Friday, January 30, 2009

Note to Self

I love this!

I was looking around my living room last night, with the oatmeal colored rug and the mushroom colored furniture and the ivory colored walls. We kept a fairly neutral palate when we build that section of the house, because the living room and kitchen are actually one "great room" (which is not particularly large) and we wanted the spaces to flow together visually. The only separation is a peninsula bar, above which is a soffit and a hanging pot rack. I couldn't do an accent wall or anything in another color, because of the set-up of the whole thing. But something like this I could do! I can just picture vines twining up the stair well or something.
Hmmmm. Must go home and stare at my walls a bit.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's just a little scary, is all.

My office is cleaned up and packed up, and I took the plants and a small load of stuff home today. The bulletin board has been converted from a staging area for my mental process to a clean expanse, ready for the next tenant. Tomorrow I'll be hauling out the last boxes of my professional books, personal materials, framed diplomas and photos, and all the rest of the things that made that space "my" office. It already looks very barren, even though I'm leaving the cheap bookcase and the adobe-colored curtain I found in a clearance bin 16 months ago. (Seriously - what am I going to do with it?) I've had some very solemn moments, and I suspect that if Rick was home I'd be crying on his shoulder. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Alison's Angel and Jean's Socks

I thought I ought to show y'all some of the knitting progress to date. First of all, you might recall my comments about Alison and her battle with a nasty and unforgiving set of chronic illnesses. Well, Elizabeth has come up with the fabulous idea of a group project to make a comfort blanket for Alison. She's invited the world to send her 5" squares of washable fiber, which she kindly has agreed to assemble and deliver to Alison. Fairly simple instructions, right? Well, I picked out a pattern (originally for a washcloth) of a healing angel, which seemed appropriate, and got to work with size 3 needles and some decadent fingerling merino that I knew Alison would appreciate. The blocked result is shown at right; neither square, nor precisely 5". (More like 5" x 6".) Oops. And when I went back to Elizabeth's instructions, I realized that I had used a fiber which is not superwash, but which would require respectful handling. Double-oops. I contacted Elizabeth, who said that knitters are non-conformists anyway and size variation was to be expected. She's hesitant about the merino, but I guess I'm going on faith that a woman who routinely works with truly fabulous and somewhat delicate fibers will be able to deal with it. In the end, it's all about faith anyway, right?

Meanwhile, I've been asked to make some socks for Dad's lady friend. Not my normal heavy wool boot socks, obviously, but some light socks from fine gauge yarn. This is what might kindly be termed an "area of growth" for me; I tried making such socks a while back with some of the computer-printed yarn, and got so bored out of my head by the endless stockinette and glacial pace of progress that I frogged the whole thing. The re-wound yarn has been sitting, dejected and lonely, in my stash ever since. But, life is about growth and exploring new directions, so at Dad's request I thought I'd try again. It's still boring, but that's mainly my fault for sticking to a very basic recipe this first time out. And the yarn is a 70% wool superwash with aloe finish put out by our old friends Red Heart. I have to say that I thought the variations in color would be more exciting once knat up; so far, the thing just isn't that dramatic. I'm considering adding some colorwork - maybe a wolf or coyote in dark colors, so it becomes reminiscent of a silhouette against an evening sky. Anyone know of such a chart that is only 20 stitches or so wide?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wherein we contemplate chaos, anarchy, and the therapeutic satisfaction of knitting.

I'm feeling pretty exhausted during this week of endings and beginnings. There are so many bits of chaos and anarchy flowing around my business day as I try to wrap things up, pack things up, and generally create some sort of semi-functional and professional-looking environment on my way out the door. Through it all, I continue to dance one step forward, two steps back. I want to cry, to bang my head against a wall, to pour myself a drink, and to start giggling hysterically. Instead, I grit my teeth into a fixed smile as I try to teach at least the bare minimum of my daily responsibilities to a young lady who . . . means well.

I also had my physical and mammogram yesterday, trying to beat the cut-off for some of the benefits which will end on Saturday with my employment. Everything looks good, except for a lecture from the good doctor about my weight. (Cousin Christy posted a quote in her blog from SN Parker that "People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be - not what you nag them to be." I'm just sayin', is all.) The doc informed me that walking 4 miles a day last summer only burned about 400 calories a day, and was therefore of minimal impact. Then he suggested that my knitting (he saw me working on a sock before he came in) was not a particularly active hobby and that maybe I should be walking instead. So, let's simplify this theorem: a doesn't work particularly well, and b is hugely therapeutic for stress and hand flexibility, but I should still be doing more of a instead of b. Does that mean I should have been jogging in place while I waited for him to show up in the exam room? More likely he's just a muggle who doesn't value knitting in the first place. Or maybe I should just show him this to demonstrate how sedentary knitting really can be?

Okay, so I'm venting. And starting next week, I will have lots of time for knitting and exercising, and the young lady in question at my erstwhile office will be on her own, and all this too shall pass. Sigh.

Excuse me, now. I feel my knitting needles calling me.