Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Again With the "V"s

 Vicki has inspired me to cast on the Woman Must Make Her Own Arrows wrap.  I dove into my sock yarns to come up with some color combinations, 'cause you always have lots more sock yarn than any other weight and you didn't buy all of it for socks.  (As in, some you bought just because it was pretty.)

I came up with 6 sets of colors.  One is ten balls of baby yarn I've had forever, which matched with one hank of knitologie.  They will be my first attempt at the wrap, to see if I like the pattern, and so that I can experiment a little without using up a lot of my single hanks.

Friday, October 27, 2017

I Shall Backpedal

Perhaps the anti-peanut-butter-kisses stance was just a Nashville thing?  Because three of you (and you know who you are) professed to liking the orange and black wax paper candies.  I thought about buying a bag of them and sending some to you (and you know who you are), but there's sort of a rule that they shall never cross the threshold of this house.

Still working away on the Inverted Thing.  It may be that my photos yesterday didn't make it clear enough.  Let's try again.
Starting was a garter tab at the bottom, center back (as I will wear it.)  Widening out to the part that will wrap around my shoulders.  And the Vs are pointing up instead of down.  Again, in the larger picture of Life, not world-shaking.  Still, I don't know how it happened.  Is happening.  

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Currently, I'm working on this pattern from loop knits.  It's the "West River Drive" shawl, and I'm making it with gold as the main color (though it has dark striations that are sort of steampunk brass) with black, mid-gray and light gray.

There's a mistake toward the beginning that no one will notice, but that will bug me always.  Knitter Truth, am I right?  So far, my shawl is going thusly:
Something else is happening, too, though.  The corner lower left is the beginning of the work:
Do you see what's going on?  My stripes are directly opposite those in the picture of the sample.  My "V"s point up, theirs point down.  And I cannot for the life of me figure out why.  Big Picture, of course, it does not matter a bit, but it's crazy-making nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Season

Halloween was not a deal in my childhood house.  My mother resented having to buy candy "we're just going to give away."  Nor did she like "having to wait around" for children to come to the door and interrupt whatever was going on.  Still, we carved pumpkins.  One year, we even bought a plug-in pumpkin with its own light.  That was quite remarkable, as electric decorations (with the exception of Christmas lights on houses) were not very common.

Still, I did go trick-or-treating.  Once, I went as a cheerleader when my friend next door went as a football player.  (Not sure "paired" costumes were a thing then, either.)  We were warned against razor blades in apples one year, though no child that I knew was going to eat an apple when there was a bag of candy at hand.  😏  Chocolate hadn't come into its own yet as a common handout, unless you went to "fancy, expensive" houses.  Mostly, there were hard candies, lollipops, SweeTarts, bubble gum, Kits (Ben Franklin penny candy, anyone?)  Then, there were these:
Oh, we hated these awful things.  Even if you did want to eat one (why?  WHY?), pieces of the wax paper were stuck to the candy when you unwrapped it.  There were always tons of those in our bags.  They must have been the cheapest candy to buy, plus, I guess, the orange and black. . .  Still. . .

On the "cheap" thread: how did we not suffocate in those miserable plastic character masks, and the stiff rayon "clothes" that cost, what two or three dollars?  That thin, thin plastic string that held the mask on our faces always broke, sometimes while we were trick-or-treating.  If you had a stapler in your house, you'd try to fix it, but it didn't work.  The elastic was too thin to be caught by the staple.  Scotch tape?  Fine, but the tape would stick you in the face.  How did we survive all those tough times? 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Chewy Influencer, October Edition

There was a mix-up with e-mail this month, so I didn't get our trial products until a few days ago.  Here they are.

I buy Newman's Own products on basic principle, but had never tried any of the pet line.  Still hoping to find something that Rupert would like, I ordered these.  As you can see, they are thin sticks, but Rupert wouldn't have anything to do with them unless I broke them into bite-sized pieces.  That's a small price to pay to have found something he would eat.

I've also been a fan of Fresh Step litter since we got our first cat, Barrymore.  The Hawaiian Aloha scent was new to me, though.  I suppose that's a little bit of cheating, since I already knew that the litter itself would work.  It was the scent that intrigued me: would it make the area around the boxes smell any nicer?  Or any less?  Yes on both counts.  I'm likely to try some of the other scents now, too, having had a good experience with this one.

Chewy.com allows me to try full-size products each month.  They are sent to me without charge, in exchange for my honest reviews of the products.  No money changes hand in either direction.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

And I'll Say It Again

I've said before that knitters, as a group, are the most generous and thoughtful people I know.  They are always there to help out: if you doubt me, search "knitting charities" and see how they have answered so many calls.

Knitters also work one-on-one, sending friends goodies when the mood strikes them.  Proof:
Kathy sent this drawstring bag "just" because I "took a tumble."  I told her, and I'll tell you, there were more than a few tears fall when I saw it.  It's so pretty, and it has shades of purple, and I'm not sure exactly how it will be used, but how big-hearted can someone be?

Camille and her sons sent Colorforms!  She sent them hoping they'd speed my recovery along, and I am having fun with them today.  Saturday, hockey, football, Dr Pepper, Colorforms --- it's a good day.

I finally got a wrap / brace /compression thingy for my ribs, and it does make a difference comfort-wise.  I've been in a lot of pain this week for some reason, so I got it in the nick of time.  I decided not to try to go to the doctor;  there were X-rays at the ER, there isn't really much more he could tell me or do for me.  There's a significant part of me that wishes, just for the sake of a prescription for painkillers, I had gone.

If you read Kathy's blog, you know that her husband also has broken ribs.  A Fall trend, maybe? *

*"Fall" referring to the season, not the action.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Since being laid up with these infernal ribs, I've had time to reflect on a few things.  First, Monday is the worst day to try and get a call through to a doctor's office.  This was a lesson I learned when Briton and Hannah were little, and I would try to get in touch with the pediatrician after waiting anxiously through the weekend.  Me and every other anxious parent.  It never dawned on me that the same phenomenon would be at work with grown-ups' doctors.

(If I go to the office tomorrow, they'll "try to work me in" sometime during the day.  Let the packing of the knitting begin.)

Second, there is surprisingly little one can do that doesn't involve stretching or torquing one's side.  Or maybe that's just me.  (Lots of wincing going on.)

Third, do any of you remember Colorforms?  Colorforms and coloring books got lots of use from me when I was a sick child.  LOVED Colorforms.  In first grade, my best friend Debbie came along with my parents and me for a weekend in Memphis, and we wore our Colorforms out on the way over and the way back.  I wish I had a set right now.  Coloring books I've got.  I even found an old Spirograph a couple of years ago.  But no Colorforms.  I'd sigh heavily, but it's painful just now.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bad Times, Good Times

Having never had a broken rib, I'm unsure how the healing curve is supposed to go.  I do know that yesterday and today, my pain has been worse than just after I fell.  It may be the result of working with all the plumbing issues, but, whatever its cause, Pain is still here.  My side is swollen, but the bruises haven't even come to the surface yet.  Not so with my left knee:
Nor my left elbow:
Nor my left temple:

Let's move to happy-making, though.  The striped blanket is done:
There are ends to weave in, of course.  And you can't see it, but there's a 3-stitch seed stitch border all the way around.  I'm glad I went this way with the kit.  While the blanket isn't as fancy-looking as the pattern, the randomness of the colors and width of the stripes worked, I think.

I've already purchased my Nativity scene for this year:
Really --- it's that small.  Tiny baby Jesus is so adorable.  Mary made him a little bitty chullo!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Buyer's Remorse / Buyer's Rejoice

By buying increasingly powerful drain cleaners/clog removers, I got the tub and the toilet back in operating condition today.  Not that it was ever a pleasant experience for me, but trying to use the plunger and the toilet auger the past couple of days was torment.  Maybe turning down that compression vest wasn't the best idea.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

How Do I Put This

Warning: plenty of euphemisms ahead.

Doing laundry last night, I heard the awful sound of water backing up into my bathtub.  Only it wasn't just the bathtub in trouble --- the toilet was clogged, too.

It hurt like Hell to use the plunger, so I went to bed, to deal with it today.  Except, during the night, the souped-up Aleve I was given for the ribs decided to, um, attack my plumbing.

After feeding the cats this morning, there was a trip to Kroger for drain uncloggers.  And all day, it's been my pipes against the bathroom pipes.  They have won, and I will fight again tomorrow.  Maybe.  The pain, it gnaws.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

No Good Deed

I stopped at the grocery yesterday to pick up a few things.  There was a gallon of milk and a heavy container of cat litter, so I took a cart to the car.  As soon as I finished putting everything in the car, I heard the cart rolling away, heading toward a shiny car obviously parked where it was to keep it safe.

You anticipate, yes?

Setting off to chase the cart, I lost my balance and took a hard fall.  From my left knee up to my left temple, I hit and then skidded across the parking lot.  My suspicion is that I've cracked a few ribs, so I'm breathing deeply and coughing regularly to keep my lungs clear.  Everything, everything hurts.

And the cart still hit the car.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


It's been a while since I've answered Kathy's Monday Questions.  Let's set that right.

How do you start a campfire?
I don't.  I never have.

Tell me why you are working with the yarn weight you are.
Worsted, because Christmas at Sea asks that all donated items be made with it.

Would you rather have tickets to "Hamilton" or a baseball playoff game?
"Hamilton."  I got over baseball a long, long time ago.

Would you be frightened or thrilled to be on a spacewalk?
Thrilled, but then I'd never get there due to my paralyzing claustrophobia.  I wouldn't be able to stay in the spaceship to even blast off.

Spices: cinnamon or pumpkin spice?
Cinnamon.  With extra cinnamon and sugar.

Shoes your mother wore.
The first thing that came to mind were her heels.  She had crazy-thin feet, and always bought really good, dainty shoes.

Your knitting this weekend in three words or less.

Apples: eat them raw or cooked?
Raw, though I'm not a big apple person.

New baby?  The name?
A friend had a boy and named him "Rex Rainwater."


For some reason, this year I am constantly moving Christmas stuff around the house.  I'm not sure why things are so unsettled, but they...