Saturday, July 21, 2007

Trying to read slowly

I stood in line for what felt like ages but was in reality less than half an hour.
And I managed to catch one of the earlier (k)night buses home and read a few chapters before deciding to go to sleep.
And now I'm halfway through and I really, really want to make the book last. At least until evening.
It had me cry on page 175. For no apparent, explicable reason.
And that's really all I have to say on the subject.
I'm not the spoiling kind.
To keep myself from racing through the book, as part of me does want to, I take a break every chapter, or even mid-chapter, to knit a row or two on the Mystery Stole.
(Much needed after the tedious boredom of knitting the Textured Tunic. I did finish it on time, but I also frogged it this morning while rereading the first chapters. The lovely green silk can easily find better purpose in life.)
I am using sock yarn for my stole, though.
The lace weight I tried with at first drove me mad and had me start over three times a day for a week before giving up.
But sock yarn is my friend.
And so I really don't care if that's not kosher.
I can just exactly manage to concentrate on a row or two at a time before turning my full attention back to the book.
And much to my own surprise I have not even had so much as a glance at the final chapter!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Getting ready

The reading spot is all set up and ready.
I have fruit, sun dried apricots, and home baked oat & coconut biscuits and spicy crackers.
I have much green tea. And orange juice.
I also have a sofa with stuffing poking out.
And theres a good blob of cat vomit on the floor.
Naked feet are brilliant cat vomit detectors.
We really need some of these brilliant cat vomit warning signs! And for the cats to learn to use them.
But otherwise our little home is tidy, dishes and laundry all done, and I'm waiting.
In twelve hours I will stand in line waiting for the book.
Until then Vincent will keep the sofa ready and in working order.
When not playing pillow cave.
And if Laurenz is willing I may be wearing my new green silk textured tunic from Lapel's fitted knits.
If I had not put myself on a slightly insane deadline to finish it for the book release it would have been put in the pile of Very Boring Knitting to be Done at Work.
But for some odd reason I really, really want to finish it. And have it finished by tonight.
And I do have twelve hours.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Portrait of my Mother as a Young Woman

I think my mother is 19 or maybe 20 in this photo.

Not much younger than that, and not much older, as I was born a week before her 21st birthday, and there's no sign of me to be found in this photo.
Today it is 11 years since she died. Very suddenly from a coronary thrombosis at the age of 45.
It is one of those days you will never forget, while never really remember.
I remember a three hours train ride crying the whole way, when not holding my breath, making an odd bet that if I could hold my breath until past that tree or that house or the next station or while counting to a mad number, then she would have woken up when I arrived, and it was all just a mistake or a bad joke.
Or a bad dream.
But it was not. And she didn't wake up.
I remember spending an entire afternoon ironing the white silk pajamas, I gave her for Christmas, wanting her to wear it in the coffin. The ironing board being my safe, quiet place away from my stepfather and my evil stepsisters.
I remember being angry and heartbroken.
And I stayed angry and heartbroken for a very long time.
But today, so many years after, that raw - and then not so raw - cold, hard, numbing grief has gone, and what I remember most today is her love.
The completely unconditional all-accepting love.
And her dry, dark sense of humour.
The bad elephant jokes, and our making stories together from everything and anything, be it a hardware store catalogue or a man driving past, there was always a story to be found.
She loved cats (and dogs), and wanted two Siamese cats. I thought she was silly and then forgot until I had my own set.
I remember her hands. And her laughter.
I know she was not perfect, but she was all and more than I could ever have asked for.
And I miss her.
I still miss her.
And I still love her.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Not so much order in the orderly sense as in "Order of the Phoenix".
I thought I would wait a while before going to see it, but I couldn't and am going to in less than two hours!
It is a very nice thing being able to decide absolutely singlehandedly and - headedly how to spend your Saturday.
I could do more bucket laundry and dishes and some tidying and cleaning.
And I may do a bit of that later.
But first I'm going to watch a movie!
The cats really would prefer I spent those hours feeding them tuna and gently rubbing their ears, but democracy rules here, and votes are distributed by weight, which is both objective and sensible - and does not discriminate between cats or human - yet this does mean their votes only count for 6% per nose.
So I'd better get my things together and get going before my ticket is given to someone else.
Who does not waste precious time discussing democracy with their cats.
And, yes, I do have a Time-Turner. I'm still on hold with customer support, though, as I cannot get it to work.
But it's pretty.
And just a tiny bit silly.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oh, I should perhaps have noticed this a bit earlier.

I realized late last night that the wobbly oddness of the ribbing in the not-so-cashmere Lace Blouse may not be caused by me suffering from a rare lack of rib-knitting ability as much as my using one 3½ mm and one 3 mm needle, when I really, really meant to use two 3 mm needles.
And in yarn this fine it really does make a difference.
But my big fat fingers don't quite feel that same difference.
And I wonder if this ranks next to the pea on the list of signs you're not a princess.
I'll just start over.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I've actually finished something

The Monkey socks are done.
I should get into some sock-blocking, as it would most likely make for prettier photos.
But, well, I think washing and wearing is all I really need. Still there may be some important point I'm missing. I wouldn't be surprised.
And I am now working on the Spiral Boot Socks, enabled by the lovely Linnea.
They are meant as a birthday present for the wonderful girlfriend of one of my best friends.
And I hope I will have them finished on time. Which is in less than two weeks.
Right now I doubt it.
But then there's always Christmas.
Filcolana's Arwetta is by now my absolute favourite sock yarn.
It is gorgeous.
The colours are incredible, and it's soft and wonderful to work with - and not at all expensive.
However I am using the also very, very lovely Regia Silk for my not-Cashmere Lace Blouse. And it works wonderfully.
As always my ribbing looks odd and wobbly, but as usual I trust it will straighten itself out with a bit of careful and hopeful washing and blocking.
Otherwise I'll just ignore it and still be happy.
I love this lace pattern.
The first of the eight rows has me entirely confused every single time. And then I feel utterly brilliant being less confused the remaining rows.
Even if it's probably one of the nicest, simplest lace patterns there is.
Gauge is a bit fun for this one.
40 sts and 40 rws to 10 cm in ribbing.
30 sts and 42 rws to 10 cm in lace pattern.
And that made me think sock yarn.
And for once I wasn't completely off target.
I have stitch-gauge perfectly, and it seems quite right row-wise too, but I will check that again. Later.
I cannot wait to finish this.
Just as I cannot wait to finish Elizabeth I.
Or the black Elfin Bride.
Or the City Coat.
I want more arms. Or learn to knit with my feet as well.
Or maybe just learn to finish things before starting others.

In the meantime the weather continues its unsummery oddness.
Today we have so far had very heavy rain, a bit of thunder, and now brilliant sunshine paired with strong wind - and a rare glimpse of blue sky.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Today I worship at the feet of Teva Durham

While the postman brought neither yarn nor books yesterday, the library had good things waiting for me.
And one of these good things was the incredible Loop-d-Loop.
It is beautiful. Very, very beautiful.
And the patterns and the reasoning for and the thought put into them ... all awe-inspiring.
I wonder how it took me so long to discover it.
And now I have two knitting-heroines.
Stafford and Durham.
And so, to add to the unfinished need-only-four-pattern-repeats Monkey socks, the unfinished, not-even-halfway-there Elfin Bride, the unfinished but-getting-closer Elizabeth I, oh, yes, ... and the just cast-on Spiral boot socks, and the unfinished oh-my-where-am-I City Coat, .... I decided to cast on for this.
The Lace Cashmere Blouse.
My not-so-little play-swatch in Regia Silk loves it and clearly wants to become like it when it grows up and into shape.
(Yes, I do have that much Regia silk, in a lovely cream even. It was on sale, and I went greedy.)
At first I was stupid enough to think it could become Elizabeth I ... making the second attempt Elizabeth I II, or something, but gauge went off once I moved from swatching to actual knitting.
But now the poor little yarn finally has a direction in life!
And a beautiful one it is!
But I really, really should finish something. Just something.
For crying out loud.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I am waiting for some books to come for me.
Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits and Alice Starmore's Celtic Collection.
And I'm waiting for some yarn as well.
I have the day off. Much, much needed, and in spite of the long to-do list, I have done nothing but read Le Carré, finish the bottom border on Elizabeth and gaze at the cats.
And a bit of wondering.
I have, of course, pre-ordered the last Potter. From my favourite book store Arnold Busck.
Mostly because of my expectation that instead of being open very, very late Friday night, they would open very, very early Saturday morning.
Just like the last time a new Potter arrived.
In my mid-thirties I feel just a tad too old to stand in line in a book store past midnight. Besides I badly need my beauty sleep, even if it may be too late for that.
And I loved the quiet early Saturday in the inner city paired with the giddy excitement of carrying the book home.
And then spending all Saturday reading it. In bed. With cats snoozing and a pile of biscuits, only taking a break to make tea and send non-reading friend an sms per chapter with a brief recap.
Not going to sleep until I was done.
But they've decided to do like the rest of them and open the store midnight to 2, and then open as usually at 10 on Saturday.
So now I'll be standing in line with all the kids at midnight.
In 2 weeks and a few hours.
There is no way I would be able to wait those extra ten hours!
Eight hours, yes - ten hours, no!
I'm stupid.
And waiting.
And wondering if it comes in a nice paper bag again.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Rain and work, knitting and jumping

I have been at work every single day for the past ... 9 days.
Two more days, this included, to go before I have a full two days off.
So I'm tired and cranky.
More so because it has been terribly busy. Not just busy, but terribly so.
And as I'm currently working on both Elizabeth and the second Elfin Bride, and both require a certain degree of concentration I am saving the Monkey socks for knitting at work.
For which there has not been time.
And this is really not something I should complain about.
Even if knitting a bit does help during a long, long day.
But: I have finished the back of Elizabeth I!
55 stitches mid front are on hold, hence the slightly crumpled crookedness in the photo. She will be very pretty once done!
And I have cast on for the front. The sleeves are already done, and so she should be all fine and finished before .... the last Potter book comes out.
See, that's probably the highlight of my summer. The last installment in the Potter series.
(Sad, really.)
But: First sleeve is done on the Elfin, stitches for the second one has been picked up and I'm getting very close to the gusset cast-on. All very exciting.
(80% cotton, 20% cat hair)
Knitting the sleeves of the first Elfin was a bit of a drag after all the excitement knitting the body. So I've decided to finish the sleeves completely before moving on to the really fun part.
And the slight boredom of sleeve-knitting will let me finish Elizabeth I first. I think.
I have a serious crush on both of these patterns.
I think that the shaping and the details in both are in a league of their own, and I want to knit them both in every colour possible.
I could easily become the one who knitted the same two patterns for thirty years.
(But then my Ravelry queue says something different.)
I wish I had things to tell about travelling the big wide world, or whipping up a lace shawl, or something immensely interesting and fun.
But life these days is rain and work and knitting.
And a lot of jumping not to step on the myriad of snails occupying the sidewalks.
Some of them are pretty. Some of them are incredibly gross (but no less fascinating in the mind of my inner 5 years old). And both make me wish I brought my camera.
But then I would probably be late for work.