Friday, November 24, 2006

Do I know you?

Why do people and animals keep giving me that look? I am sitting here working away at an impossible deadline, and Ruby strolls right across the coffee table. Pardon me? When did we decide it was okay to treat the coffee table as a fashion runway? GIT DOWN! And for my troubles, I get a look. That "have we met?" look. Sometimes when I call her name, she looks around all suspiciously like she thinks God is talking to her, because obviously she has no clue that just because the sound is coming from MY mouth that it must be me that is talking. DD gives me the same exact clueless look sometimes and boy, does that push my buttons. Don't look at me like that, I asked you how you got covered in paint and why is the cat so sparkly. Seeing as your hands are glittery, I am pretty sure you know something about it. We have met. I am your mother. And somebody is in TROUBLE. Dh gives me the look as well, usually when I bring up a subject that I have told him a thousand times about and he was just not listening, then all surprised to hear about it. Last night is a prime example. DD was not feeling well and came home from school. Her sinuses are giving her trouble and were dripping into her throat, causing a sore throat and an upset tummy. After some soup, a rest, and some good medication she was none the worse for wear and we decided she could attend her Brownie Entrollment ceremony. As I was getting changed, Dh started talking about what he was going to do while DD was at Brownies, and was a bit confused about why I was changing my shirt, after all I don't need to take my coat off. "Hon, you do know we are supposed to stay, right?". There goes that look again. He said nobody told him there was anything special tonight (we discussed it all through dinner, but granted the tv was on so I should have known the only person listening to me was myself). Not to mention he was the one that got the invitation paper from Brown Owl last week, and she explained everything at that time. I heard it from a few feet away as I helped DD with her coat. I am going to make DH a shirt that says "Don't talk to me. I will smile and nod but I am not really listening. If it is important, please tell my WIFE". Then I can sell them on the internet, and I think I would be rich. This morning, I walked into the kitchen to find both cats up on the table, staring down at the floor in a horrified manner. They were watching a baby centipede frantically running in circles, trapped by DD's hairband. Now, I am not sure how that little scene originally unfolded, but it illustrates and important thing about the cats in this house. They are terrified of centipedes. They will WATCH them, from a distance, with terror in their eyes. But touch one? No freakin' way. They were in quite a state, jumpy, scared to death. The word "skittish" in the dictionary would probably have a picture of them, on that table. Imagine the nerve of me, walking into the kitchen all sudden like. They didn't run like their lives depended on it (their usual modus opperendi), or jump straight into the air and puff up (my personal favourite). They turned and looked at me, frozen stone still, eyes wide open in abject terror at the sight of me. Look, I know I am no picnic in the morning. But I ain't THAT ugly. As far as they were concerned though, I was Medusa. Two stone statues staring at me as if to say "WHO ARE YOU?". A stranger in my own land, indeed.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Yarn Porn

I never had an actual "yarn stash". What I had was a collection of leftovers. Unused balls bought for a certain project and not needed, yarn purchased to make a certain thing but then the thing was not made for one reason or the other. Yarn that did not behave the way I wanted and replaced with something different and not returned. I didn't have anything in there that I bought because I WANTED it before actually knowing what I will do with it. That, my friends, has all changed. I discovered an LYS. What does LYS mean? Local Yarn Store. I am not talking about Michaels (which to their credit does carry a good, although limited selection but lately their eyelash yarn collection is growing while their actual wool selection has been shrinking, and they don't carry the needles they used to). Nor Zellers (again, a good cross section but mostly acrylic and novelty yarns). And not Walmart (needles up the whazoo, but rarely any actual wool). Now don't get me wrong, I love acrylic yarn because it is bright, the colour is usually long lasting, the yarn itself is long wearing, and if the object gets tossed in the washing machine by mistake it isn't coming out a barbie sweater. But for some special projects I wanted something.....special. Something with silk, or cashmere, something fancy and handpainted maybe. Mail order works great and the delivery is usually fast (thank you KnitPiks!). And Ebay is an unending resource for double pointed needles, turbos, what have you (I love that 'buy-it-now' option). But sometimes you want to touch, to feel, to caress. We have two "real" yarn stores in our city, both within steps of each other on the same street. The one that is easier to get to was never open when I was there. To be fair and honest, it wasn't that they were never open but rather I not only don't read, I don't retain even if I do so I went back twice when I should have known they were not open. Their hours of operation are clearly marked on the sign on the door. And I finally made it!!!!! My doctor's appointment went quicker than planned, and I was in the area. And I was NOT disappointed. They had brands and names and colourways I could only read about. And I did not escape empty handed. The Jazz Print is going to become an earflap hat for myself. Yes, that's right. The brightest, most colourful earflap hat ever invented. With my coat of many colours it should fit right in. No sirree bob am I ever getting lost in the snow. They'll see my body for miles around, like a friggin beacon baby. My biggest fear is that I will confuse migratory birds flying above, but we all have to take risks in life, right? The soft pink Lang Silkdream - and it does feel like a silk dream, by the way. When I win the lottery I am knitting myself pj's out of this stuff - well. Remember that lace scarf for my mother? I may replace that monstrosity with an adjusted pattern and use this instead. I like the leaves, but the garter stitch middle section is too blocky. The entire scarf ended up too wide. I originally wanted a skinner, longer version and abandoned the idea of ripping back because the yarn I was using was a bastard to work with. I was loathe to destroy what I had already killed myself to finish. I am going to try to finish the original scarf tonight. If I struggle to get through the repeats, consider it abandoned. It won't go to waste, of course. The half that is already bound off would make a nice shawl for DD's "my size" doll. If I don't decide to replace it with something else and actually finish it, then this goes into the stash for something else. I have a niece that is partial to such pale colours. Maybe a scarf, or perhaps gloves. We shall see. Those two balls of cool blue sea and sky? Watercolours indeed! I wish you could feel it and see it in person. It is so much lovelier than it looks in that sorry excuse for a picture. It is destined to become a lighter-than-air, seafoam and ocean spray, summer evening scented with coconut skin oil and beach sand, triangular shawl. Not sure when I can start it, but I had dreams of the beach last night, so it might be sooner than Christmas knitting should allow. For now I am trying to forget I even SAW that yarn store.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What is that dazzling white light?!?!

Why, that would be my teeth, darling. Because we had our dentist appointments last night. And our teeth are all clean and shiney and bright. And sore, but what can one do. DD did exceptionally well. You could tell she didn't like much of what was going on, but she stayed quite still and opened her mouth wide when asked, and followed all the instructions. Then it was my turn. And let me say it is hard to keep a straight face while getting your teeth cleaned when your 7 year old daughter is looking in your mouth. And giving directions to the hygienist! "There is a spot there you missed. Don't forget under that bar thingy. Why does mommy have so many TEETH". I think she would have had her hands in there if the lady had let her. I thought she would be scared, considering I am a bleeder. But nope, she took it all in stride. I could have done without her telling the woman I never brush my teeth, however. Sheesh. You see, I have a bit of a germ phobia (shut up, not everybody with germ phobias have clean houses. Some of us just live in horror, that's all). But only about certain things. This is how I can deal with two inches of dust on the piano, but any dishes that make it into the bathroom are boiled in bleach or thrown away. I am not into leaving my toothbrush out on the bathroom counter for several reasons, not the least of which I used to have a toothbrush munching cat, and a commercial I saw once that effectively demonstrated toilet water dousing the entire bathroom in a fine mist of human waste. That commercial right there spurred a good ole bleach-o-rama at this house. It also induced a serious toothbrush cull. Keeping my toothbrush in a container in the drawer seemed a far better protective option. Until I had a child. Because children are notorious for disrespecting personal space issues and think nothing of using another person's toothbrush. And not always for tooth brushing, either. Nope, that called for drastic measures. So I keep my toothbrush under lock and key. Nobody needs to know where it is located, and I like it that way. Every morning and every night I retrieve said instrument from it's secret locked location, use it for it's intended purpose, and return it to it's safe hold. This greatly reduces the need to whip my toothbrush out the front door and buy a new one, a scene that took place a couple of times a month before that. I say reduce and not remove, because there are risks associated with the travelling I do that sometimes require strong measures. Like the time the airport security agent removed my electric toothbrush from my make-up bag HOLDING IT BY THE BRISTLE END and asked me to turn it on. I did so, to prove it was not some sort of weapon but was in fact an electric toothbrush. Then I deftly removed the batteries (expensive rechargeables) and tossed the rest of the unit into the trash can next to us. Good thing it was a cheap colgate spin brush and not a hundred dollar sonic-care model. I got the oddest look from the agent, but hey. He is wearing gloves to protect himself, and then touched the business end of my toothbrush with that gloved hand. That glove has been on peoples bodies and pawed through their clothes and undergarments and touched the filth ridden outsides of suitcases. Even without the glove factor, that toothbrush was toast as soon as he opened the make-up bag. When I got to my destination I asked at the front desk for a toothbrush, as directed by the little sign in my room. Forgot something? Ask at the desk! The desk clerk cheerfully retrieved an unwrapped brush from a basket under the counter and attempted to hand it to me. Do I have to say how she was holding it? Not that it matters. No way no how was I taking THAT biohazard. "Gee, I just remembered that I didn't forget it after all". I then paid for a cab to bring me to the closest establishment that sold toiletries, wait for me, and bring me back again (okay, plus we sat for several minutes with the meter running as I tried to translate toiletries into a language I had never heard of because that driver clearly had no idea what I wanted). That 99 cent oral-b cost me roughly 30 dollars, I reckon - not including the $8.00 for the electric one I tossed. Now when I go on trips I make sure to pack extra NEW manual toothbrushes - in their original packaging. Just in case. All of that was the pre-amble, by the way. In case you forgot the point, it had to do with DD telling the hygienist I never brush my teeth. DH likes to tease DD and tell her stories. And one of those is that I never brush my teeth, and as proof, he points out "You don't see her toothbrush, do you? She doesn't have one". I always thought she KNEW it was a joke, but it seems maybe she is starting to believe otherwise. I could take the safe route and show her my brush, but what if she touches it? No. Too high of a risk. I just bought a new battery powered one and I really like it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The end is near

I have one edge of the wrap completed and attached, and I am telling you it is getting harder and harder to come to terms with giving this thing up. I love everything about it. The colour, the pattern, the edging. Sigh. I would like to say I could make another one, but we all know THAT won't happen. The nice ridge there is created by crocheting through the wrap and the edging, pulling up a loop and finishing in a slip stitch. Much nicer than just grafting or sewing it on with an invisible seam (which are never invisible, by the way). Once I finish the other side, I will block it and post it again, because it is sure to be even lovelier than the lushious thing it is now. Isn't it nice that I can like my own work LOLOL? Went to that fancy schmancy gourmet market again today. It is my reward for going to my therapy appointments, you know. A little treat. And what did I buy today, for my little treat? Lunchmeat. That is right. Lunchmeat for DD and DH. No fancy veggies, no imported cheeses or artisan bread. Lunchmeat. Perhaps I need to get my priorities checked or something. Today is turning out to be one of those days when you have a thousand appointments and tasks to complete. No pressure or anything, just a lot to do. This morning I have already been to therapy, to the Dietitian (whom I hate with every fiber of my being because she is arrogant, rude, and has no clue about type 2 diabetes), and had an interview with a charity I would like to volunteer for. I didn't sense that I wowed them there, either. It's funny. I remember a time when it was EASY to volunteer. Lately it seems like it's harder than getting a paid job. But that is neither here nor there. This afternoon I have two work deadlines (still waiting for the data, of course) and after dinner DD and I have dentist appointments. And it is fund raising night for DD's school at a local kids type restaurant. We won't be eating there but will go for activities later if all goes well at the dentist. Tomorrow, Dr's appointment to discuss my blood sugar again. We upped the meds, we changed my diet again, we changed all the rules one more time and STILL that pesky A1c number is crappy. When my home testing numbers are good, that test is crappy. When my home testing numbers are bad, that test is crappy. I am beginning to think that no matter what I do it is going to be crappy, my organs are going to fail, I will go blind, and my limbs will drop off. If it is all inevitable, then I just want them to leave me the hell alone to live my life the way I want to.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Rollin'-rollin'-rollin', get that knittin' rollin'!

I have made SOME progress on the Christmas knitting. And because that is a huge feat in itself, you get pictures today. Pictures of the same knitting you have been looking at for months, but hush. It's better than another picture of the purple toe (which is still strangley purple in one streak underneath). The poncho turned wrap? The middle is COMPLETED. Woo hoo! I just started the edging. I was going to knit it on, and started it last night. Completed an entire 18 row repeat before I realized I had the wrong edge attached to the wrap. I, ladies and gents, am an idiot. Just in case you didn't know. And what confirms it is that I ripped back, started again, and managed to DO IT AGAIN. That is right, I went ahead and knitted the wrong end onto the wrap for the second time. What the hell is my problem????? I finally decided that knitting something sideways into something already completed in a perpandicular fashion is just too much for my pea brain to handle, so I will do the edging separate and attach later. I wasn't sure how rows meet columns so to speak in knitting (can you tell I work with spreadsheets LOL?) and thought it would be a one-to-one relationship. So an 18 stitch repeat would take up 18 stitches of the wrap. However, it looks like it will be closer to two rows of repeat per stitch of the wrap. Since my stitches worked out anyway (bless the karma gods for this happy event), it's just a matter of adding twice as many repeats as I counted on for each side. No big deal, it knits up fast. So far. And it turns out it is a GOOD thing I didn't make the whole poncho after all, because I would have run out of yarn. Isn't it just delicious? I swear I could eat it. I love it so much. The intended recipient might have to tear it from my grasp, I may not want to let it go! The oatmeal scarf is almost done, just a few rows to go of pattern and then a few rows of garter to finish it off. I will add a simple crocheted edging just to the ends to finish it off, but no fringe or anything like that.

I have a whole ball of wool leftover, so he might be getting a hat as well. I figure a few inches of the same ribbing (k3, p3) , a band of the moss and welt pattern (checkerboard), and the rest of the crown in the moss stitch. Not sure how I will work the decreases without messing up the moss stitch, though. Might have to do a small test for that and to figure out the repeats of the pattern to get the right size. I have discovered that with knitting there is much more leeway in hat size, especially if you use ribbing on the band. With crochet, the fabric is less stretchy and it is easier to end up with a head-squeezing torture device or something you could swing a cat in. Not that I advocate swinging cats in anything, mind you. It should have been done by now, but I find the wool a bit hard on my hands, seeing as I am using smaller needles than recommended - to get that tight windproof fabric. Not as bad as say, working with cotton, but my hands get tired. For my father, I had decided on a cashmere scarf. Something so understated and simple in pattern and colour that it belied it's luxury. However, finding cashmere locally is proving to be difficult. Sure, I could buy it online but I wanted to molest it first. Finally I broke down and decided the sheen of Patons Soy-Wool-Stripes would do him justice. I plan on making a multidirectional diagonal scarf, a pattern I found on the internet (I will post a source if I actually use that pattern when I post the scarf pic). I bought the Natural Navy colourway, that has blacks and greys and blues. I wanted something a little more in the beige tones, but my DH reminded me that I was thinking "professional dad" - what he wears and what he looks like when he is working. He is completely retired now, and more likely to wear jeans and a casual sweater than a dress shirt and tan car-coat. Plus this colourway will look great with the leather and suede coats he wears. DH is good for something sometimes LOLOL. There is a colourway with greens and pinks and creams that I lust for, but haven't decided what to make with. Working this scarf will give me an idea of how it works up, maybe pointing me in a good direction in finding something to make for myself.

My mother's scarf still languishes. As does the lonely pattern for japanese style socks (the kind you can wear with flip flops). I have more than enough sock yarn, it's just a matter of getting my butt in gear. As for my own socks? Well. I am in no hurry. I don't even really wear socks LOLOL. The alien thing, an assortment of mittens and gloves (thank heavens for small hands!). Seeing as I already have more than I can do before Santa comes, I did the only logical thing and added a few more things to my list. I want to make a few felted coffee cozies for some Tim Horton's zealots we know. That along with a gift card for Timmy's would make a nice gift for DD's teacher as well. I wonder if I could knit a timbit cozy with scraps..........nah. That would be silly.