Category : all

everything exists in this reality

Follow

Follow, lead, follow through. 


How it is


Enjoy the moment, it passes so quickly. 


Now


Grow, open, fade, drop. 


Life geometry


Looking for an angle.

Maybe that’s the point. 


Canning the Sun

Yesterday, I preserved myself a bit more summer.

Well, late summer. Harvest time, to be exact.

It was a busy morning, but it ended well, with five pints of applesauce (apples from my mom’s Lodi tree), five pints of pickled green beans (from my garden, improvised recipe, have no idea if they’ll taste any good), one pint of garlic dill pickle spears (garden cukes, unfortunately failed to seal so they’ll be early eaters from the fridge) and a half-pint of pickled jalapeƱos.

sun for winter
The pints of August

Whew. It was a bit of a learning experience, but I think I did pretty well for my first water-bath canning run. Now I have a bunch of jars of stewed and pickled sunshine, waiting for the shorter days when I can pull them out and think of how clever I was.

Also loving the rampant rudbeckia and zealous zinnias, seen in the corner.


It can’t be cabin fever yet…

Dudes.
The greyness? The un-brightness? The lack of sunlight?
Getting to me.
I don’t mind the cold (not much, anyway), and the snow is nice because it makes things quieter in the city (while it’s fresh, at least), but the dim, cloudy days? There’s really no plus side.

It’s days like this that even the thought of a nice cozy chunky baby alpaca sweater doesn’t lift my spirits but only reminds me that there are several more months (including the two coldest) yet to come before we’re back into serious daylight.

Sigh.

Anyhoo. I did finish the simple shawl: Shhawl and gave it to its intended recipient.
And that was finally the last of the holiday knitting. Now the knitting is mine, ALL MINE! Mwa ha ha ha ha… Well, except for the Toasty Alpaca socks for the OH (which are practically done except for grafting the toe on the second one – pictures will come later). But then it’s on to the sweaters, socks for myself, and scattered throughout some socks and other small things for various birthdays and such.

In other news… I sent off three of the Year of the Ox prints to PROOF Studio Gallery; one of them will go in the show for sale, and I believe the other two will be traded with other printmakers. The opening is January 25th – which will likely be the coldest day of the year. I think I’ll wear a dress, just to be contrary.

Maybe I should knit some tights…


Oh yeah…

Happy New Year!
Yes, that’s today.
No, I didn’t forget (entirely), I just got distracted by yarn. Worse than shiny things, I swear.

2008. Let’s see. Well, it kinda sucked, actually. The first six months were incredibly stressful in all the significant ways that stress occurs; physically, emotionally, financially. Then during the three months spent trying to recover from the first six, there was a death in the family, a cat surgery, and two trips by air. And this was all before everyone noticed the economy taking a nosedive.

But since late October things have definitely been improving on a personal level, plus of course the promise of a decent political scene down south (we’ll just reserve judgment on the situation here in Canada for a few more weeks…) has helped. However, I’m not one to assume the future will turn out the way I think.

So, New Year’s Resolutions? Not exactly.
How about some New Year’s Goals, will Goals do? I think Goals will do.

kapowchampers 1- Keep up with the running and yoga. I’ve been doing pretty well for the last few months, and feeling pretty good for it, so I think this won’t be too hard. Now, I’m not talking every single day, but 3-5 seems reasonable. I’ve got all the equipment I need, and I figure that if I can drag my sorry behind out of bed at 7am in mid-December (that’s about 1/2 hour before sunrise) that I can surely do it the rest of the year.

2- Learn more book arts, whether printmaking, letterpress, bookbinding or paper-making, and practice what I already know.

3- Maintain my recently regained enthusiasm and energy for my “day job”, Under The Weather. Lift the business from the last year of doldrums by spiffing up the product line, rejuvenating the website, and being more creative with marketing.

4- Knit more socks. The more I wear hand knit socks, the more I prefer them. And let’s face it; to get a yarn fix and finished object with one skein and one week (or less)? Sweet.

5- Enter into a major new creative project by Thanksgiving. I’ve got a couple of rough ideas, but I think time will show the right direction.

I’ll probably think of some other things, but five seems like a good number to go with on the official list.

Here’s wishing everyone peace, health and happiness in 2009.


Mr. Sweater; meet Mr. Frog.

So here I was, knitting merrily away on the Alpha sweater, but thinking perhaps (just maybe) the bottom was looking a little bit on the generous side, width-wise. Now, given that this pattern is of my own design, it would not be surprising for it to be a little off. But I waited until a few inches in to measure the bottom edge, thinking maybe I couldn’t really judge it visually all squished onto the circular needle.

Dudes; it was a little big. Like, 10″ too big around the hips. So, a-frogging we go!
Ribbit

Yeah, I know. Major malfunction. And since my tension was right in line with the swatch, that means I messed up the calculations. Seriously. So embarrassing. To be so far off on either the math or the actual design of the pattern? Not cool. Not cool at all. So it’s back to the sketchbook.

Mind you, this does give me the opportunity to revisit a couple of design decisions that, in retrospect, were not well thought through. For instance, I was running a purl stitch in the contrast yarn up the sides as a sort of false seam and though it did look nifty, man, what a nuisance. So that’s out. And then there’s the 30% too big element…

So next on the needles? Some socks, in this Atacama hand dyed alpaca. Burnt
It’s kind of hard to see when it’s balled up, but the colours make it look kind of like it’s been singed. And alpaca socks… I’m thinking toastiness.

There’s a WIP: Ruby A very simple shawl in (wait for it) Misti Baby Alpaca lace weight.

And for your viewing pleasure, the Misti Baby Alpaca Handpaint Chunky:Goosh

One thing though; while I do dearly love the baby alpaca for its incredible softness and warmth, I wish I would stop seeing mental images of naked little baby alpacas shivering in the Peruvian highlands…


Oh Happy Day!

Have I mentioned lately what a lucky girl I am?

You see, while The Other Half may be easily distracted, and not prone to bringing flowers quite as often as the romantic in me might like, he is indeed very thoughtful and whenever I get a gift I can tell he’s been Listening. (And honestly, the romantic in me is the sort that is as pleased by a clean kitchen as a bouquet of flowers. Well, more or less…)

So while my Christmas gift may have been delivered a little on the post side of the actual day, it was wrapped and labeled with love, and cleverly placed beneath the Holiday Yucca in secret, to be discovered only when the cat started sniffing at it.

And upon opening said package, what to my wondrous eyes should appear but 4 skeins of oh-so-nommable Misti Baby Alpaca Hand Paint Chunky in MauvelousMauvelous
and one in a rich, chocolatey brown (SFN33 for those who must have numbers)410.jpg.

Oh.

My.

So very, VERY soft and squishy.
Such sensual delight really ought to be reserved for private moments, but I just have to share.
Because I just feel so very lucky right now.

I think I may make this. I’ll shorten the arms, partly because I won’t have enough for the full length, but mostly because I do so much with my hands that I’m constantly pushing up my sleeves and have acquired a taste for shorter ones. (Plus it’s a good excuse to knit more fingerless gloves when full coverage is required. See, I’m merely thinking ahead!)

I do already have a 3/4 sleeve cardigan on needles, that I’m pretty keen on, but I’m not sure I’m physically (or psychologically) capable of having fewer than three WIPs at any one time. And socks hardly count. So I just might have to make a foray out for the correct needles (being sadly bereft of needles in the larger, chunky-loving sizes) and dive in.

Sounds like a good New Year’s Eve activity.

Party on.


In Which the Animals Show Us How it’s Done.

The Setting

A Snow-covered Countryside:
Oh, the weather outside...

The Cast

A Dog, black with bicolour eyes, played by Mollie the Lab mix:
Mollie Motion
A Cat, ginger, played by Rufus (pictured with Mollie’s new toy):
Let Sleeping Cats Lie
A Cat, tabby/white, played by Pussy-Toes with Extra Thumbs:
Meese

Supporting Characters

A Large Stick, played by itself
A Human, gamely played by TOH (both pictured with Mollie):
Carry a Big Stick

The Plot

Fun and Games (no eyeballs lost);
The Loss and Finding of Various Toys;
The Claiming of Assorted Comfortable Domains;
Peace, Well-being and Contentedness for All.

Happy Holidays.