If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Soap Sack

Since I had a little more of this blue cotton, I decided to make something else. But not another Tribble. Although the Tribble was a good project, I just wanted to do something else.

I thought about just making a dishcloth, since that seems practical--yet, still not a lot of thought. I cast on 1 stitch, thinking that I would just increase on each end and make a diagonal knit cloth. But, I kept forgetting about the increases, so I ripped it out.

Then I thought about doing a garter stitch washcloth, but I cast on way too many stitches and it was so wide. So I ripped that out, too.

Then I cast on a third fewer stitches and started to garter again. But after a few rows, I got a little crazy and started a very basic lace stitch, using YO and K2tog. And I liked the look of it.

But when I had knit about 4 inches, I decided it wouldn't make a very good washcloth. But it would make a great soap sack. The problem with many of the soap sacks I've seen is that they don't allow enough movement of water and soap to really lather up. So what you basically end up doing is melting soap in a bag.

But this one... This one would really work those soap slivers! I finished it up with about an inch of garter stitch so it would ruffle at the top. Then I cast off, folded it in half, seamed the bottom and side, and crocheted a cord long enough to go through the eyelets in the last row before the 1" of garter stitch. I threaded it through, tied a knot, and boom!

Soap sack.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Not Done With Garter Stitch

I just can't seem to keep my mind on anything. And I really need to. My lap is so empty.

This is another quick garter stitch project (or at least it's quick the way I've been going). It's the Tribble scrubbie.

It's basically a garter stitch trapezoid, seamed in a tube, with the ends gathered. Very simple and quick. I used this cotton yarn that has been looking for something to do. I think it's Sugar N Cream. The color is actually much bluer than either of these pictures would lead you to believe.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mindless Garter Stitch Knitting

My lap feels so empty without Gabgab. It's difficult to knit. But I really need the distraction. Everyone is away--work or other things. I decided to work from my home office today because I just don't feel like talking to strangers. But that means I am here alone.

I put away my work a little early and picked up the needles, looking for some distraction. And I found a partial skein of green kitchen cotton. I don't even remember what this partial skein is from, I so rarely knit with cotton. But it looked like there was enough to do one of the cotton back scrubbers I did this past Christmas, maybe a slightly shorter one.

So I cast on. Once you get past the buttonhole handles, it's just mindless garter stitch knitting. It was very easy to lose myself in the rhythm of knit stitches, one after another after another after another. I found myself knitting faster and faster, furiously cranking out garter stitch rows like a machine. Not stopping, not resting, not slowing. Just knit, knit, knit, knit.

I was so caught up in the process I didn't even notice when I ran out of green cotton. It was a total surprise to me. It was like that scene in Predator where Mac is just firing into the jungle.

Only, you know, instead of a thousand rounds from a mini-gun, I was firing off a thousand stitches of Emerald Sugar N Cream.

And then I looked down and saw that I didn't have nearly enough length on this thing to make a back scrubber. It was about half as long as it should be and didn't even have a second handle. I had a little crying breakdown.

But then, I got up and retrieved some yellow cotton. (I'm pretty sure I made M a tank top out of this yarn several years ago.) I used that invisible knot I told you about a few months ago and made a not very noticeable join.

And I started the garter stitch machine again. I knit until the lenght of the yellow matched the length of the green (to the handles). Then I added a buttonhole handle and bound off with a walnut-sized bit of yellow cotton leftover.

And now T has a kind-of ugly half and half green-yellow back scrubber. (But, you know. It's a back scrubber, so who cares?)

And I feel like that whole process might have been theraputic for me. (And maybe frightening for Achilles, Gracie, and Gengen to watch. "Humom, why are your eyes blazing and your hands moving so fast?")

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Goodbye, My Friend

Today I lost my friend, Gabgab. I'm devastated beyond belief.

T and I took her to the vet today because she had been breathing heavily the last day or two. I was a little worried she had injured herself because last week, she had fallen into a deep sleep and fell off the back of the couch. I don't know if she hit the brick hearth or not (but I don't see how she missed it) because by the time I crossed the room and got behind the couch, she was just sitting on the ground, looking a little dazed.

I checked her very carefully to make sure nothing was broken and she seemed to be okay. No pain anywhere. But then, when she started breathing heavily, I worried that she had cracked a rib or something--something that didn't show up until now.

It turns out, it was much worse.

The X-ray showed no broken bones, but an abdomen and chest cavity filled with fluid. One lung was partially collapsed. The tests showed this was caused by cancer, and pretty far along. In fact, the doctor did not give much hope for any more time, at all. I wanted to do everything we could for her, so he tried to drain some of the fluid to provide some relief.

I was thinking we could take her home and I would have some time to hold her and be with her. I would maybe give her some treats and catnip and we could sit together the way she likes. I thought maybe we might have a week or two.

But, as we were settling the bill at the desk, Gabby started to sieze in my arms. By the time the doctor crossed the lobby and took her from me so he could find out what was happening, she had passed away.

I will miss my little cat.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Door To Door Selling Rant

I was working at home the other day and the doorbell rang. It was a salesperson. He was going door to door in the neighborhood.

"I was just setting up your neighbor Patricia (btw, I don't know any neighbor named Patricia, so that doesn't influence me in the least) with our special offer on pest prevention. Only $149 and we treat the interior of the house for ants, spiders, roaches, fleas, and 15 other kinds of crawling insects. Not only that but we treat the outside of the house for wasps, spiders, ants, termites, and roaches. Not only that but we treat the grass around the house three feet out from the foundation--that's something no other service offers--all for the introductory price of $149."

Now, I'm not going to go into the whole conversation. But let me just say that this guy was hard selling. Like hard hard selling. Like people who hard sell for a living would listen to him and go "Dayum, son! That is some hard selling shit you got going on!" And he would not take no for an answer. And he smiled from ear to ear the entire time.

It was so creepy I almost called the cops.

First of all, there was no truck or car around anywhere. How did he get here? Walk? Did he hit up everyone in the neighborhood? (Not really unusual. Sometimes a truck from some business or another--usually carpet cleaning, window replacement, or tree services--will drop a dozen salespeople off in a neighborhood so they can go door to door.) There was really no way of telling.

In fact, it occured to me, that if this were a horror movie, he'd be smiling away on my front porch, while his partner was breaking into the back of the house and sneaking up on me from behind. Then, they'd spend hours killing me in the privacy of my own home. He was just so insistent--he kept dropping the price of this super service, all the way down to $19. Now how is a $149 service ever only $19?

What if this guy were just scouting the area to see who was home in the daytime, and who has the most stuff to rob? (The answer is, not me. Unless you need yarn. I've probably got all the neighbors beat on yarn.)

Looking back on it, I wish I had called the police. It just seems so very shady. The only reason I didn't was that this sort of thing happens often in the summer. Businesses seem to think it's okay to go door to door and try to sell people stuff that, if they really wanted, they would contact the business for. I suspect the reason it happens so much in this neighborhood is because there are so many senior citizens here. Senior citizens are low-hanging fruit for these jackals. (Is that a mixed metaphor? Do jackals eat fruit? I don't know.)

The tree service people use their standard sales tactics of "The wind could blow a branch right through your roof. You can't afford to pay for a new roof." Or "Those trees are dropping debris onto your roof and into your gutters. You don't want to have to get up on the roof or on a ladder to clear it. What if you fell? And you can't afford to pay someone to do it for you all the time." Hence, all the trees in the neighborhood are all "trimmed" down to the nubs. They are disgusting to look at--deformed and stumpy. And these scammers are "trimming" these trees every month.

It's just such a slimy way of doing business. I think that will be my Standard Operating Procedure from now on. After all, it is posted in this neighborhood that soliciting is prohibited. So, these sleazy businesses are just getting what they deserve. But mainly, I want to prevent even worse activity. Like, the thieves casing which houses to steal. Or the crazy pest control guys who kill people in their own homes.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

T and I have been married 30 years!

We attempted to celebrate in some way--a play, a concert, a comedy club--but since it is Monday, none of those things are available here in Indianapolis. (I can't believe it.) So, we thought maybe we'd go hiking in Brown County State Forest and maybe hit some of the artist shops in Nashville. But, a big storm moved into that area. So, we decided to go see a movie. But the only movie we were remotely interested in last showed earlier in the day.

We ended up just going out to dinner and then home to watch a movie On Demand.

That seems like everything kind of went wrong today. But, that's not really the case. We were able to spend the entire day together and that was the best part. Neither one of us worked after about 2 pm. That's a big deal, since we usually work about 7 fourteen hour days a week. It was a really nice evening.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Got To Get A Move On

This has been a crazy year. Very busy. And it seems like everything I've planned has just all been pushed aside. I still have very little of my holiday knitting done. Even though I planned it back in January. And this house has yet to be packed up and organized for a move. And I am not getting any writing done at all.

I've got to find some way to clone myself, or disrupt the space/time continuum in such a way that I can be in two places at once, or that there are more hours in a day, or something.

Of course, let's not leave that job up to Superman, okay? Contrary to what the movie would have you believe, I'm pretty sure that reverse the Earth's orbit would not reverse time. In fact, I'm pretty sure it would cause world-wide devastation. Earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic activity. All bad.

Tell you what, when we take on the idea of making more time, let's get Tony Stark or Bruce Banner or Reed Richards to work on that problem, okay?

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Oh Michael's! What Are You Doing To Me?

I went to Michael's after work to look at poster frames for the store. And, of course, I had to stop by the yarn department for just a second. (I'm not a stone, after all.)

And look at this sign! Seriously, Michael's? You know I have a thing for novelty yarns and you made a big display? What are you trying to do to me? I can't walk away from this.

Not empty handed at least. I picked up 5 more skeins of novelty yarn I don't need, but couldn't pass up. Damn you, Michael's!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

No fireworks for me, I'm afraid. I worked this evening so our employees could be off. I don't really need to blow things up any more anyway.

It seemed like everyone in the world was doing fireworks, though. I could see at least three major displays from the front of our store. And when we left, the whole outdoors smelled like hell. Actual Hell. Sulfur and black powder.

I felt a little bad for my poor dog at home by herself. Gengen has always been a little freaked out by fireworks. However, this year, she's completely deaf. So when I got home, she was asleep and not worried at all. The cats, of course, are not concerned by anything that goes on in the outside world if it's not a squirrel.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Red Fur Pom Pom Cowl

I like this Boutique Chic yarn. It's very soft and cuddly. And I like these pompons in it. I think it would be a great yarn to wear up around your face, like a scarf or a cowl. But, since I've made several scarves with it, I decided to make a cowl.

This is a basic cowl. It's just knit in a big rectangle and seamed.

I did have to fiddle around with it a bit to make sure all the pompons stayed on the side I had designated as the right side--the stockinette side. I do like the reverse stockinette side, too, so I might try that one next.

It's really pretty, but now that it's done, I'm not so sure I should be wearing such a bright red next to my face. I'm thinking it might make me looked washed out by contrast. Hm. This might become a gift.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Who Says I Can't Learn Nuthin'?

This is kind of exciting. I was messing around with my Kindle last night. It's an old-school Kindle. Like the second model they came out with. Don't judge me. I love this Kindle.

Anyway, I've always thought there should be some way of organizing the books I download. Like if I could lump the romances together, and put the cookbooks all in one place, and have a separate place for horror... That would be extremely helpful. That's been the only thing I haven't liked about the Kindle.

Well... As it turns out, you are able to create folders to organize your downloads! How about that? I spent all my reading time last night, just making little folders and putting books away.

Sigh... Now, if only the rest of the house were that well-organized.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Another Clearance Yarn FO

I'm kind of on a roll with all these clearance yarns. Here's some more of the Red Heart Boutique Chic. This is a nice purple color called Mulberry.

I used the pattern from the label, Knits, Purls, and Pom-Poms Scarf. It just took one skein and knit super quick on big needles. It actually took longer to wind this yarn into a ball than it did to knit the whole scarf. This ball looks like a purple Furby, am I right?

I like this yarn a lot. It's super soft and thick and makes a really squishy scarf. And I like the fur pompons. I just wish the pompons were a little more regularly spaced. I really had to manipulate this yarn in order to make the pompons all show up on the right side of the scarf.

Still this was fun, quick, and turned out very pretty. It will be set aside for Christmas.

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