Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Invisible Sun

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Peep Joust - March 2002

I stumbled across this picture while poking through my network folder at work this morning. It intrigues me for a number of reasons.

How had it survived more than six year in my user folder without being purged? I've cleared out that folder several times, every time I think I might be leaving and every time I decide to rededicate myself to my work. How did the subfolder with this picture survive unscathed?

Further, whose hands are those? I can easily identify the hand at the upper right, because it's wearing the hideous wedding band that I slipped on my beloved Accountant Boy's finger a few years earlier. He lost that ring in the Arroyo Seco river in 2006, to our mutual relief. "I, uh, I never really liked it, honey." "Yeah, me neither. It cut into my fingers when I held your hand." This might be the only picture we have of the dreaded multifaceted metal ring. I know that hand is A.B.'s. The upper left hand is probably his as well. The fingernails are the same. Whose hands are holding the plate? Are they Falstaff's hands? Mr Wolf's hands? Someone else's?

What was the meaning of the hands behind the Peeps? Were they there for scale? As you may know, the act of jousting in the microwave severely distorts Peeps. Was this an attempt at a pre-joust measurement, and if so, where is the equivalent post-joust measurement shot? It's not in the folder. I have pictures of the aftermath, and A.B. and Falstaff eating their sugary champions, but not another one of the hands parallel to the plate. Why didn't we take that shot?

The strangest part about this is that I took this picture. I know, because it was with my Olympus almost-SLR, my first digital camera, and I didn't let anyone else use it. That's me behind the lens, so close to those Peeps that I can smell the sugar. Why don't I remember the answers to these questions?

My confusion not withstanding, I love this picture. I love the composition. I love the bright Peep bodies standing out from the more muted flesh tones of the hands and the shiny, deep black of the plate. Stumbling across it this morning was like tripping over a little piece of treasure while wandering through a dusty cave.

I haven't retrieved my current camera from A.B.'s luggage yet, so I don't have pictures of my ribbon crochet project. It's coming along nicely, though not as quickly as I'd hoped. If I had a few hours uninterrupted to work on it, it'd be done. Maybe this weekend.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Regal

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Forward March

I know how this looks. It's the third new project that I've started this week. I haven't finished anything in months. That's a motley collection of ribbon yarn, a type of yarn that I've done nothing but hate for the last couple of months. Look closely. They aren't all even the same brand, width or texture. It looks as though I've lost my way. What am I doing?

I don't know. I just have a feeling about it, like this batch might turn into something interesting. These are more balls from that estate sale haul from a few years ago. I don't quite know in which order I want to work the colors. I have to deal with the gold being different from the rest, something I didn't see until I stacked them all up on the hood of my car a few minutes ago. I only have 675 yards, including the gold. It's possible that I'll run out of ribbon and have to order more, undermining the stash-busting purpose of the project. I haven't decided what I'll do in that case. Fortunately, unlike most of the yarn I bought at that sale, this one is still available on the market.

I don't have a pattern, but I do have a rough idea of what I want. If it works, I'll have a cute garment to show for it by the end of the week.

Monday, June 09, 2008

le purr

That's Beru, Daisy and Falstaff's cat. She loves to climb into my lap, stretch out along my thigh and attack my knees through my jeans. She only does it to me, and she only does it when I'm wearing jeans. I bottle fed her when she was a tiny kitten, and I used to let her curl up and sleep in the hollow of my collar bone while I watched television. I think maybe she formed some strange bond with me as a result. Content yourselves with looking at her, because you're not going to see any finished knitting or crochet today.

The Tagliatelle sleeveless whatever? I hate it. I hate it so much that I've contemplated taking it outside and putting it on the barbecue to burn. The only thing preventing me from doing this is that it's acrylic, and I fear it would ruin my barbecue by melting all over it. Looking back to the post where I talked about buying it, I see that I paid $28 for eight skeins, so if I decided to throw it out, I'd only be throwing away $17.50, because I still have almost three unused skeins.

What went wrong, you ask? Somehow, although I measured carefully, even taking it off the needles onto waste yarn at one point, it ended up several inches too short and too wide. It makes me look shorter and wider than I am as a result and, after almost a month of not going to the gym and drinking white mochas to get me through the workday, I don't need any help there. No, it won't block out to the right length again. That's a fool's errand, trying to make that work.

And no, I can't take it apart and reuse the yarn, because the act of seaming it together was such an exercise in splitting and clinging that there are knots in the seams that cannot be undone. I'm not even sure how some of them ended up there. The seams look like total crap, so there's not going to be any forging ahead with them as they are. It's not like this is my first seaming job, but it sure as Hell looks like it.

I'm sure that at some point this week I'll be able to pick it back up and get most of it apart again, a few knotted sections not withstanding, and maybe I'll make a lovely shawl or something out of it. Yeah, it's a small sum of money tied up in it, but it's a stash project, and it feels wrong somehow to reduce my yarn hoard by throwing it in the trash. For now, let us not speak of it again.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Pan o Palo

Pan o palo. Yes. Hmmmm. Interesting choice.

Buddy, I don't think that phrase means what you think it means.

Of course it does, the Woman. "Bread or stick". Am I the only one in this house versed in the art of babelfish?

Yes, literally translated that's what it means if you take it out of context, but what Diaz was saying was...

Good, then. We agree. I'm staring at a scrumptious cake of yarn, and cake is much like bread, and very near the cake is a beautiful, shiny brass stick. I do so love playing with sticks. And so I'm faced with a choice, yes? Bread or stick? Hmmm.

Oh, God. Here comes that headache again.

At least I'm not trying desperately to shove the whole ball in my gaping maw. Advantage, Buddy.

Who's trying to shove...WINSTON!

I decided that the way to learn to crochet was to just dive right into it, and to Hell with all of that "knit a long, skinny scarf" business. I found a pattern in Stitch and Bitch Crochet that had arms worked separately from the body, and I'm going for it.

This is Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed, which I got in a swap from KnittingSpaz right about this time last year. I don't know why I wanted it, but I traded some Koigu and The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns for more than twenty balls of it in green and orange. I've knit with Aran Tweed before, and it was an experience in pain. It's rough, hard to slide along the needles and prone to breaking. Luckily, these things are less of an issue with crochet. I think it's going to turn out great, but then again, I am only a couple of inches in on one of the sleeves. We'll see how I feel once I get to the body.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Blown Off Course


"Oh, hey there, Pirate Skull Planter. What's up?"

"I be wantin' to thank ye, lass."


"Fer the fine scarf ye've wrapped 'round me neck, o' course. It'll keep the icy spray of the sea from chillin' the bones. Might be a tad long, though. We're ya aimin' to make a neckerchief or replacement rope for the mainsail?"

Aww. He seems so happy. Nobody tell him that the long foundation chain isn't going to be a scarf for him. Also, nobody tell him that he doesn't actually sail or have a neck.

Yes, with only an hour's worth of work left on my Tagliatelle ribbed tank, I've abandoned it for another stumbling attempt at crochet. Daisy took it up a couple of weeks ago, and she's already producing beautiful, complicated work. She's currently about halfway done with the Butterfly Wrap from StitchDiva. I, on the other hand, keep making foundation chains and ripping them out again.

Complicating matters, because nothing's ever simple in Bananaland, I seem to have broken my middle finger on my right hand yet again. Remember when I said that I have no depth perception? Way back in high school, I broke my finger trying to catch a football, because I couldn't really tell where the football was in relation to my hand, and more importantly, to my face. It's a thing I do, panicking when something appears to be flying at speed toward my head. I throw whichever of my appendages is handy in the flying object's path.

"Aye! I've got better depth perception, though I be missing both eyes and wear a patch o'er one of the holes."

Thanks for that, Pirate Skull Planter. Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, I pulled a rolling cooler off of the top of the beer fridge and lost control of it. I kept it from landing on my head by deflecting it with the tip of my middle finger. The cooler had a bottle opener in it, and I wanted a beer, but I didn't want to go inside to get the opener off of the bar because I didn't want to wake up the dog. What? Like you've never almost clocked yourself in the head with picnic furniture because your dog was napping on your couch, but you really wanted a bottle of beer, even though you were standing inches away from a keg refrigerator and a freezer full of pint glasses. Yeah, like I'm the only one who's done that. Right.

I probably chipped my finger again, so it's kind of hard to knit because I curl my middle finger in around the needle, and there's not too much finger curling to be had right now. The last time I did something like this, during the landscaping madness of 2003, the hand specialist told me to soak my hand in warm, soapy water and simply wait for it to stop hurting. He suggested that I might accomplish this by washing dishes in the sink. I suggested that he might go soak his sexist head in that same sink, and we had a good laugh at each other's expenses.

That's what I get for wanting to celebrate my clean garage with a Sam Adams Summer Ale, I guess. I should have taken pictures of the garage. It looks spectacular. I've rearranged all of my craft supplies so that they fit in the cabinet that used to hang in my kitchen.

That center cabinet is on my garage floor, now. I keep all of the beading, knitting and craft supplies in it.

Oh, yes. We've done some work on the kitchen. I haven't talked about that at all, and since I'm being fueled by too little sleep and an extra-strong cup of tea this morning, I feel like talking about it now.

We went crazy a few weeks ago and did a little work on the bland kitchen. We tried out a couple of colors before deciding that we'd already found the one we liked, and it was all over the walls of our old house. "Why do we keep trying to make it different? We know what we like." Now we have another gallon of paint that we know we don't like sitting out in the reorganized garage, but never mind about that now.

You know the really crazy part? I'm actually starting to like this kitchen more than the old one. It's bright, even though the color on the walls is called Burgundy Black. The electric cooktop is easier to use and clean that the gas. I'm actually finding that I don't mind the tiny oven. It heats up fast because there's not much room for air in there. I can't roast a very big turkey, but I only try to do that once a year anyway. It'd be nice to have better cabinets and countertops, and maybe a vent fan, but we're doing alright without those things.

The paint and new lighting were less than $250, even including the gallon of Celestial Yellow that we're never going to use. The kitchen remodel at our old house cost about four hundred times that much. I think we might be getting smarter.

Maybe it's the caffeine talking, but I'm in a good mood about the whole thing. I feel like it's finally becoming our house now that we have the time and energy to put our stamp on it. I love having everything organized and clean, no dead spaces for spiders and vermin to hang out. Next up? The hedges along the side yard. Me, the broken finger on my trigger-squeezing hand, the two-foot blades of my electric hedge trimmer, and dangling power cords. What could possibly go wrong?