Archive for the ‘stupidity’ Category

So now I have officially renamed this cardigan the Double Knit cardigan.  Not because it is double thick, but because I have now knit it twice.  All of it.

to backtrack:

All I had left were the bands and the collar.  I sewed the underarm and side seams to make sure that it fit satisfactorily, (and therefore I could use the good buttons on it instead of hating the fit and using the not-so-good buttons that required a smaller buttonhole because it was going to be donated anyways) and away I went on the button band and the buttonhole band.  Drunk with my near-completion, I knit the collar right to the castoff edge, and then decided to look at the directions.  Yup, wrong.  (Me this time, not the pattern.)  I had used a 2 by 2 rib instead of the same broken rib from the bottom band and the cuffs.  (In retrospect, I had to redo the bottom band for the same reason.  Now I remember.  Duh.)

So I have now redone the front bands and will embark on the collar tonight.  I still like the sweater instead of tossing it into a corner and hating it to the point of never finishing it.   I want to like the sweater, and I think that’s why I just keep plodding along.  It is what it is, and no amount of negative energy is going to improve my performance.  I am feeling quite zen about the whole thing.   I look forward to the day it is finished and I can wear it.  About that time I will start knitting myself a hat because it is snowing here.  Yes, I am back in Saskatoon.

Other news you need:  For the last three days we have had a gang of rather rough-looking guys jackhammering the floor out of our basement.  Apparently they have a plan for the water issues with which we are plagued every spring thaw and heavy rain.  Once they have executed their plan and we have paid dearly for it, I will be taking over Andrew’s room for my knitting and weaving endeavors, and it is this pot of gold at the end of the twisted moss rainbow that keeps me going.   Perhaps I will do a pictorial essay for your edification and entertainment.  Stay tuned.


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Many years ago I bought a single ticket to a performance of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.  The guest artist was a native American flute player, and I really wanted to go.  So much so that when Mike impolitely politely declined to accompany me I decided to go by myself.  I wanted to go  so much that I was really pissed off when I read the paper one morning and saw a review of the concert that had happened the night before.  I had completely forgotten  about it.  I always assumed that I had learned my lesson about checking schedules and so forth until this afternoon.

Mike and I are in New York, having survived our Bermuda cruise.  In an uncharacteristic fit of flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants, we had no firm plans for anything while we were here.  Except one thing- we had tickets for a taping of the David Letterman show tomorrow evening.  I pulled up the details on my computer about three quarters of an hour ago (6 pm Monday) to find that our tickets were for tonight’s show, which is taping even as I write this.  I choose to think the glass is half full:  Now we have a free afternoon and evening tomorrow.

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There were a couple of empty spaces in the backyard that needed a little something, so I thought, Hey! Why not plant a cactus?  This is the desert after all.  So it was off to the tree nursery to find the least lethal-looking specimen.  I present:

This is the Red Bunny Ear cactus.

Up close:

Kinda cute, eh?   Neat little polka dots, little cactus babies ready to grow out the extremities, low maintenance…

Red Bunny Ear cactus is a terrible misnomer.  I have renamed it the Monty Python cactus.

Those of you who haven’t seen Monty Python in Search of the Holy Grail will likely not get the connection, and I am not going to try and explain it here.  Know that I spared you the graphic picture that followed the scene in this picture. Go and watch the movie.  It’s a classic.  But I digress.  The cute little polka dots are clusters of teensy weensy spines that can penetrate even heavy leather gloves.  In large numbers.  Hundreds.  Maybe thousands.  I know this because the trick for planting without touching the cactus only works if the pot is not made out of Titanium or Kevlar or whatever is impervious to a sharp cutting instrument.  The cactus looks kind of cute (in a deadly sort of way), but I promise you, if it dies, it will not be replaced with another one just like it.

As an aside, digging in the ground here is hard work.  Rocks, sand, rocks, the ever-present threat of nicking the irrigation line, rocks, sunburn; you get the idea.  There is only one thing keeping me from jumping into the pool to cool off, and that is

Yup, construction next door.   I don’t want to scare them off by appearing in a bathing suit (and topless is completely out of the question, for a variety of reasons).   Boy, will I be glad when they’re done.  There are 7 houses in various stages on construction within a hundred and fifty feet here, and these guys start early.  6:00 this morning, with music and hammering and noise.  The upside is that they’re gone by 4:01 pm, and the building will be done and completed when we come back in the fall.  In the meantime though, the backyard isn’t as private as you might think.  I am spending time inside trying to amuse myself with sticks and string.

This is Elizabeth Freeman’s  Aeolian Shawl from Knitty.  I am naming it the Ironic Aeolian, since the pattern is inspired by desert plants, and I am knitting it in an obviously watery colour.  I’m using the pricey-but-oh-so-nice Ella Rae Merino Lace and some really cheap beads from a chain craft store.   Lace is uninspiring before it’s blocked, but this is a pretty fun knit (although the beginning was threatening to kick my ass.  Oh, and failure to apply the stitch chart at one point also threatened to kick my ass, but that was after happy hour and I may have had a libation that was clouding my faculties.).    The wrong-side rows are all purled which is proving to be somewhat tedious, but I am using that to practice the Peruvian purl technique that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee  taught last year at Knitting Camp.  (The only tension on the yarn is from around your neck, and the yarn is on the floor.  Terribly quick and easy, or at least it should be by the time I get to the end of the shawl.)

I’ve been invited to dinner tonight up the street- meeting some new neighbors.  I have to take a salad.  I hate making salad.  I love to eat it, but I hate to make it.  Terri- if you read this in time, send me an email with a salad recipe.  (Is that pathetic, needing a recipe for a salad?)  And now, I must go and pick miniscule cactus spines out of my hand.  Everyone needs a hobby.

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In case you thought that I was the only challenged Canadian solo navigating the waters of the United States, and if you have a minute  or two to be entertained, check out the last few postings of Rabbitch.

This whole independant-woman-thing reminded me of my first solo road trip (well, I was the only driver in the car) where I drove from Saskatoon all the way to Vancouver accompanied by Andy, who was thirteen at the time.  By the time we reached the Pacific coast, Andy was well trained.  Every time I made a wrong turn slight course deviation, I’d look at Andy and say “and what is this?”  He would roll his eyes as only a teenager can when confronted by the inescapable evidence that his mother is stupid, and say “It’s just part of the Big Adventure.”  Isn’t travelling grand.

After visiting Tempe Yarn and Fibre last Saturday, my knitting mojo got a little nudge kick in the ass, and I have been busy with some beads and some Ella Rae Lace Merino (and some new Addi Turbo Lace needles).  I have no pictures yet, as there is nothing as uninspiring as unblocked lace.  A little bit of weaving has occurred, but not as much as I thought.  I came down here to Arizona fully intending to acquire a wider loom, but I’ve been a little sidetracked, and was introduced to a nifty gadget called the Baby Wolf.    Hey, a girl can dream.  I was invited to take a class, but I think I will wait until the fall or maybe next spring.  In the meantime, I’ll be the one picking bottles in the ditch and putting the money towards my hobby fund.  I’m still thinking that I’d like to get a tapestry loom.  No reason, just sounds like fun.  I’ve ordered this book because I forgot my copy at home; I’d like to get started and it was cheaper to order a new copy for down here than to have Mike ship it down.  (Or so he said; I think he just was afraid to have to look for it in my office.  Kinda yella, that one.)

So, no pictures today, but tomorrow I promise a tale of transformation, commerce, misplaced bravado, a movie reference, glistening skin under the Buckeye sun and some subsequent libations.  All with an illustration or two.

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This is why it’s really important to choose your neighbors wisely:

Really, we do have the best neighbors.   On a day when the city snow removal crews weren’t apparent even on main arteries (including one near our house where there was a fatal accident three days ago),  we  were at the mercy of the elements.  Andy took my jeep to work (and had to drive a few people back and forth) and reported little or no road clearing happening.  We only see a city grader on our cul-du-sac every three or four years, and this isn’t the year, so imagine my joy when Dale from next door snow-blowed (snow-blew?) our driveway on his rounds.  A little while later, however, he looked like a sissy when Brent from the other-side next door brought home one of his company vehicles.  Too bad we can’t compete, but perhaps heartfelt thanks will suffice.   I don’t want to seem petty, but we were hoping this weather would happen while we were away…

Big news.  I knit!

This is the Flared Smoke Ring Cowl.  I used Ella Rae Lace Merino that I purchased in Ottawa last year.  It spent some time in the timeout bin, after an abortive attempt at some Victorian Lace Today.  Victorian Lace Never, more like it.

It matches nothing I own, no jacket, no sweater.  I do love it, though (even though it will never be pulled up on my head like this), so I’ll have to improvise.

I ran into a rather snooty person at the gym this week, who poo-pood my loom.  She of course weaves on a “grown-up’s” loom.   After she told me that I couldn’t weave patterns on my loom, just one-by-one weave, I ran home and warped up for a basketweave scarf.   I think it turned out quite nicely.

He insisted on the sunglasses in case any of his friends recognized him and gave him grief about the nice purple scarf.  He’s such a wuss; not in touch with his feminine side at all.  I told him that this shouldn’t be as threatening as the cowl, but he just set his jaw and refused to talk.  To add insult to injury, I made him go and sit on top of the china cabinet with a ball cap on sideways and a pair of 3-D glasses from Avatar.   You want silly?  I’ll give you silly.

The ultimate in silly has to be last night’s movie fare.  In my own defense, I left the room.  Almost immediately.  Crank High Voltage .  I really hope that everyone involved in this movie did it tongue-in-cheek, because from what I heard and saw on my few trips past the television, well, it would be too sad if they thought they were making an art film.

Mike has very kindly finished cleaning the kitchen after supper, so the table is cleared and I am ready to resume weaving.  I know I keep saying it, but I am having way too much fun.  Housebound because of the weather?  Bring it on.

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for many reasons.  At the top of the list today is an issue which doesn’t affect me personally in my life, but it does affect many people I have met through the internet and the fibre community.

The supreme court of California was not able to overturn Proposition 8– you know the one, where GLTB couples cannot be legally married in the state.  Since I have never been involved in this particular kind of discrimination, I will leave it to Amy to sound the Call to Arms.  Please read this, and don’t be afraid.  I promise you that no lightning bolt will reach down and zap you.

Sometimes I just sit here in my insulated cocoon and assume that every one in the world is as lucky as I am.  I have a good life, I am contented, and I sometimes need a kick in the ass to remind me that there are still people out there who can’t have what I take for granted.  Perhaps it’s not enough that I sit and quietly agree with Amy;  maybe a little discussion is in order.  Whether I progress to carrying a sign at a protest remains to be seen, but in the meantime, I’ll do my bit and ask you please to read Amy’s writing, and consider seriously where you stand on the issue.   We’re all just people, after all.

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A quick report on the Neil Young concert.  Sadly, it was not “Acoustic Sensitive Neil” that showed up for the concert.  It was “I am the Grandfather of Grunge Rock Neil”, so the music was a little, shall we say, grungier than for what I had hoped.  He played a couple of his acoustic pieces, but I cannot say that it was my favourite concert of all time.  After the opening band managed to whip the crowd into a stupor, we did have the added benefit of sitting just down from the world’s stupidest stoners.  These guys made Harold and Kumar look like Rhodes Scholars.  In a facility where smoking is not permitted, they had their lighter turned as high as it would go, and yet could not mange to keep the joint lit.  Several tries down the road (and producing just enough smoke that we could tell what they were doing), security noticed the repeated flame and relieved them of the troublesome marijuana.  Off to drink more beer!  There was also a woman sitting on the other side who was talking yelling on her cellphone through a couple of songs, shring the concert with a friend, so the experience was somewhat less enjoyable than it could have been.  (This was a circumstance when Twitter would have been a good idea.  Much quieter.)   Now, they’ve just announced that Fleetwood Mac is coming back, but without Christine McVie, so now we have to decide if that’s a dealbreaker or not.  Mike thinks that Lindsay Buckingham is  more important than McVie, but all my favourite songs they do are hers, so I’m not sure I want to go.  Other opportunities coming to town:  Leonard Cohen (who’s been getting rave reviews) and Celtic Thunder.  I’d like to see Celtic Thunder, but I’d have to go alone, since they’re “too produced” (Mike’s words).  (Like Riverdance wasn’t produced?)  Anyways, there are always opportunities to separate us from our money in the name of damaging our hearing entertainment.

We interrupt this blog to bring you a special opinion piece:  (and really, aren’t my opinions always special?)  Our local Talk Radio channel calls Thursday morning’s call-in show Bug’s Day: the Hour of Rage.  I would like to take this opportunity to Rage about something that Bugs me.  Yesterday’s show featured the question:  Could you do without televeision?  After listening to some of the pompous people calling in, I pose the question:  Why do people claim moral superiority just because they choose not to watch TV?  Is it not just a choice?  I am not weak just because I choose to watch TV with my husband in the evening; I  am knitting at the same time, we are enjoying what we are watching, we talk about it afterwards, we still find time to walk the dogs.  ***We do both read, but usually when the other person is elsewhere.

All this being said, we don’t just watch whatever is on.  There are maybe a half-dozen shows that we watch regularly, dramas and sitcoms mostly,  and Mike tapes a lot of movies that we may or may not watch somtime down the road.  There is precious little “reality” television (it’s only on a long as it takes us to change channels or turn off the box), although Mike does have an affinity for anything with a scoreboard in one corner and a timeclock in the other, and I kind of like the nature and science end of things.

What I’m trying to say is that I do not consider watching television a sign of mental weakness or reduced intelligence.  I have learned a lot from watching TV, and it has opened my mind to a lot of subjects that I otherwise would have dismissed.  If you choose not to have a TV, that’s great!  Just don’t look down your nose at me because I choose to spend time watching  Star Trek reruns and the National Geographic channel in high definition.  You do your thing, I’ll do mine.

We now return you to your regularily scheduled program.

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