The Twisted World of Fiber, Hooks, Needles, Wheels and Dating after Widowhood

This is my story, and I'm sticking to it. Warts and all. I wanted to call it 'Seriously? WTF?', but that doesn't quite explain it all. Or does it?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

UMass, Webs, and Rocky Horror. Happy Halloween!!!!

Let me say one thing before I begin- the people of Connecticut cannot drive for shit!  For Shit, I say!  OMG, how does it take 40 minutes to go 3 miles?  Why do they have to STOP and gawk at a DOT truck on the side of the road?  Why are tractor trailers allowed in the fast lane?  On hills?  FML.  A 3+ hour trip took 4.5 hours.  Thank you, Connecticut.  I’ll tell you, when she went to University of Michigan, we were driving on Route 80.  On the other side of the divider, a truck had overturned and spilled it’s cargo all over the hiway.  The cars on our side kept going 80 mph.  That’s right!  It was none of their fucking business, so they kept right on going!  Yeah, Midwest drivers!  They need to teach the Tools from Connecticut to mind their own fucking business.  (steps off soapbox)
I came to Massachusetts Friday afternoon to visit The Daughter Figure for the weekend.  She attends UMass.  I always love to see her, but I also always love to take the trip to Webs. It’s only 10 minutes from her school.  lol   She accuses me of sending her to UMass so I can go yarn shopping.  I plead the 5th.  I brought the puppy.  She loves to ride in the car, and since she is growing so fast, I wanted the kid to see her.  The dog threw up in the car.  Twice.  Then tried to eat it while I was going 85 and looking for a safe place to pull over.  Yuk.  Double yuk.  The dog has also never been on a leash.  We have a fenced yard, so I never thought much about it.  Apparently, she cannot pee on leash.  Or poop.  Or sleep in her crate in a hotel room.  Or not eat my Berkies after she wakes me up at 6:30am on a Saturday morning because now she has to pee, no matter what.  AND poop in the handicap spot right in front of the entrance.  AND I have no way to pick up the poop, because I am in my pajamas and coat, with greasy hair and no contacts.  Sorry, and thank you to whoever did pick up said poop.  Sigh……….
Well, I took a shower, knitted, and called The Daughter Figure at 10:45.  She said it was too early.  Call back at 12.  More sighing.  Knitted some more.  I am making a hat on dpn’s for my little nephew.  He won’t care if it looks like crap.  Was gonna go to Webs, but then decided- screw her.  She HATES going there, so I will make her come with me!  BBBWWWAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!  When she finally got her ass out of bed, we took the dog for a good run at a nearby elementary school.  She even went down the kiddie slide.  (the dog, not the kid) lol  We rode over to Northampton to walk the dog through town and grab some lunch.  Well, the dog was scared shitless of all the people.  She put on the brakes constantly, and kept trying to run any way but the way we were heading.  We had to carry her.  She is NOT tiny anymore.  We sat outside for lunch at a really good pizza place, and she cowered under the table until the food came.  She thoroughly enjoyed our sandwiches, and finally started warming up to people that were oohhhhing and aaahhhing over her.  We made it back down to the car without having to carry her, so I guess it turned out ok.
At Webs, The Daughter Figure went into the loom room and played with a $3000.00 loom until she ran out of yarn, or whatever they use on them.  Then I found her at the spinning wheels, cursing.  Then she told me the yarn I picked out was ugly, so I made her come in the back and find a different color.  THEN I told her it wasn’t for her.  BBBWWWAAAAHHHH again!  I wish I had my camera with me, because she wound up slumped in a chair next to someone else’s miserable teenage daughter.  The expressions on their faces were identical, and priceless!  Their demeanor said “shoot me now!”  A mother can’t have much more fun than seeing  that, can she?  lolol
After Webs, we came to the hotel because The Daughter Figure needed a bath.  She lives for baths, and there is not a tub to be found (that you would get into without a hazard suit) on campus.  We then snuck the dog into her dorm, and she was showered with kisses and affection from the kids on the floor.  They really should allow dogs in dorms.  I think it would really help with issues like homesickness and stress, especially for Freshmen.  We rounded out the night by going back to Northampton and eating Tibetan food.  All I can say is, YUMMMM!!!  I can haz more, pleez?  Her friend had Yak stew.  I had chicken and potatoes in a curry sauce, and The Daughter Figure had beef with onions and peppers.  We stopped at Starbucks for dessert, and she left her purse there.  Of course, we didn’t know this until we got all the way back to UMass.  Now she is at Rocky Horror with 4-5 other kids from her floor.  She was dressed like a slut, and her chubby gay friend was wearing a too tight black dress, 5 inch pewter Marc Jacobs heels in a size 11, and rainbow dyed hair.  He said his feet were killing him already.  Ah, the price we pay to look beautiful!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spinning Away

          Last night was our spinning guild meeting at The Manse.  It is always so much fun to get together with everyone, and last night was no exception.  There were 9 wheels altogether.  A Ladybug, a Louet S-10, my Majacraft Rose, my old castle-style upright that I am selling to my girlfriend, 2 CPW’s, a Hitchhiker and 2 Ashford Traditionals.  You know, there wasn’t one wheel I tried that I would kick out of bed.  (other than my old Castle- we never got along too well).  lol 
          It was amazing how different the 2 Traditionals spun, even though they were the exact same model.  I like both equally, but they were different.  The CPW’s I expected to be different, as they are the same type, but with different tensioning, and their age is markedly different, also.  They spun very nicely, but since I draw with my left hand, they were a bit awkward getting used to. I had to sit a bit sideways, but it wasn’t a big problem.  My favorite wheel of the night was the Ladybug.  It was easy to treadle and took up the yarn beautifully.  The Louet is the only wheel I have ever tried that actually had the feel of “build twist, feed.  Build twist, feed.”  It was very nice, but the single treadle would be the death of me. 
          It was also interesting to see which wheels people had trouble with, or didn’t like.  Or, more likely, which wheels didn’t like them .  I don’t think many people like my Rose, but it is probably because of the way I have the take-up set.  I think our favorite local designer fell for her, though.  She spins on a CPW but uses left hand draw like I do.  I showed her how the head of the Rose tilts, and she swooned.  Lolol  It does make it perfect for long draw, and if you want to be lazy and slouch on the couch while spinning.
          We set a timer for 10 minutes and moved around the room from wheel to wheel.  It was decided we would all spin the same fiber, so I brought 2 pounds of Texel that came with my first wheel.  It was a good fiber to spin because it is lofty. We spun through most of it, and I really wanted to collect it from everyone’s bobbins and make something with it, but I don’t think anyone was in the frame of mind to unravel their bobbins last night.  Lol
            I also tried a batt of mixed fibers that The Designer showed me how to spin from the fold.  I LOVED it!  I usually spin so damned thin, and I was able to control the fiber to spin thicker from the fold.  Wonder if that would work with roving?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It Fits!

The BF came over tonight and I gave him his soft and cuddly alpaca hat.  It fit him perfectly!  Yeah me!  The only thing I would do differently is to find a way to make a dividing line between the ribbing and the stockinette, so it stays folded better and the purl side doesn’t keep peeking out. 

We went to dinner at White Castle, because I’m easy and a cheap date, and it was perfect.  We goofed around and talked, then came back to the house and played with the dogs and stuff.
We have come to a major life decision, relationship-wise. He is going to move in with me.  It will be after The Boy moves into his own house at the end of November.  The BF takes things very slowly.  He needs to wrap his brain around stuff, and apparently, that takes a while, because he has a big head.  I, on the other hand, rush headlong into everything I do.  I want him here in December.  He is thinking more like the latter part of the Winter/early Spring.  I always get my way, but I have to tread lightly here.  When he talks to the dogs, he refers to himself as Daddy.  How cute is that?  He wants to replace the queen bed with a king, because our animals sleep with us.  Picture 2 dogs and 3 moker sized cats, a 6’2” guy and a short, fat chick.  King size is good.  lol  
He has mentally rearranged the furniture and removed the paneling from the living room.  That’s good too, because the furniture has been in the same configuration for something like 15 years, and I’ve wanted the paneling taken down since we moved here in 1982.  It’s all been waaaay too long.  With all this going on in his head, you would think he would be ready to move tomorrow.
When The Boy moves out, I will have an empty room that will most likely become the dining room.  The back room can be The BF’s man-cave, since he has lived alone for the past few years.  I can respect that he needs his space, even though he hasn’t expressed this need himself.  This room will also be a much-needed sanctuary for the cats.  Or the dogs, if the cats take over the house, which I think might be the case.
Now to finish the stupid scarf that goes with the hat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Finished the Hat!

But I don’t think it is going to fit him.  Sigh….  Oh well, it fits me, and it didn’t take very long, so I can make a bigger one- if I get more of that yummy, yummy Alpaca. But maybe not in black.  The hat is washed and blocking, so I will take pix of it tomorrow.  I just hope the damned thing is dry by Friday so I can give it to him.  There’s enough of the Alpaca left to make a scarf.  I am doing it in a pattern of 6k/6p, which I THOUGHT would be ribbed, but it’s just striped.  Maybe it’s the fact that the yarn is sport weight, held doubled, on size 10 needles.  Let’s just say it has a lot of drape.  Oh, well. No biggie.  It’s still a scarf.  And the black yarn is making me blind, so I’m not ripping it out and starting again.  I’m already 6 inches in. 

And I bought 15 pair of 7” bamboo dpns- size 0 to 15 on Etsy for 30.00 plus shipping!  I need these like a hole in the head.  And apparently, I need a hole in my head, because they’re on their way.  Now I can pretend I am a real knitter. lol  I will make the next hat on them.  I promise.  I will use the size 0’s as toothpicks, or to clean under my nails.  NOT to make socks.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rhinebeck and Beyond

On Friday night, I stayed over The BF’s so I would be closer to Rhinebeck.  It saved me an hour of travel time, but the trade-off was that he was sick and a little whiney.  I also had to sleep in a queensize bed with a 6'2" guy and his 3 Maine Coon cats. Oh well, it got me to NYSS&W that much faster. 
 This is Wicket.  She is my favorite.  Just don't tell the BF.
 This one is Honey.  This is a regular size laundry basket she is laying in.
And this is Willow.  He weighs 30 pounds.

When I arrived, I met up with two of my girlfriends from our local Ravelry group.  They were quite the enablers, although I purchased a skein of laceweight, a half a pound of undyed Polwarth roving and some delicious fried artichokes before I even met up with them.  lol  
My mission was to get a pound of undyed Cormo, but all the Cormo I came across either felt too rough, or it smelled rancid.  Someone told me that smell was probably because it was from a ram, not a ewe.  We went from building to building, touching, rubbing and smelling everything we could.  Here are some pictures of the wonderfulness that is Rhinebeck:
 boothy goodness
 alpaca cuteness
 3 guesses what these are
 The Ravelry Meetup on the hill
 Angora bunnies, which I am deathly allergic to
 more boothiness
Designer extraordinaire Jesh, Susan and Kathy, who is holding an infamous chicken pot pie
but eating a flourless peanut butter cookie.

And now, pix of my purchases:

 This is the most amazing Alpaca I have ever touched/worked with.  It is 665 yds. of brown/black
sportweight from Times Remembered.  As you can see, I couldn't wait to start making something with this.
 I already emailed them and told them I need more.  lol
 This is a laceweight from Yarn Place. It's called Graceful and is 903 yards.  No clue
why I bought it other than I like the colors.  I don't do laceweight. Yet.
 8 oz. of Polwarth roving from Sliver Moon Farm. I have a total of 1 pound of
this creamy goodness to spin.
 The picture does not do this justice.  The jewel tones are so rich in this, it will be a
shame when I spin it and fuck it all up.  It is an alpaca/silk blend from Gale's Art.
and this is 8oz. of Merino pencil roving that looks great but smells like vinegar.
Beats smelling like wet monkey, but still.  It's all I could smell on the ride home.  For 2 hours.

And my favorite thing:

This is a really shitty picture, but too bad.  It's a pin- of knit stitches!
How cool is that?  Sheesh!  I am such a dork!  lolol

When I got home on Saturday night, I wound the Alpaca into 2 cakes, sat up until 2am finding the perfect hat pattern for the BF, and cast on.  First I made swatches.  Yes, I'm a good girl.  :-)  I doubled the yarn and long tailed 72 stitches on 8's with a 16" cable.  It was torture.  I went to bed.  Sunday morning I went to the store and bought dpn's.  I've never worked with dpn's before.  I transferred the stitches onto them, then decided that they were cold and slippery, and that I need some nice wood ones.  bbwwaaahhhh!!!  Also, there were only 4, and it was fiddly, so I found a plastic 9, and rejiggered the stitches.  Then I noticed that when I switched from the cable to the dpn's, I hadn't completed the whole circle, so it was half a row off and looking pretty wonky.  But all in all, the dpn's were ok to work with.

Soooo, I ripped it out and redid it with a really long cable and magic loop.  This seems to be going pretty well.  He should have his hat by January.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

She's Done!

Isn't is sweet?!?  I want to get a shawl pin for it at Rhinebeck. And I never want to knit moss stitch ever again.  lol

Making Progress

Things are moving along at a good clip lately.  The paperwork is all complete for purchase of the house for The Boy.  Just waiting for the contract to come out of attorney review.  Then we send in the home inspector.  Hopefully, he won’t find anything major. 
Things are pretty good with The BF, but he had to reschedule his doctor’s appointment for the end of the month.  More waiting, but I think it will be worth it.  I am thinking about going on a cruise in the late winter with my sister, her bf and mine.  Don’t know how this will pan out.  The bf’s need to get passports, and that takes 4-6 weeks if they do it in Jersey instead of NY. 
HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just kitchenered a seam!!!!!  And it doesn’t look like ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Woo Hoo!!!!!!
Lord Kitchener ROCKS!!  If he was still alive, I’d have sex with him!!!!!!!    Hahahahaha
Ok, enough of that.  My shoulders are seamed, and the neck band is being sewn to the back.  Waiting for the sleeves to dry.  Might move the operation outside in the breeze to speed it up.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Happy Dog makes for a Happy Home

About 5 years ago, The Boy had a friend that worked in a pet shop.  I would go there to buy seed for the Conure, and always looked around at the other stuff they had for sale- rabbits (allergic), birds, rodents, snakes, lizards, and puppies.  I do not agree with pet shops selling dogs.  They tend to come from very bad puppy mills.  Well, this shop had an adorable Springer Spaniel.  He was already 9 months old.  I would ask the friend of The Boy if I could go in the dog area and let him out of his cage so he could have some loving.  The poor baby was so starved for attention, he would climb up one side of me and down the other, wagging his whole body and falling over from excitement.  I would ask about him all the time, and found myself going to see him almost every day.  While visiting one day, another employee told me he had never been outside.  Seriously?  He was 9 months old!  He had never walked on grass!  I went home to get my checkbook, and told The Husband I was freeing him from the pet shop.  He said no way, no more dogs.  We already had 2 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers at home, and the older one was suffering from intestinal cancer.  Through our job, we had Nextel phones with the push to talk feature.  As I was walking out of the dog room, The Husband’s voice was coming over the 2-way.  He kept saying “step away from the dog”.  lol
Well, I brought The Springer home.  He was totally freaked out by the grass, and almost fell over looking up at the sky when a plane flew overhead.  It took about 2 minutes for The Husband to fall in love, and the two of them were inseparable from that moment on.  Fast forward 4 years, and The Husband gets very sick, very unexpectedly.  The Springer cannot understand where his Daddy is.  I come home every day from the hospital smelling to him like sickness and The Daddy.  The dog stopped eating.  He would sit in The Daddy’s chair and whimper and moan.  We had to feed him his food one piece at a time.  It was very sad to see the dog suffer so badly.  After The Husband died, The Springer stayed depressed for a long time.  I was ready to take him to the vet for Valium, or an antidepressant.  He slowly started coming around, and finally got back to being his normal (well, normal for him) self.
Now, fast forward to almost a year after The Husband passed away.  I have been on a couple of dates, and have had people over for coffee afterward.  The Springer likes these men, but they do not particularly like dogs.  The Springer senses this, and goes upstairs and ignores them.  I cannot tolerate people that do not love my animals.  They are a big part of my life.  If you like me, you must like my animals.  So when I first bring home The BF, he is all over the animals like white on rice.  He talks to them.  He pets them.  He plays with them.  They are in heaven, and I am happy to see this.  Every time I come home from The BF’s house, The Springer is almost swooning when he sniffs me. 
On Thursday night, The BF stays over because he is taking me for my procedure very early in the morning.  When he pulls in the driveway and gets out of his car, The Springer pushes out the front door and jumps into his arms.  There was a lot of mutual kissing between them.   The new Chessie gets in on the act.  Everyone is happy.  After dinner, The Springer decides that he is going to show The BF that he is a real dog.  He grabs a toy, and runs around with it.  He tosses it in the air.  He squeaks the squeaker.  He plays keep away with the puppy.  This is not my dog.  He has never done this before. lol     I can’t remember when he was ever this happy.  I am happy, too.  We all go to bed, and The Springer lies at the foot of the bed, on The BF’s feet, just like when he slept with The Daddy.  The BF doesn’t mind.  The Springer is happy.  I am happy.  All I can think is, the BF better not break this dog’s heart, or I will have to kill him.  lol

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's New?

Well, I had a great dinner with the bf.  It's so nice to cook with someone.  He knows how to cook , and we worked well together in the flea speck of a kitchen he has.  He is coming over tomorrow night after he gets off work, and staying over so he can take me to the surgical center for a procedure.  Isn't that sweet?  I think I'll keep him.  For now.  :-)
The Boy put in an offer on the house.  They sent back a counter offer.  We countered again.  They came down to their bottom line, and we said ok.  This took just one day.  The Boy is now almost the owner of a house.  I don't know who wants to throw up more, me or him.  If all goes well, he will close the week before Thanksgiving.  Think I can make them cook the turkey?  lol
And here is a picture for you viewing pleasure.  I got it from Cafe Press.
Swweeeeeet!  I will drink from this every day until I break it, and I will, because I am a klutz.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Think I'm Going to Throw Up

Well, we are moving forward on putting an offer on a house for The Boy.  I scanned his tax returns, pay stubs, license, ss card, attached pdf's of bank statements to eamils and faxed a copy of a check to the realtor.  I am going to throw up.  My money is the down payment, but the loan will be his.  I will be on the deed with him.  I won't be home tomorrow when he gets the contract to sign, but come on- he's 26.  He can do this on his own.  I think.

Here's a cute quiz link I found to see what kind of sheep you are.  I am a Rambouillet.

I made alfredo sauce tonight to bring to the bf's house for dinner tomorrow.  Need to get a pound of shrimp at lunch tomorrow, bring it home, peel and clean it, then pack it in the cooler for the trip.  I'm leaving right after work.  I'll cook the shrimp in the sauce while the pasta is boiling.  His kitchen is the size of flea shit, but it will do. lol

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weekend Happenings

The Daughter Figure was home from college this weekend.  It was the first time she drove from Massachusetts to NJ & back by herself.  She managed to only get lost once each way.  She left her gps in the dorm room.  Good place for it.  She also ran her right side mirror into a construction cone and busted the glass out of it.  Apparently, side view mirrors are highly over-rated.  LOL  I had a nice dinner at Outback with her and The Boy.  No bf’s or gf’s- just the three of us.  Our waiter had the coolest Henry Rollins Black Flag tattoo on his inner arm.

We spent a good part of the weekend watching college football- well, I watched the Michigan game with them.  Then I watched a bunch of episodes of No Reservations that were on the Tivo. One can never get too much Tony Bourdain, as far as I’m concerned.

On Sunday, we went back to one of the houses that The Boy is really interested in buying.  It has mold in the basement, and I wanted to see if there was any water down that after all the rain we just had.  I talked him into looking at another house that was just around the corner from that one, and it’s a good thing I did. It is much bigger, has a bigger yard, a sun porch and no mold in the basement.  Did I mention that The Boy has major mold allergies- think ambulance rides and Epi-pens.  Not good.  We are waiting to hear from the realtor if there is a disclosure on the house.  She is also feeling out the selling realtor about price, etc.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.

After The Daughter Figure left to drive back to Massachusetts, I watched the Eagles/Redskins game.  The Skins kicked ass.  Moreover, Donovan McNabb is The Hotness.  He can throw a football and run, too.

Oh, I have about 5.5 inches done on my sleeves.  The Lorna's Laces Revelation in the Pilsen colorway is sitting on my computer table begging to be wound into a cake and cast onto some needles.  I am resisting the temptation about as well as a crackhead can ignore his pipe.  :-)

can't sleep

I can’t sleep, so here I am blogging away.  It is 2:48am.  I can’t knit anymore, because my fingers are begging me to stop.  I felt my sinuses clogging up, so I took some cold pills, with a large coffee- at 9:30pm.  I’m 48.  When the hell am I gonna learn not to do stupid shit like that?  Now I’m waiting for the Lorazepam to kick in.  My body is tired but my brain is going a million miles an hour. 
I cast on the sleeves for the minimalist (yes, I know you’re tired of reading about it.  I am tired of knitting it), 2 at a time on one needle.  I am doing the flat so I didn’t have to do a magic loop, and thinking about the decreases in the round made me nervous.  The ribbing is done, and I have about 1.5 inches of the moss stitch completed.  Woo hoo!  12.5 freaking inches to go, THEN I start decreasing for something like 28 rows.  The end is in sight!  Sort of………………..  I will block the back and front tomorrow. Give them a nice soak in Eucalan and pin them on my blocking board.  I would do it now since I’m not sleeping, but I can’t see the damned numbers on the schematic, or whatever it’s called.
I swear to God, the next thing I cast on is going to be on size 13 or 15 needles, and no fiddly stitches.  Stockinette, baby!  Stockinette! And I have the perfect pattern and yarn.  It will be the Thick-and-Thin Cardigan Coat made with Lorna’s Laces Revelation Multi.  I just need a yarn for the trim, and I don’t want wool.  Can’t have wool that tight on my wrists and rubbing the back of my neck.  This is going to take some doing to get something that will hold up to the wear the wrist ribbing will get.  Hmmmm…….