Looky what I got today!
I don’t know that I will ever knit anything from it, but ’tis a thing of beauty!
My knitting progress this year has been abysmal — as in non-existent. There has actually been a lot of knitting, but there has been more frogging.
However, miraculously, it is Wednesday and I have a Work In Progress! Two, actually.
I have finished the back of Mr. B’s cardigan and started one of the fronts.
This picture contains a gratuitous cat. The Widget is the latest addition and she was recently (Monday) fixed, but we don’t seem to recognize that one needs to recuperate from major surgery. T says she is a Snuggle Kitty because she likes to be near people. She slept on my lap as I knit and she curls up next to me at night. I have never experienced this before although I have loved many cats. Just as an FYI — knitting with a cat on your lap quickly becomes warmish.
I have even made progress on the sock, which mostly lives in the car and only sees the light of day if I am facing a waiting room.
Who knows? I might finish something this year; but I wouldn’t count on it.
I have rather a lot swirling about in my head as I watch (and smell) the smoke rising above the Sierra.
A recent news article found it odd that we Californians name fires. I couldn’t understand why. People on the East Coast and in the South name hurricanes. Fire is every bit as destructive and, as my state unfortunately has a Fire Season, we need to know which fire is being discussed.
I was driving home a week ago and there were very odd, streaky clouds in the sky. Except this one gigantic thundercloud due north.
I thought, first, “That’s odd,” followed almost immediately by, “Oh.”
That’s not a cloud. It’s the smoke from the Rim Fire.
I don’t know how the firefighters do it. The whole state is just parched and Congress won’t fund brush removal — Why would they? They can only say “No,” and pout (and lie) — so the fires are INTENSE. I stood a street’s and a lawn’s distance from a burning house once (I was calling 9-1-1) and the heat was unbearable.
These brave souls wade right into the Seventh Circle of Hell and fight these things hand-to-hand. Another thing about the news? They keep referring to it as a fire in the foothills. The foothills are gently rolling lead-ups to the Sierra covered in scrub oak trees. The foothills do not have ravines, or granite towers like El Capitan. This is not the High Sierra, where trees are few and far between anyway, but it is definitely the Mountains. Half Dome is close to 9,000 feet above sea level. NOT foothills.
The Rim has burned more square mileage than the City of Chicago. It is threatening Hetch Hetchy, but I am somewhat smug about that. The Hetch Hetchy rivaled Yosemite Valley for spectacular beauty. Then they dammed it so San Francisco could have the finest water In. The. State. Which they complain about. They “don’t know if it’s safe,” or if it’s any good.” They need to be slapped.
We had been lucky with the smoke. A few days ago the wind shifted. The mountains disappeared and the smoke created an inversion layer that shot the temperature up to 105 degrees on Friday.
It was most unpleasant. In fact, it was vile, and I am about 50 miles south of Yosemite. I don’t know how those firefighters do it; but I am DAMN glad they do.
When textbooks loll about in that bored way they have for 10 weeks, they gather a bit of dust. As an aside, books in and of themselves, are filthy. I truly believe I have washed my hands more times since I began working in the library than in all the years leading up to that event.
Textbook distribution is a frenetic activity. We are moving pretty fast. And there are many books.
A lot of dusty books. I began with a bit of a cough and ended yesterday with The Cough That Would Not Die. I went to see Dr. I today and was given an inhaler, prednisone, a prescription for an antibiotic the pharmacy can’t fill, and a cough syrup with codeine, which I gave back, politely saying I don’t like cough syrup enough to taste it twice. I understand codeine is a marvelous drug, but it only stays with me for an amazingly short time.
I was sent for a chest and sinus x-ray because it could be dust disrupting my bronchia OR it could be a sinus infection OR it could be a virus (in which case the antibiotic is pointless). I was also told to stay home tomorrow, which I thought was silly, but after this morning’s adventures, I appreciate his kindness.
The x-ray tech told me this would be an experience I would always remember. Apparently that heavy skull we carry around does a good job of making sinuses hard to see. My head was put into some odd positions, including one where I had to open my mouth just so. I accused him of taking pictures for blackmail purposes, but he denied all accusations.
He is right. I will remember these x-rays for a long time!
On this blog I have a yarn meter indicating how many yards I have knit this year. I have actually done a lot of knitting, but as I have had to frog just about everything, it sits at ZERO.
I do not know what’s wrong. I started a nice, simple navy vest for myself and was damn close to finishing the back when I noticed an error in the pattern.
I told myself it was on the back and only I would know about it and that I could just let it go. I knit on for a bit, but every time I picked the thing up all I could see was the mistake.
Not letting go, apparently.
I frogged the thing back and put the yarn somewhere safe where I couldn’t hurt it and went back to Mr. B’s sweater.
It had been six months since I worked on it, so I started over.
Not to be outdone by the vest, I have found two instances where I messed up on the cables. I tried to fix it both times by just tinking the four offending stitches. Both times I failed and had to frog back to the mistake. Last night that meant more than 20 rows.
Even the socks I started had to be frogged as I cleverly cast on for the wrong size.
May I just say, “Bloody hell!”?
A stray cat showed up at our house a number of weeks ago. She is extraordinarily friendly. She is also kind of a klutz. We tried bringing her in the house, but she has no manners to speak of and, as soon as the door opened, she headed out. This was for the best as the other cats were very much not happy to see a newcomer. I had a feeling she was pregnant, but she was very young, which worried me. I found out about a voucher program the local shelter has, but she never “came back,” so to speak. She would lounge on the steps, but that was about it.
She clearly was pregnant because now she (a smoky grey kitty) has a pure white kitten with her at all times. It looks to be about 8-10 weeks old. I saw it for the first time this morning and hope to get a picture soon. It is quite sleek and looking well-fed, so I assume the population of gophers on the property is diminishing.
Now. Do I catch her (we call her Aggie) and take her off to be fixed, leaving her kitten with no one for several days? Or do I just let nature take its course (which it’s going to do anyway)? Frankly, I am surprised Aggie has lasted this long as there are wild critters in the neighborhood. I saw a fox — an actual RED fox (rather than the usual grey) — ON the property not too long ago and there are always coyotes. I know this sounds callous, but I cannot save every cat that gets dumped. Much as I would like to be the Crazy Cat Lady; I live with others.
The weather has been very odd this year. We had an unusually long, cool Spring. Actually, the fact that we even HAD a Spring was odd. We usually have Cold and Wet for half the year and Hot and Dry the other half with about one week of transition in between. Then, with no warning to speak of, the weather hit 100 degrees. 65 to 100 in a couple of days. Wipes you out, but it’s good for tissue sales. I was driving home t’other day and looking at the thunderheads over the Sierra Nevada.
This one was as I was heading north out of Fresno.
These were a bit closer to home. Rain should gladden the heart. It does not. First, from thunderheads comes lightning and from lightning comes fire. This is why we may not have a Spring or an Autumn in California, but we have a Fire Season. Those clouds are bad news.
Second, the precipitation which used to fall as snow is now falling as rain due to climate change. It is hard to capture rainwater as the earth itself soaks it up long before it can reach a river (although one of the counties south of us had a flash flood warning all day yesterday because of massive rainfall in the Sierra — but again, a flash flood doesn’t last — hence the name). The Central Valley needs that water to reach the rivers and the lakes because we only have rain from November through February and, even then, not enough.
As evidence, I present the San Luis Reservoir.
I apologize for the wonkiness of the photo. We were zipping along Route 152 through Pacheco Pass. This does not bode well for the Valley. (The water level. Not the wonkiness.)
We were headed toward San Francisco which is normally a two-to-three hour trip. We go up through the peninsula because we are too cheap to pay the toll on the bay Bridge. Apparently, there was a “suspicious package” on the bridge and they closed it down, so everyone took one of the other bridges that crisscross the San Francisco Bay, over to 101 (which is where we were. For a long time.)
When we got to San Francisco (for this exhibit) it looked like this.
Those buildings are taller. They are wreathed in fog. Temperature difference? About 40 degrees cooler than at home.
We were delayed on the way home, too. By some sort of protest. Of what? Who knows?
It’s San Francisco.
I had hoped to be able to show impressive progress on these socks:
Unfortunately, I cast on whilst awaiting the start of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Woodward Park and I was deep in conversation with an old friend.
I had read the instructions and knew full well the first set of directions was for a child’s sock.
I did not let mere facts get in the way and cast on 48 stitches and began ribbing. Did I notice as I joined, being careful not to twist, that the circumference of the cuff was far too small? Why, yes, I did. Thank you for asking. However I forged ahead and had finished most of the cuff blindly believing the circumference would be just fine.
Yesterday, I decided to count the stitches. There were 48, which should not have been a surprise as that is the number I cast on. However, I told myself, “Self! You know you always cast on at least 60 stitches when making socks.”
I rechecked the pattern and lo! 64 stitches are needed for the woman’s sock. I really hate casting on (I can never accurately guesstimate how much of a tail I will need) so I frogged back ever so carefully to the cast on and am gingerly putting the little stitches back onto my size 1 (US) needles.
I have been incredibly lazy this summer and this is all the progress I have made on Mr. B’s sweater:
I was reading a post of Kate’s the other day, and it reminded me of when my own were small people.
I remember sewing a stuffed brontosaurus and stegosaurus. The stegosaurus was especially fun because of the upright scales on the back. I probably have pictures somewhere, but it was a long time ago.
I apparently did not keep, or more likely passed along, most of the things I knit for the small ones. I do have a simple sweater I made for Miss B.
I remember her hopping out of the car one evening when she was three, wearing this sweater. She turned and said, “My, but it’s chilly out.” THREE! I couldn’t think of anything equally sophisticated and simply said, “Yes. It is.” blink blink
Oh, that child! I have been running to catch up since the day she was born.
And to prove that Kate is right about ALL small people liking dinosaurs (what’s not to like?), here is a dress Miss B wore 26 years ago every time it was clean and cool enough.
Small things are easy knits — except when you start four or five times. And we’ve all been there!
I have been away for too long wrestling with demons. It is like my actual life went into suspended animation. I also seem to have forgotten 1) how to knit and 2) how to read knitting patterns.
I restarted Bob’s cardigan at the beginning of the drive to Sedona. There might have been stupid mistakes made and frogging and restarting and pouting and playing of Candy Crush Saga which is the crack cocaine of the game world.
I confirm or deny nothing.
I am using Plymouth’s Grass, which is a cotton/hemp blend. It looks grey, but close-up there is a plethora of colors. I adore that word!
I am further along than the picture but I haven’t updated.
Tomorrow I will be 60.
My parents died relatively young and when I was relatively young. Since then, I have marked my birthdays in a rather macabre fashion — how many family members I have outlived
At 47 years and 10 months, I had outlived my brother. At 57 years and one week. I had outlived my sister. At 58 years and nine months, I had outlived my father. Three weeks from tomorrow, if the Fates wish it, I will have outlived my mother. The sister to whom I do not speak is 75. I hope I am as lucky.
Don’t lecture me on family. I have very good reasons for not having her in my life.
Proof that I am OLD is how tired I am after one week of inventorying textbooks, two weeks of textbook returns (to the tune of 22,000 books, give or take 100), and two weeks of inventorying library books (17,000+). The arthritis in my hands has said a big “Hello!” despite daily doses of naproxen.
We arrived in Sedona late Friday and the next morning went to Starbuck’s as we hadn’t done our grocery shopping.
That evening we sat on the balcony with pasta salad, wine, and cool breezes. It was unusually cool when we left home and it is unusually cool here. I am told it was 97 degrees today in Alaska. There is no such thing as climate change. Nononononono!
This evening I strolled over to the shops at Pinon Pointe to photograph some necklaces. On the way back, I admired the sun against the rocks.
Our unit is on the other side of an arroyo from the main complex and I was nonchalantly strolling down the stairs engrossed in my smart phone when I heard a very definite threatening/warning noise.
It is out of focus because I was shaking. I have hated pigs since running into my first one, which loomed up out of the fog at me when I was three; and the scene in Old Yeller when I found out the damn things will kill and eat you. I froze when this one let out his warning and we stared at each other for a bit before he walked away.
I walked back the long way round.