19 June 2018

A Bag of Goodness

About a month or so ago, via Instagram, I saw that someone I followed had reposted a photo of a pair of socks one of her acquaintances was designing.  They were, as the expression goes, right in my wheelhouse.

What could I do, but start following the person myself, and keeping track of her designing, so that I would know when the pattern was released?  It turns out that she is an interesting person to begin with, in that she lives on a boat (!) with a boyfriend, a dog, and a couple of cats.  She also designs all kinds of cool and interesting things for knitters - like stitchmarkers, shawl pins, etc. 

She then announced that she would be releasing the pattern at Woolinn, and had created kits to sell there, as well as on her website.  I decided that I not only needed the pattern, but I needed the kit, since I couldn't go to Woolin, or any other fiber festivals this year.  So I ordered one, and it arrived a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted to open it right away, but told myself that could only open it AFTER I was well into the second sock of a pair I was knitting.  I knew that if I opened the package, the already underway pair would be completely abandoned, and I was determined to finish those!

So this past weekend, when I was well through the leg of the other sock, I opened the package.  Though as you can see, the package itself was pretty darn exciting.

The inside was even better!

There was the pattern and yarn to knit it, a Sinister Cat project bag, a tin of cat stitchmarkers, and a pin with Sinister Cats that says, "Smash the patriarchy."  I just love it all, and can't wait to start the socks, because I think they will be a fun knit.  This truly qualifies as one of the best kits I've ever received.

Opening this package was a really wonderful way to start my vacation week.  And now I have even more motivation to finish the pair of socks I'm currently knitting - the peeky cats await!

17 June 2018

In Honor of Father's Day

The whisky on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

My Papa's Waltz
by Theodore Roethke

May your Father's Day land gently.

14 June 2018

Next Week

I try to live in the moment, I really do.  And most of the time I do a pretty good job of it, and have been able to make it work MUCH better than I used to be able to do.  But for today's post, I'm going to talk about next week.  Why?  Because I will be on vacation the entire time.  We are not traveling anywhere, but by taking the entire week, I will be able to use the vacation days instead of losing even more of them (I'm losing a LOT - but it's not because of me, it's because we are so short-staffed at work, most of my time off requests were denied.  Grrrrr.)

Moving on, since it is the way to go forward without going on a murderspree, I've been thinking of the 400,000 things I want to do/need to do, during that time.  Needless to say, I'll be lucky if three of them get checked off the list, but since it's Three on Thursday time, here is a list of the ones in my brain right at the moment.

1.  Sewing.  Even if not a lot of sewing happens, I want to at least get something started and ideally, completed.  I've spent quite a bit of time clearing lots o' crap off the sewing table, and I don't want that effort to have been wasted.

2.  Eat fried clams.  I love fried clams, and very few places serve them.  However, the BEST are at Smitty's Clam Bar, in Somers Point, NJ, right across the bridge from the Ocean City, NJ beach.  It's a typical beach place, kind of a shack, but clean, inexpensive, with humongous servings of yummy food, particularly the fried clams.  It gets super crowded, but if you go during the week when they open at 4:30 p.m., or right around 5:00, there's no long wait.  And it is SO worth it.

3.  Be.  I have a couple of dr appts, and have plans next Friday for lunch with a friend, but other than that, I'm gonna mostly get up in the morning, be leisurely and then see what I feel like doing.  You know, just BE.  That's the best thing about not having to go to work, or anyplace in particular on any given day.

Of course, it goes without saying that I'll be doing plenty of the stuff I usually do, but I want to try and make a concerted effort to do these three.

12 June 2018

Why Are Some Things So Hard?

First of all, thank you for indulging my post of anger and despair about The-"Leader"-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.  I really try to leave my comments and feelings about him and his administration and family out of my blog, but be warned that every once in a while it will creep in.  Some things are just beyond the pale, you know?

Moving on (if only our country could, sigh), I've been thinking about all of the crafts lately.  And how enjoyable they are, and the fun of seeing what you can do, admitting what you can't or don't like to do, and finding like minds who feel as you do.  I am ridiculously happy with the friends I've made through knitting especially, since most of the other crafts I can do pre-date Ravelry, blogs, etc.  Though many of said friends are multi-craftual as well, which is nice.

And so, we are exposed to so much more than we could have ever come across on our own.  I will happily admit that an awful lot of the things I have knit or plan to knit were randomly discovered through Ravelry, blogs, and podcasts.  Left to my own devices, I'm not sure I would have ever become acquainted with most of the designers and patterns out there.  So much to see!  So much to knit!  So much yarn!

I mean - YAY!, right??

With all of that wonderfulness out there, then why are some things so hard?  Why, when I can knit a sock, can I not successfully wrap my brain around the technique known as Wrap and Turn?  I can zoom along on a pair of fingerless gloves, but a 4-stitch lace repeat boggles my mind, and has to be torn out and redone several times, or even sometimes just abandoned altogether.  And OH MY GOD what is with the "decrease 4 stitches at the beginning of every fourth row, at the same time as you are standing on your head and baking a cake from scratch."  (OK, that's an exaggeration, but you get my drift, right?)

These are just a few of the things that make me stabby when I'm knitting.  I cannot tell you how many You Tube videos I have watched about Wrap and Turn, and other equivalent methods, and the whole thing still evades me.  I'm sure that someday the light bulb will turn on and I'll finally understand it.  But in the meantime, I will admit that I tend to avoid patterns where this is mentioned at all. 

True, it is not necessary to know how to do everything there is to do in knitting, or any other craft.  And there are some things I've been able to figure out well enough to enable me to finish something, and then decided that I would avoid it in the future.  We all find the kinds of things we like to knit, and some techniques "take" while others just never, ever do.

What are the things that are hard for you?  Do you forge ahead and do it until you have it seared into your brain, or are you like me, and you avoid it like the plague whenever possible?  Surely I'm not the only knitter or crafter who gets frustrated from time to time when I just can't get something to work.

Feel free to share in the comments.  If I can manage to get my act together, I may even do my best to respond!

10 June 2018

Oh Canada! Oh Rest of the World!

When I was a little kid, and would say I hated someone, my mother would always say, "Don't say that.  It's not good to hate people, and besides it takes too much energy."  Years later, she mentioned someone, ans said, "You know, I think I hate her."  I pointed out what she told me, and she said, "Yeah, well, it takes very little energy to hate her." 

And I have to say, the Orange Menace occupying the White House  definitely falls into that category.  Words cannot describe my loathing for him and his group.  On top of of which, he has decided that the last few countries who were are friends need to know "who's in charge," and wants to teach them a lesson. 

To my friends in Canada, and the rest of the world - PLEASE know that he does not speak for me, or for a large number of people in this country.  He is just simply one of the most terrible persons ever, and has always been that way.  I've got nothing, as far as understanding or explaining why anyone supports him.

I do my very best to try not to talk about it here, but lately he has just gone above and beyond, even for him, and I just want any readers who are not from the U.S. to know that I do not support his actions, his behavior, or his ideas. 

God help us all.  Now onto the week.