IM - You have got to be joking. Why would you eat moldy meat?
DH - (Meh) It tasted fine. I figured I'd take my chances.
IM - I don't want to hear it if you get really sick.
DH - (shrugs) Meh, what's the worst that could happen?
IM - I can't believe you ate the meat anyway.

I want to go on record as stating that there were several unopened, brand new packs of turkey and other lunch meats in the fridge that he could have eaten. I do not encourage my family to eat moldy food. I'm appauled. I love the man but I truly wonder about his judgement sometimes. I'm convinced that he's lying and wanted to see if I would post about it on my blog. DH, if you're reading this, you're going to be the death of me. Maybe this is what you want. And you guys wonder why I'm teetering on the brink of insanity...

Friday, March 04, 2005

I'm goin' back to Cali, Cali, Cali

Now before I get to the subject of my blog title, I need to vent for just a second. For those who would rather skip the vent (because its really only for my benefit and to get it off my chest), jump on down to the next *. Begin rant...

Mom goes over the edge

* How can every peni (plural because there are three) in the house walk past the stinky trash and NOT take it out? And why is it that no one remembers that Thursday is ALWAYS trash day?
* Thing 1, why is it my responsibility to remember to pack your phone charger and the portable dvd player for our trip to visit family this weekend?
* Why is it that no one has checked the mail for the last three days (you told me that you had)? How do I know this? Because I checked it by chance and the box was filled with tons o'mail?
* Thing 2, why can't you remember the "if its yellow let it mellow but if its brown flush it down..." mantra?
* Why doesn't anyone else, besides me, feed Mavis, the fish and the guinea pigs?
* Why is that as I'm about to click the "purchase" button for our plane tickets to CA, DH decides that I should check on flights from every other airport in VA, DC, MD and NC?
* Why is it when I'm knitting, everyone suddenly wants to talk to me? I knit to relax but it becomes stressful when I keep losing count while you ask for the umteenth time where the remote is (you're sitting on it), where's the step stool (in the garage) or would you please open this jar of ____ even though your dad is sitting 6 inches from me and is doing NOTHING?
* Why am I supposed to keep up with all of these details?

I'm convinced that I need a wife to keep me from going insane. I've even developed a twitch over my left eyebrow. I think when we get back from visiting family this weekend (which will surely push me over the edge), that we need to have what my Gma would call a "come to Jesus" family meeting. Or mom is going to end up with a window seat at the loony bin (sounds great at this point).

End of rant. Thanks for your indulgence. I feel much better now.*

California, here we come

Yes, we're going to Cali (LA) and Las Vegas (we're staying at the Venetian) for Spring Break. I can't wait. The V nightclub at the Venetian looks like fun but to be honest, I know nothing about "clubbin". I'm such a geek. Maybe I can get some pointers from some of you more socially savvy people. I hope that the rain is gone by the time we make it out because I need some SUN. We're staying with our good friends who came out to visit us over the summer. All eight of us have an absolute blast together. We'll cook and eat a lot, drink a lot, laugh till we're sick and just have a good time. Sounds like a (almost) perfect remedy for my testosterone trio blues. Hopefully, Adri and I will get to escape them a couple of times. We both need a break.

Introducing Knitterviews

So, Zira came to me over the weekend with a thought. She's still new to the world of knitting and would really like to get to know the MO of knitters from around the world. So she started asking knitters if they would be interested in being interviewed by a felted monkey. And you know what? Everyone that she's asked has said "YES"! Who could resist this face?



She's ready for her close up :) Over the next few weeks, Zira has lined up several Knitterviews (dontcha love the name?) with knit bloggers (seasoned knitting pros and newbies alike), knit designers, publishers and if we're lucky, a celebrity or two who knits. If there's someone that you'd like for Zira to consider for an interview, shoot me an email or leave me a comment. I'm going to give her some practice and let her Knitterview me next week. I'll also Knitterview Zira so send me any burning questions that you may have.

March Spinning/Knitting meetup

Our local spinning and knitting group met for the second time last night. There were some new faces and LOTS of show and tell. I love seeing how creative other people are. Thing 1 and 2 were in tow (DH is out of town) and they even did some knitting. I took Arwen with me and worked on some rainbow colored merino that I was warned by Jen (or was it La?) that it might lose some of its vibrancy once spun. The colors kinda muddle together :( Here's a shot of the roving and what it looks like once spun.



I've tried spinning it from the fold and just the regular way (whatever that means) and I get the same result. But I think it might be pretty once plied. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and thinking Koigu-like thoughts.

I'm fine tuning the felted monkey pattern. I'm knitting the second monkey that I call FM2 using a darker brown and the light brown that I used on Zira. Both boys have dibs on it and want it to be a boy so that Zira can have a boyfriend. I'm thinking that I have enough boys in the house. If I keep felting girl monkeys, we can over power them one day. Bwah ha ha ha hah. A gurl can dream :)

Have a super weekend everyone!