About Me:

About Me: I've been knitting since I got bored one summer in college and made a raglan sleeved rag-wool sweater that still almost fits. My favorite things to knit are Scandanavian colorwork and lace. I don't like to knit socks or sleeves. Some years ago, I completed the Level 1 Master Course with The Knitting Guild of America. That's as far as I got, but I did learn a lot and I recommend it highly.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nothing Up My Sleeve. . . Presto!

You, the two readers who follow this blog, you who have hung on my every recent word about the blue cashmere scarf as its bare materials were purchased, as it sat in my project basket and stared at me for many months, as it was knit into half of a really nice scalloped lace thing, then ripped out twice, placed back in the chest of craft-o drawers, and then eventually became the subject of several gripping episodes of prose, you are probably not pleased to hear that this post too, the one you were hoping would be worth reading, is again about that same damn fucking piece of wool.

The thing is, it's not a very bright blue color, it's a slightly lighter shade of a pleasing sky or robin's egg blue, and a lot more dilute.  The kind of color that says, I just don't have the nerve to pull off the color this really should be.  The kind of blue color circa 1950 awkwardly handmade baby boy garments with not a lot of style.

Adding that ribbon trim helped.  But still, what was it?  A table runner?  A granny shawl?  An odd scarf, the kind that people point to when they are trying to illustrate my eccentric, ecclectic. just a hair shy of a near miss kind of fashion sense?

Finally, thanks to another couple of evenings banging about with nothing in particular to do with my idle hands in my devil's workshop, I sewed the edges together about a third of the way into the center from each end.  Now it's a shrug, I think it's finally totally awesome with a white t-shirt or linen sundress (which now I have to make).

Here is Purl modeling it.  (Check back in a minute or two.  She hasn't agreed to do this part yet).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cat Control

I think I have learned how to outsmart my cat.  She has a fairly annoying habit of climbing up onto my chest when I am reading.  Not onto my lap.  My chest.  Right where the book or magazine is.  In order to keep reading I have to extend my arms all the way out and sometimes straight up so that I can continue reading without having to deal with the 15 pound weight on my chest.  And then my arms get tired.

I don't have a solution to that problem right now.  I can't just budge and get her off of me because she is a very mean cat and will hit me in the face with her paws so that I stay still while she relaxes on me, the human cat sofa.  Sometimes if she can reach she will bite my wrist too.  And she does still have claws on her back paws so when she does angrily jump off of me, she'll first push all her weight into her back feet and it will hurt.  The back paws are usually somewhere around my not rock-hard abs.  So the experience is oof - very heavy cat standing on me and preparing to angrily jump off, and then ouch - thanks for digging your claws into my not rock-hard abs as you do so.

Yes, I have to work on that one.  The problem that I have solved is this:  when she jumps up on my desk and sits right across my notes and this keyboard so that I can't type.  Well, here is what you do.  Can't tell the cat to move, because, see above - she will hit me in the face with her paws.  Probably shouldn't have encouraged her to box with us when she was a kitten.  She now uses that skill when she's just feeling meanly.  So what you do is get up and walk away.  Get a drink of water, start doing something else.  The cat will stay put for a few minutes in order to say:  fine, leave, as if I care, as if I even noticed you leaving, this is my space anyway and I called it and you can't have it.  Certainly not going to follow you to wherever boring place you're going.  But then the cat will begin to think:  I hope you don't think I'm sitting here waiting for you to come back, because I'm not, in fact I hope you don't come back because I don't need you anyway.  I'm not at all curious where you went, but I sure as heck am not going to keep hanging out here as if I don't have anyplace better to go.  So now that I see you not coming back, I'm going to go somewhere else before you come back just to show you that I wasn't waiting around.  At this point, walk back near the place you were, not right next to the cat, but nearby.  The cat will immediately leave just as you approach.

And so that is what I did five minutes ago, so that I could write this now.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Crafty Way to a Better Divorce

You can be happily moved on, married even -- and still some days it can still rise up and smack you -- you had to take a fully-loaded rat trap out to the trash, and it was difficult and messy and disgusting, and the person who was supposed to be there for you to help you with the difficult and messy and disgusting part not only wasn't there to help you with it, he was actually the difficult, messy, disgusting job you had to take care of.  And you can be enjoying a moment like a walk down the street on a Saturday blue-sky day in July when all of a sudden the thought of him and the phrase "You're such an Asshole!" or something similar appears.  I have suddenly muttered it under my breath or blurted it out loud on several occasions.

And it's embarrassing.  I mean, you're supposed to have moved on, and the emotional bruises are supposed to have disappeared, the scars just something that get touched languidly, thoughtfully, and no longer painful.  But at the same time it feels so good to just say it:  you, yes you, that guy I used to be married to.  no I can't remember your name anymore, but I just want you to know, because I never told you when we were married:  you're such an asshole.

Today's project helps externalize that sentiment in a productive, pretty way.  We must embroider our emotions whenever we get the chance.  Putting excessive detail on them helps define them more precisely, and can help distinguish what is healthy or rational from what is not.  And whenever I do reflect on what an asshole that guy was, and how sad it is that I was so patient and kind to him, and what better things I could have done with my time than stay married to him, I eventually reflect on how much money and effort I used up getting divorced, and how fucking worth it it was.  So it's a temporarily unkind moment, but the memory then leads to a great affirmation.  Someone else is stuck with him now, and the price I paid was one that allows me the freedom to say whatever I want.  (Happy Independence Day, by the way).

The materials for the project are available at craft stores like Jo-Anns, Michael's or Ben Franklin, and sometimes at bigger Target/Walmart types.  The towel is about $5, and the needlepoint work goes in a section of it that's woven in such a way that you can count squares and stitches easily.  The embroidery floss I used here was lying around from some abandoned friendship bracelet project of Purl's.  I free-styled the whole thing but if you are more of a stickler you can use an embroidery hoop and use a washable pencil or marker (make sure it is really made to wash out) to put your design right on the fabric.  I also typed up my phrase using a bunch of different types (fonts) to get ideas about how to shape the script-style letters.

Tip #1:  "Plan Ahea":  the original idea was to embroider "You're such an Asshole," but because I made the "A" so big, there was not room for the whole word.  I've justified the resulting "You're such an Ass ++++" as if I'd planned it that way, so as to be more spatially balanced, but that's just not true.  I ran out of room and then had to back up.

Tip #2:  Undo, Undo, Undo:  don't be in such a big hurry that you leave in stitches that you don't like.  If you don't make a mistake a project like this will take an hour or two, but this took about 3-4 hours for me because (a) I was free-styling and so I picked out several whole letters several times, (b) you want to get it right.  Just like you got your divorce done right no matter how times you had to re-work the settlement agreement.

So kick back and enjoy Independence Day, and if you spill your beer, you've got something to wipe it up with while smirking a little bit to yourself.