Sunday, December 25, 2005

Have a Day....

Merry Christmas to All Some, Happy Hanukkah Tomorrow to Whom It May Concern, also Happy Kwanzaa Tomorrow to Whom Etc., and a big fat EH? to the rest of us. And a big hug to Laurie. This is her Christmas of Ultimate Suckage. It'll go up from there. Bigtime.

I'm having a lovely quiet day - both offspring are working. I did Christmas Eve festivities with Boy yesterday, and the dear child gave his mother a big bad food processor, because his mother wanted one. I had a little bitty mini processor, which made it useless for anything but chopping an onion, and it was, uh, I'm trying to think - about 12 years old? Just guessing. Maybe 15. It's so true that time picks up speed as you get older, I can't remember when I bought the damn thing but I know it predates this house and I've been here almost 10 years. So now I'm the proud owner of a badass 14 cup monster that could double as a woodchipper, so don't piss me off. It is so big and so bad, it has huge suction cup feet so it doesn't actually leap off the counter while dispatching entire potatoes in a second. Oh, crispy baked sweet potato fries are so on the menu. (Girlchild will demand them as soon as she reads this.) But today it was test-driven for onions and celery for the white bean soup I didn't make yesterday. The bread is great, nice flavor and rich texture, but oddly pale. If I'd let it get to a nicer golden color it would have had the crust of a dog biscuit. It's nicely chewy and crusty now, but kinda pale.

Boy was very happy with his XM Radio gift set, and I managed to resist hie-ing my flabby ass to Costco to get one for myself yesterday, but I'll get it eventually. Let's see if I'm driving to MD for MDS&W, it'd be a fine road trip addition. I will not buy it until I'm taking a road trip of more than two hours.

On that note, I finally (please, cross fingers and eyes, wish good karma, pray, whatever) think that maybe I have my almost 80 years old and in poor health parents ready to give up the single family house two hours away in no traffic. I found a really nice independent living place near me, and I'm going to send them the brochures, but I won't even waste my time going to see it until they say it sounds worth checking out. This place is in a gorgeous area near everything convenient, 20 minutes from me, but has housekeeping, medical care on site, all the things they really do need, because every phone call is a litany of health crises and they aren't getting the care they really need by their primary in BFE. Hell, I'd move in this place, it sounds great. It is SO not a "nursing home." But I've been down this road so many times it has VERY deep ruts. I can't do anything for them where they are, and though they've talked about moving closer to me for many years, they wouldn't do it and now now they are in failing health and IF they do decide to move their health is so dicey it'll require all of my free time for the next few months to make it happen. I'm an only child, I can't call on the aid of siblings. (And yes, I know a lot of siblings are worse than useless. Apparently every family with more than 2 kids is issued One Major Shitheel to keep the balance of the universe.)

I wound the Koigu KPPPM, which meant bringing out the swift. Dudley is afraid of the swift. Yes, the list of things Dudley fears just keeps growing. Though by the, uh, sixth skein, he was relaxed enough to sleep on the couch next to me within potential attack distance of the swift from hell. He slept next to an actual fire last night, so he does get over his initial fears, but his initial fears are so damn funny.

I don't know what I'll do with the Koigu. I hate to cast on yet another feather and fan thing, but damn, it'd be such a nice scarf. I've gone through the BGW stitch treasuries and while there are hundreds of stitches, nothing quite says light little scarf to me like F&F. Though IF I do it, I'll use Wendy's f&f variation, because knitting all rows between the "busy row" will make a more reversible fabric. And not because it makes an idiot's lace pattern even more idiot-proof. But it does.

Happy End of 2005 to All. This coming week is time for wrapping up, planning, and moving on. A toast to all who are taking a leap of faith.

17 comments:

Sue Woo said...

I made this and it is BAAAD!http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall03/PATTlatifa.html

Geogrrl said...

Why not try "Ostrich Feathers" or "Frost Flowers" from the BW treasuries. Both are gorgeous and lacy, but easy. "Ostrich Feathers" is a lovely variation on F & F/Old Shale. Both stitches would knit up as lovely scarves.

Catherine said...

I looked t Ostrich Feathers, I'll have to give it another look. If it has more than six rows in a pattern repeat I tend to lose interest and screw it up. Because, yes, I have a short attention span, and inability to concentrate plus lace leads to much profanity and ripping out.

Catherine said...

I LOVE Latifa, and now I'm thinking about the purple Cascade 220 in the stash, some nice clear rose or blue, and the lovely bright turquoise-based Koigu in the stash, conveniently in two skeins, for the ruffles. It would be gawgeous. This little Koigu scarf is subtle enough for looking all professional and legal, but Latifa is much more my style for my happy field days.

Geogrrl said...

Heheh. Yes, I know about the profanity--I did several yards of (I think) "Drooping Birch Leaf" as trim for pillowcases. It had a 12- or 13-row repeat. Lovely, but I could not be spoken to while I worked on it. The one time I did try to talk and work on it, I realized I'd screwed up a while back. Ripping took a few minutes, but then I had to count and figure out where I was in the pattern--that took over an hour. There was much swearing.

There are some other laces in the treasuries that look pretty simple, but I've never looked at the row count on them.

Catherine said...

See, I don't know how people DO lace that requires that level of concentration, and I really don't know WHY. I'm sure there are other ways to burn brain cells that are more useful to society than insanely complicated lace. That's for cloistered nuns, and though at times I feel like one, I really don't want to be one.

I admire the skill it takes to knit highly compicated lace, I'd like to do it, but I know myself well enough to know that it would be a stressful thing and I have enough stress. I look at the row count first - beyond six rows I really have to think hard about it. Beyond 8, I really don't think so. I will attempt complicated crochet patterns because crochet pulls out one stitch at a time so ripping back is far less agonizing. My Gram was the queen of crocheted lace, I still have some of her pillowcases in my closet and she's been gone for 35 years. I'd love to do that stuff, and maybe that's where my lace urges should go.

dragon knitter said...

i got an email from marnie, the joiner for the CAP project, with a picture. would you like me to forward it to you?

and it sounds like you had a nice, peaceful christmas. you might want to check boy's xm radio though, i just heard there's a recall on the batteries. i think i saw it on abc, so you should be able to look it up on their website

Catherine said...

Yes, please forward! Thanks for the tip about the battery, I looked it up and it's a different model than the one he has.

caroline said...

amen to that, girl. Have a wonderful last week of the year and new years. and speak to me of online dating after the first of the year. we can fix that 'dateless', oh, yes we can..
hugs,
caroline

Catherine said...

Guide me in finding the ones that aren't Desperately Seeking A Wife Right NOW DAMMIT! I'd like to have a social life, but my experience so far has been that if they're over 40, they're interviewing for wives. I'd like to date, I'd be okay with being a girlfriend, but I kinda like my single life and I plan to shop around at my leisure.

Geogrrl said...

I tried to reply to you before, but Blogger ate my post and I couldn't be bothered re-typing it right away.

Because I'm anal-retentive, I wanted to point out that the current variation on F & F you're working is not Wendy's. She might have come up with it on her own, but if you check books on Shetland knitting and even the BW treasury, you will find that this variation is the oldest way of knitting F & F/Old Shale. The K1r, P1r variation to create "right" and "wrong" sides came later. There. Now we're historically accurate.

For future stuff, check out pg. 193 on the first BW treasury. Frost Flowers and Ostrich Feathers would be too complicated for you, but these are not. They're both simple and lovely worked up (I've used both). "Little Arrowhead" is referred to as "Gull Stitch" in EZ's "Almanac". It's dead easy to memorize. The English Mesh lace is just pretty. I know it's two rows more than your limit, but try it sometime.

I like knitting complicated laces for the challenge, but after that last one, would only knit it for myself. For other people, I would stick to very simple laces if I used them at all--the appreciation factor isn't there. I can't work on them for long stretches, though. I tend to have two projects going at any time--one that is mind-numbingly simple, and another more complicated. I switch back and forth depending on mood.

I have some Shetland cobweb weight (Ordered direct from Jamieson in Shetland, Scotland) and it's waiting to be worked into a shawl. Mind you, by the time it's finished I'll need a shawl. I highly recommend buying from Jamieson directly. It's cheaper and they're nice people to deal with. They also make heavier shetland wool yarns as well--DK, sport, and worsted. Jamieson is the primary dealer for all things shetland wool.

I also love textured stuff like Aran and Gansey work. The patterns are simple and I like the play of light on the surface. Can't use fancy yarns for that, though.

Catherine said...

Oh, I think Wendy even says she didn't "invent" it, I just linked to her because there was a photo. I love the way it's turning out and it's as fast as lightning to do, definitely a "whip up in a hurry" gift option. I do like the stitches you pointed out, I'm eyeing the "Vine Lace" on p. 218 for the green Koigu. It'd be so spring-y.

Geogrrl said...

Yes, I've eyed the Vine Lace before too. I really like that one--it would make a lovely scarf or a cute sleeveless shell. You'd need a simple design so the lace is shown off properly.

Have you seen the finished Ruana (sp?) on Franklin's blog? Dear Deity, there's no way I would have been able to finish those miles and miles of garter stitch so quickly! It is beautiful, thought.

Catherine said...

Send me a link. Is it the Sally Melville ruana? I thought about making it but even my very high mindlessness tolerance can't quite go there. I like small and mindless.

Geogrrl said...

I'm not sure if it's Sally Melville--he says it's from a book by Cheryl Oberle. I could complete something like it, but it would take me nearly a year--I'd only be able to stand working on it in small chunks.

This is the finished garment:

http://the-panopticon.blogspot.com/2005/12/viva-ruana.html

and some previous posts on the construction.

http://the-panopticon.blogspot.com/2005/12/out-of-sketchbook.html

http://the-panopticon.blogspot.com/2005/12/sic-transit.html

http://the-panopticon.blogspot.com/2005/11/knitting-question-answered.html

Catherine said...

Sweet Baby Jesus, she made it in DK???? I'd have to be medicated. That's much cooler than the Melville version, but still...acres of garter stich DK? I am all about easy knitting but....

Geogrrl said...

What you said. And then some.

I kept thinking, DK? DK? But then the drape would be crap if you went with anything bulkier.