Mittwoch, Juli 30, 2008

Dienstag, Juli 29, 2008

Working Through

What's been going on here . . .

Jet and Trusty can play together now, although it makes Jet naughty to play with another dog.

Chris's voice student improved marginally. Last week I thought I was going to have to leave the house. This week I just had to stay in the bedroom with the door closed.

I have all the details for my retreat food for Saturday figured out except a side dish for dinner. I need something that can just be reheated on a camp stove. Maybe Spanish rice. Or, I have an Indian rice that has some vegetables in it that reheats nicely. What do you think? It has to go with steak, rolls, and salad.

Things to do: Shop and cook on Thursday. Cook on Friday (rolls, brownies, the rice or potatoes, pound cake). Stay in fancy-pants hotel* on Friday night to be nearby and oversee the food for Saturday (breakfast will come early).

I have been working on the overdue exchange project from retreat three years ago. I don't think the person will be at retreat, so I don't need to have it done by Saturday. But I can't work on anything else until it is done because I feel guilty.

It is a scarf.

Handspun scarf

The cute edge on the scarf is the Channel Island cast-on, which I learned for the Frenchman's Creek socks.

*Paul disapproves of camping. We always stay in Park City in some kind of air conditioned place during the retreat. He has different reasons for not wanting me to sleep in a tent. Sometimes he thinks rabid hippies will rob and attack me. Sometimes it's the hikers he worries about. Maybe there are bears in Park City.

I like Park City. I would like to sell our house and move there. I am not afraid of hippies, hikers, or bears. At least not in Park City.

Sonntag, Juli 27, 2008

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Saturday was an "all's well that ends well" kind of a day--stressful while going on, but positive overall.

My sisters and brother put together an 80th birthday celebration for my parents.

Mom and Dad

Yes, one of these people is anorexic
and the other one is missing his CSI reruns

I promised to bring sheet cakes, which I picked up at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday from Cakes de Fleur in Salt Lake. I am still trying to decide which is better, the lemon or the carrot cake; you should try them and decide for yourself if you are within striking distance of one of the shops listed on their website

Cherry's luggage had been severely delayed, so while I picked up cakes she went to buy replacement clothing and toiletries. By the time she got back and we picked up Celia and Laurel we were running about an hour late.

Things went well for some time--it's a 4 1/2 hour drive to my parents' neighborhood--when I realized I was seeing an LDS temple on the horizon. This meant that I had forgotten to turn off the freeway at Blackfoot and had made us another half hour late by taking a detour through Idaho Falls.

"I've never seen the waterfall," said Cherry. The girls decided that if we were already this late, it couldn't matter if we were another ten minutes later, so we stopped for pictures.


We missed half the party, which is not good if you have the main dessert, but remember how the Serenity Prayer starts out: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change . . . "

It was fun to see my brother and sisters


Ruth Ann, Tan, Don, Robin, Christie; in front, Mom and Dad

and their kids.

family collage

On the way home we stopped to document this bit of Idaho oddity:

Arco, Idaho graduation custom

High school seniors from Arco, Idaho
paint their graduation year
onto the bluff behind the town

We laughed a lot, during both the party and the drive.

We got home at midnight, but did not get to sleep immediately.


Jet is an Australian Shepherd. He is named after the Border Collie mix that Paul had from the time he (Paul) was eight years old until after he started medical school.

Luckily Jet has gotten used to sleeping in his crate. After being mobbed by seven kids before dinner and then whisked away to the crate for safety, he decided to go with it.

All the knitting took place in the back seat. Laurel almost finished a pair of socks, and Celia knitted on her interminable poncho. I can do a lot of things while I knit, but driving is not one of them.

Dienstag, Juli 22, 2008

Lookit the pretty colors!

We have been to the zoo two weeks in a row. Princess P and OE have year-round school, so we wanted to get a couple of visits before their first day yesterday.

I could watch this guy all day:

monkey, originally uploaded by tanasay.

This simian creature (ape? monkey?) was so graceful.

I collected colors:

a good color

bird eating carrot

He is eating a carrot!

I collected yarn, too (not from the zoo, though--it came in the mail):

fish sock kit

The blue yarn on the right came with my kit, a sea-going sock with a fish in a net from the Sanguine Gryphon Fairy Tale Club. I felt guilty knitting socks this cute for myself if I didn't knit them as well for a couple of 3-year-olds I know. The skein on the left is the refill I ordered. Only, guess which one I'm knitting for me and which one I'm knitting for the little girls?

Donnerstag, Juli 10, 2008

Things to do on Thursday

Today was a busy day.

  • I paid my spinning guild dues so I can go to camp
  • I went to the zoo
  • I graduated from anxiety therapy (still anxious but with enough tools to be getting on with)
  • I got my hair done
  • I drove home in 105 degrees

    I think that about does it for today. Now I am going to knit.

    Note: the photo-less posts are part of my war on perfectionism. I can blog, even if I forgot to take my camera to the zoo.
  • Mittwoch, Juli 09, 2008

    Out of Ribbing Purgatory

    Frenchman's Creek cuffs

    An artifact of the severe hypothyroidism I experienced three years ago preparatory to my cancer treatment is a shortened attention span.

    At least I can pretend that's what causes it.

    I knitted 20 rows of twisted stitch ribbing on size 0 needles, only to find out that the pattern calls for size 1. I figured this out only because the pattern designer pointed it out to me when I commented that my socks seemed awfully tight.

    True, before casting on I had glanced at the pattern requirements. Yah, yah, it's a kit, it's all there. Not having the patience to read all the details, I assumed that since it was the same yarn that came in our last kit, I would want to use the same needles.

    Never assume anything with knitting. Always read the pattern. All of it. All the words, even.

    So, I frogged, and reknitted. All 20 rows.

    I am taking no chances with the rest of the instructions. I charted them, and double-checked with the designer to make sure I got them right.


    Photo edited so as not to reveal any trade secrets

    Dienstag, Juli 08, 2008

    Independence Day Eatathon

    We spent most of Independence Day cooking, and the rest of it eating.

    Chris made lasagna, but it was frozen for another day.

    lasagna making

    He was unhappy with how the pasta came out, but to the uneducated bystander it looked pretty good.


    He cooked his sauce all day on Thursday, and he and Sharman cut up or grated three kinds of cheese. There will a vegetarian lasagna, too, but this one has meat sauce and prosciutto. For some reason there wasn't any linguica so Chris used generic Italian sausage.

    lasagna progress
    The Dimetap was not included in this particular project

    I made a potato salad, and invented something to do with my black and white pasta.

    black and white salad
    Black and white farfalle from Caputo's in Salt Lake

    It looked boring so I had to add the sundried tomatoes. Most family members were unwilling to try pasta dyed with squid ink, but Chris's aunt liked it.

    I also put in a lot of time on homemade ice cream, but it didn't last long enough to photograph. Surprisingly, I was able to stick with my food plan by keeping the portions small.

    I am grateful to live in a country where, despite soaring food and gas prices, we still have enough to eat. And air conditioning.

    Montag, Juli 07, 2008

    I'm glad we have that sorted

    So I figured out why I was so angry. I called a friend who knows about these things, and she said that I should talk to my anger and ask it what it was trying to tell me.

    So I did, and after thinking about it, my anger said, "You were planning to only buy yarn with money you earn teaching piano lessons! And you're not even going to be teaching for the next two months! That is really harsh. What if there isn't enough to go around?"

    Good point, Anger. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Maybe I will just sort of ease into the financially responsible thing. We'll just deal with one thing at a time. Thanks to what I've learned through Overeaters Anonymous, I've stayed on my food plan for three whole weeks, and that includes the Independence Day Eatathon. That's probably enough change for now.

    However, it also makes me really angry that I have to frog my Frenchman's Creek socks because I ignored the needle recommendation and they are TOO TIGHT.

    Anger is a new emotion for me, one that in the past I hid under food. Maybe I'll just enjoy it for a while.

    Sonntag, Juli 06, 2008

    I am Very Tired

    Yaknowhat? My teeth don't work right. I think I am going to have to get braces. This is making me very grumpy. I think I will just go to bed.

    Yaknowhat else? The cuffs on my Frenchman's Creek socks seem awfully stretched out when I put them on. I knitted Firebird on 0's, but now I remember that at the top of the cuff I had 81 stitches. FC only has 72. I have sworn off knitting things in sizes I might be some time in the future. But do I want to do 20 rows of twisted rib on two sock tops over again?

    That was a rhetorical question.

    This is making me very grumpy. I am going to bed.

    Donnerstag, Juli 03, 2008

    It's hot out there

    Every now and then someone asks about my Graveyard Book counter.

    I just figured, hey, there's a counter, I might as well put it on.

    The Graveyard Book is by Neil Gaiman. If you saw the movie, Stardust, you have an idea what his work is like.

    The Graveyard book will be one of his more for children books, but I enjoy all of those just as much as his books for adults. There is a short story in Fragile Things* where a boy plays with a ghost; maybe it's going to be an expansion of that idea.

    I am working on my Tsock Flock Spoiler Frenchman's Creek socks, but with only a few rows of ribbing finished I'm not bothering with photos.

    I'm also starting a scarf with the handspun I did for local guild exchange three years ago. Yes, it's ridiculous, but whatever, I've already dyed her fiber and spun it, so she might as well get a product.

    And no, I'm not signing up for any more exchanges.

    Surprisingly, I have a problem with perfectionism. This project is three years behind schedule because I thought my work wasn't good enough. And some of the dyeing really was horrible; I need to overdye one of the yarns.

    In fact, maybe I'll do that first and go back to my idea of a fair isle kind of wrap, because the yarn is just varied enough (shades of purple) that it looks odd with both of the pattern stitches I've swatched (first knits and purls, then cables).

    Huh. I wonder if color remover powder works on wool. The problem with the original dye was that I got it too bright.

    Zoobers. I gotta go check this out!

    *Note: A lot of the stories in Fragile Things are not for kids. I would rate the collection R for violence, sex, and scary stuff. I listened to it in Audible, so got some surprises along the way.

    Dienstag, Juli 01, 2008

    Dragon Dance

    I finished looping my socks and have blocked them.

    dragon dance1

    I think it's cute that the socks spiral in sync when laid out side-by-side.

    dragon dance2

    Now I'm working on finding the right pattern for some handspun. This is for an exchange that's three years overdue. I think it's going to need some cables, because a simple knit and purl pattern doesn't show up very well against the light and dark textures of the yarn.

    I'm going to try smarieknits's Persephone pattern; only I will have to chart the stitches. In the battle of visual v. verbal, visual wins in my brain.

    Until I get around to doing that, I'm going to start my Frenchman's Creek socks. It seems wrong to be one of the few whose kit has come, but not be knitting it.

    ETA: 1:54 p.m. to add Persephone link
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