Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

Friday, February 25, 2011

And while you're at it, take yourself back too.

One of the more unpleasant side effects of gall bladder removal is the abject refusal of your digestive system to behave in a normal and predictable fashion. I've managed to get to work one day out of four this week as a result.

Bob took me to the Melting Pot for a late Valentine's Day dinner on Sunday evening. It was nice, and we had a coupon. We're old people who use coupons to go out to dinner now. The cheese was amazingly good. I took this picture of Bob, which came out surprisingly well considering it was a cell phone picture in a very dark restaurant.


A friend said he looks like Marlon Brando at the end of Apocalypse Now. I said instead of "The Horror... The Horror..." it would be "The Gouda... The Gouda...." Bob loves it and says it's one of the best photos ever taken of him. I guess it just goes to show you. All the fussing I do with the digital SLR and I get a shot like this from my cell phone.

I finished the fruit slice shawl and I love it.

It's quite difficult to capture the whole thing in a photo when it's raining and sleeting outside so you'll just have to take my word that it's a big elongated semi-circle with a ruffle on the bottom. It drapes very nicely and is warm and soft.


As to how I made it, I started with a semi-circle shawl pattern, the Garden Pond shawl on Ravelry. I changed a few things to get the shape I wanted and to leave out the bigger lace mesh sections. I only did six rows of lace mesh each time, and I made the lace two rows sooner then four rows sooner on the last two lace sections. When I was as big as I wanted it, I KFB'd across the whole thing, did about six more rows in stockinette stitch to make a ruffle, then bound off on the wrong side using the purl two together, slip to left needle, purl two together etc. bindoff. I didn't block it hard, just soaked it, rinsed it, and hung it to dry from the middle. It didn't need much blocking.


I'm also working on a mystery shawl knitalong. It's a lot of fun, more than I expected. We're on the third clue. Each week, we get a new clue so we don't know what it's going to look like until it's done.


That's mine through the second clue. I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I have, but the designer, Tiziana, is brilliant and her pattern makes a lot of sense. I'm given to understand that isn't always the case in these things. And it's a win-win. We get a great pattern for free, and she gets a metric crapload of test knitters. Her other designs are gorgeous, too. And challenging. I like challenging.

I'm still working on this sweater.
I am on the sleeves now, but unfortunately, I bound off the bottom too soon, so I'm going to have to pick out the bindoff and add another repeat of the edging to make it long enough. It's not bad as is, but it could be better, and I want it better. I am just distracted by the shiny lace and spinning and etc lately. And by my general dithering and scatterbrain.

Still no word from my daughter. I honestly try to avoid thinking about it too much but it's very difficult. Being a parent is hard. Apparently, so is being one of my children. I miss them both so much.

Lily is adjusting to being an only dog. She's a lot less nervous, strangely, but it does make sense considering the dog pack mentality-we had a sick pack member, and it caused her some stress. Now that pack member is gone, so she's a lot more relaxed. She's also learning to be more assertive about being taken out to pee. It's a learning curve for all of us.


She does have the cutest little butt ever.

Monday, February 14, 2011

You better know what you're fighting for

Bob and I went to Phipps Conservatory yesterday for Valentine's day. It was nice. He's being very patient and understanding while I negotiate this endless emotional labyrinth and remain trapped, disconsolate.

I continue to knit and spin. I made socks for our friend Dave, who fixed my computer not too long ago. I'm making a sweater and two shawls and another pair of socks. I recently spun some lovely bluefaced leicester.

Here's a circular shawl I'm working on in handspun BFL/silk. This yarn was spun on my Turkish spindle, and I like the way it's knitting up better than I liked it in the skein.

One of the other projects I'm working on is a mystery knit-a-long. This is what it looks like through the first clue.


Really, in a lot of ways I feel like I'm on hold, like I'm going through the motions. Bob says I'm probably depressed, and he's probably right. This winter has not been kind. My knee is still not right, either. The doctor said it would heal slowly because of the prior damage to that leg and I was prepared for that, but it's been almost two months since my fall and I'm still seriously not even close to being able to go back to dance class. It's frustrating. And it's just ugly outside today, raining, snow melting, revealing a huge amount of dog poo in the yard. And the mailbox fell off the post, and I can't figure out how to get it to stay on. And on and on and on.

My thoughts are disconnected and I am blogging in the same way. I'm sorry to inflict this on my small but mighty readership. I will endeavor to do better in the future.

Here is the best photo from yesterday.


And here's Bob coming across the street-he had to go investigate a nearby statue.


It was a clear, crisp day out. Great weather for an outing to the tropics.

The Tropics?  Here in Pittsburgh?