Tangled String

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” G. Bernard Shaw


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sorta wip wednesday

Today did not go as planned.  While there is nothing unusual in that, my planned posting is not what I have to show you.

I had hoped to start Daddy-Oh for Miss B’s friend’s fraternal twins, but I did not get head measurements until late afternoon while in the car.

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I am remaking Kelly because it was supposed to be knit on size 6 needles only the pattern says size 8 and it was just sloppy.

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But for the second time, my Lantern Moon needles have abandoned me in my hour of need.

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I am feeling forlorn and will try again next week.


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felting. feh!

Mr. B decided he wanted a pair of felted slippers.  I don’t know why exactly he does this to me since I am rubbish at felting.  Washing machines have changed and no longer have that agitator in the middle and wool needs to be agitated to felt.

Anyway, he picked out a pattern:  135-38 Blueberry by DROPS.  I picked the yarn — Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky in a heathered brown because it “felts well.”

The slipper in its original form was ridiculous and looked medieval.

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Without the agitator, I simply washed the slippers. Three times, as it turned out, because each time they lost about two inches in length.

They are actually still a little bit longer than would be absolutely perfect, but I have turned over any further processing to Mr. B himself, since the last time I tried felting was the famous turning his jacket into something that fit me.
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I just don’t like this whole felting thing. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out — other than badly — and that worries me.


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dizzyland

Miss B and I are fans of Disneyland, but we don’t get there very often.

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Recently, I decided if we were going to go, we should go at a time when the Park would be less crowded than usual.  (Even with the small number of people in the park, we were awash in Elsas and Annas).  I chose a mid-week day in the middle of December and, as luck would have it, the weather was very iffy (wonderfully grey and rainy) so the first thing I did was buy a hat.  Miss B already had one because she is Prepared.  We were able to simply walk onto most of the rides.

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The 15-minute wait time for Indiana Jones was the 10 minutes it took to walk from the entrance to the ride itself.  We actually waited about five minutes to board our vehicle.  It was glorious.  The longest line we stood in was Peter Pan.

I have had the pleasure of getting stuck on several rides over the years:  Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, the Haunted House.  This year it was Peter Pan and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.  Alice in Wonderland was down for a bit because of the rain because part of the track is outside (???), but only two rides were closed:  Casey Jr. Circus Train and Storybook Land Canal Boats.  We rode Alice in Wonderland later.  It has been ruined improved.  I hated it.  The same was true of the Matterhorn.  They have changed the bobsleds so you’re not squishing anyone or being squished, but I had to place my shoulders in my ears to use the handles and the track is so out of whack that the ride was actually painful.  They put those stupid Yeti in place after the Skyway was removed in 1994 and I have hated them for 20 years.  Combine the cramped position, the lousy track, and the Yeti and I don’t think I will be riding the Matterhorn again, which is a pity because I remember watching it go up.

It’s a Small World was decorated for Christmas and they had incorporated a couple of Christmas songs into the usual song (seamlessly, I might add).

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The castle was MUCH prettier after the fireworks, but Miss B has that photo and hasn’t shared it with me yet, so we simply have Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with “snow.”

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Before we left the hotel we met two-year-old twins and infant triplets.  While we were in line for Peter Pan, I noticed three boys (about eight years old) all dressed alike and all about the same size, so I asked if they were triplets.  Their mother only spoke Spanish, so I used my Spanglish and sign language.  Her response?  No.  Quadruplets, and pointed to her daughter.  Their 18-year-old sister was there, so I said, “Cinco ninos???” and she replied, “No, siete.”  I told her there was definitely a place in heaven for her and she laughed.

Quadruplets!!!  I saw them and I still can’t imagine such a thing!

I went to California Adventure and I felt like I was in the cheap seats at the County Fair.  I will admit that the art deco buildings on Buena Vista were glorious (I do love me some art deco).

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And I will confess that California Screamin’ was AWESOME; but I won’t be going back to that Park again.  Unless they will let me in just to ride the roller coaster.  Did I mention that it was seriously AWESOME?  Which is highly unlikely and I am not paying $96 to ride the thing, so I guess it was a one-time thrill.

But at least it was a thrill.

 


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wip wednesday

 

I don’t know how knitters who knit multiple items at one time do it. How do they divide up their time evenly and make progress?

I WAS working on a sleeveless lacy top by Sarah Dallas called Lace TopIt was giving me fits because there was no chart, something I have discovered Rowan is famous for (boo, hiss), in a color called “blackberry.”

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However, the weather went from the next-door neighbors putting up their Christmas lights in shorts to normal Valley Winter (foggy with icy wind — also, ironically, the only time the grass is green) in a matter of minutes and lacy tops just seemed so wrong.

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I had made a sweater for Mr. B called Andoa some time back, but he seldom wears it.  I asked why and it turned out that he likes his crew necks a bit crewier than the sweater (even though HE picked out the pattern).  At first, I thought it would just be a matter of tightening up the neck — elastic thread, a few more rows — something simple.

As I took a look at the sweater, however, I realized it is just two rectangles with sleeves coming straight out of the shoulder seams and a neck in the middle.  No slope upwards from shoulder to neck (you know, the way humans are shaped), wherein lay the problem.

I have partially dismantled the sweater into four pieces with no neckband and am currently working on the back.  I have a few more inches before I begin my jerry-rigged climb to the neck.  Jerry-rigged because I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m doing being an inveterate follower of patterns.  Which partially caused the problem in the first place.

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Once I get the back finished, I am going to take a break to make a pair of felted slippers for Mr. B — special request — as his old slippers were, like Lord Emsworth’s hat, something he should have been ashamed to wear.  Unfortunately, when he went to buy new ones, they only had a half size or a size larger than he actually needed.  He is tired of walking out of his slippers.  Odd.

I will be using WEBS’ Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky and approaching the Great Felting Experiment with trepidation.

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I feel this is a manly enough brown if I can just get it to felt properly.  The yarn specifically says it is excellent for felting; here’s hoping it doesn’t let me down.  I have a front-loading washing machine, so other methods will have to be tried.

In travel knitting, I have just turned the heel of my second sock.  I have another doctor’s appointment tomorrow, so will hopefully get a bit further soon.

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not a good day

We are cat people.

Mr. T has had his cat since he was 10 years old. He is 27 now. They were about as tight as two friends could be. When he was younger and the target of every bully within a five-mile radius, I feared that if something happened to her, he would harm himself.

As she aged, the inevitable passage of time took its toll. She had arthritis, her hearing was going, she complained almost constantly, there were times when Mr. T did not think she recognized him. That was hardest for him — his best friend didn’t always know who he was.

Early this month, we went to the vet’s and he did the last thing he could do for her: he stopped her pain.

Last year we had three cats show up. The Widget got here first when her mother unceremoniously dropped her at the doorstep. We had met the mom earlier and she was far too young for motherhood. I am sure she was impregnated during her first heat and could not have been more than eight months old when she gave birth. They were close to starvation when they came to the door, so we fed them. When The Widget got old enough, we had her spayed. Mom left. The Widget stayed.

Tux was dumped after he had been neutered and Snooks just showed up. We fed them both. Tux loved people, Snooks had clearly been abused because she did not trust humans; but she was hungry. We moved the food to a neutral spot and she gradually got closer and closer and then we found out she was an absolute love. She craved affection. We gave it to her.

Shortly after that, she got to close too the road and was killed by a car. It was horrible. We had worked to gain her trust and she had loved us and she was gone.

When The Widget was small there was another cat who showed up and they kind of grew up together. I was laughing one day and said, “Have you noticed that when The Widget sees her through the window, she’s like, ‘Mom! Mom! Gloria’s here! Can I go out and play?” So she became Gloria. Gloria the Fearless. Gloria, the World’s Most Confident Cat. Gloria who would kick any intruder’s ass and didn’t put up with anybody’s sass.

We started feeding her and her coat got softer because she had time to groom herself. Whenever Miss B would go outside (which was most evenings) there was a purrfest and toe-nibbling; and if Miss B heard something untoward outside her window at night, out the door she went because she always had Gloria’s back.

She was dead in the road today when I got home. The road she never went near. I chased the vultures off, knelt in the road, and sobbed. I picked her up and Mr. T, Miss B, and I chiseled our way through the hardpan that masks as ground around here until we had a hole large enough for her next to Snooks.

Miss B knew her best, but I can’t stop crying.


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wip wednesday

Not much in the wip category today.  I have turned the heel on the first Horcrux sock, but I haven’t taken any pictures.

When we were getting ready to go to Tahoe, I tried to skein up my Madelintosh Malachite Tosh Sock and discovered the bugs had destroyed a truly beautiful yarn.  I was distraught and went into the stash and grabbed the first thing that didn’t need skeining, which was Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima Socka Teddy Color.  Which is sport weight, fluffy yarn and completely wrong for the pattern (and sport weight is just completely wrong for size 1 needles).  I am afraid the Frog Pond is in the very near future.

I was distraught over the Tosh Malachite — which is no longer available — and not thinking clearly.

Any suggestions for suitable substitutions on the Tosh???

I did start Katie’s Beret by Kirsten Kapur in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport Multi in Tahoe colorway.  Not a lot to show, but I am halfway through the twisted ribbing.

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Impressive, right?

I do have pictures of the Decidedly UnTweedy Vest:

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Tweedy Vest from Knitscene in Dale of Norway Heilo.  That is a rough yarn, so I am glad it is not going to be next to my skin.  Norwegians are apparently hardy folk.

And the Cabled Shell:

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Crystal Palace’s Choo Choo Cabled Shell in Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Multi — unknown colorway and the band is long gone.  I modified it by adding five rows of ribbing at the hem, neckline, and armscyes.  It was 78 degrees outside at 9:30 this morning, so this tank top is just in time.  (My apologies for the cat butt.)

Tonight I plan to use some Posh Yarn from the stash to cast on Evelyn Clark’s Leaf Lace Shawl, and find a sport-weight sock pattern.

Last year I knit two hats.  This year is better.

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