Archive for March, 2008

March 28, 2008

Where I knit

Since I haven’t been able to knit or spin much because I smashed my left forefinger with a hammer a couple of weeks ago, I don’t have any WIPs or FOs to show off, and didn’t want to just let the blog lay here idle. A bit of thinking about what I could regale you with led me to remember this bit. Before I began blogging, there was a rash of posts on the Internets showing where people knit. Since I missed out on that flurry, I thought I’d introduce you to my knitting place and what I use. So here’s my regular knitting corner:

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This is the corner of my living room, which has full-length windows on both walls. IKEA provided the up/down halogen floor lamp (there’s also a high-intensity magnifying lamp that’s at the other end of the couch) so that I can actually see what I’m doing most of the time. That there couch is my very first grown-up couch (or chesterfield, for the Canadians among you), bought brand-spankin’ new three years ago. It may tell you something about my maturity level when I say that I was well over 50 when I bought this! Firm cushions, deep enough to curl up in the corner or sit in lotus without any problems. A handy table to prop feet up when necessary.

Close to hand, where I can grab and browse as needed, is what I think of as my “fix-it” bookshelf:

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March 17, 2008

The Most Wonderful Cat in the Universe

For the past several years, Zinah has been on kidney meds, and was doing well, but in the last month she had lost a lot of weight, and it was obvious she was in decline. Last Thursday, it was evident that she was ready to go, as she’d stopped eating and was having difficulty moving and was in some pain. She went to the great catnip fields in the sky Thursday morning.

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Eighteen years ago in March, I went to the SF SPCA and knew from the moment I saw her that we were meant to be together. She was just a “catolescent” when she came home with me at the age of 8 months, and delighted in chasing her treats from one end of the house to the other. Every evening she would meet me at the door to say hello. She loved to chase her catnip mice, delighted in sunning herself in the studio, and enjoyed meeting all the dancers who came to classes on Francisco Street. All of us got a great laugh when she walked into the studio as we were all practicing one-footed shimmies and holding onto the walls – she saw what we were doing, and obligingly propped her little front paws on the mirror and started wagging her tail in time to the music!

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March 7, 2008

I Can’t Believe I’m Spinning!

No, I’m not writing another of those cheesy how-to books. But last night I took my first “real” drop-spindle class! I say “real” because I did get an introduction to the craft from Lynn at Mad About Ewes when I visited Lewisburg PA last October. Lynn generously ushered me into spinning when I stopped in to get some DPNs for a project that was on the needles, and by the time I left a couple of hours later, I had my own spindle, a lovely bag of roving, and a copy of Hands On Spinning to get me started.

Because the holiday knitting was totally consuming my time and energy, the spinning didn’t get a glance until a couple of weeks ago. I pulled out the book and supplies, but couldn’t seem to get into the groove, so started checking out the various LYSes and found that Purlescence had a spinning night! I made the short trek to Sunnyvale that very evening, about 2 weeks before Stitches West, and Sandi kindly gave me a bit of attention. But because of SW, there was a lot going on, and Sandy said she’d be doing a spinning class in March.

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March 5, 2008

It’s Sprung!

Spring, that is! Early March and here on the San Francisco Peninsula, we’ve had a couple of good soaking storms during February, and now we’re about 10 days into nice – though we can expect more rain at some point in the next 60 days unless global warming has completely mucked up our climate, so it’s not all sunshine and picnic for a bit longer.

But when I walked out this morning to enjoy my morning caffeine ration on the patio, this is what I saw:

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This corner of my garden used to be occupied by the oak tree whose stump you can see, surrounded by a 70s-era redwood hot tub that was, to put it kindly, rather decrepit. That is, the deck of the hot tub was ok to sit on, but the tub itself had lost whatever was holding the staves together some time in the distant past, and had become a haven for every six- and eight-legged creature native to the area, and probably some that were more exotic as well. For all I know (no way was I going to brave it) there could have been hissing cockroaches from Madagascar!

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March 3, 2008

Tulips and Toesies

At last report, the Tulip was in detention for being way too tense in its I-cord; happily, it saw the error of its ways, voluntarily frogged itself, and reknit itself while I was sleeping… NOT! However, it was very cooperative on the whole process, and I was able to finish it off in a couple of hours, which makes me almost feel like a “real knitter!”

I’m not one of those perfectionist knitters; I approach each new project with the attitude that ripping out is a learning experience. And I get LOTS of learning experience every time. With the Tulip, I was feeling pretty sure of myself, since I’d completed the Rocketry version last summer without too much un-doing. But, different pattern, different techniques. With Rocketry, once I’d gotten past the gauge issue, it essentially just skipped along. I love these patterns because they are easy enough to understand, but the color changes (and the methodology thereof) give you a bit of a pick-up every eighth row. Downside to that pickup is that every eighth row, you have ends to weave in. And as we know, getting a little over-confident is like a large neon sign to the Knitting Goddesses saying, “OK, whack me upside the head with a stupid and easily correctable error that will have me tearing out my hair and using words no self-respecting cat companion should be forced to endure.”

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