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Seriously. Four months since I’ve been on here? Apparently that chemo cap took the life right out of me. Always hideously depressing to knit those things.

My sister set me the challenge of making a baby hat that matched one in a greeting card. Did a mashup of:

Bean Sprout Baby Hat

Petite Pixie Hat

The cuter version

Knit the hat twice, because the first time it just didn’t have the cuteness factor. It was a good thing I had to knit it twice, since I once again tried to do my civic duty. I knit furiously before and after I spoke to try to release the adrenaline. I hate speaking in public, have I mentioned that?

Went out to tell a bunch of officials (volunteer and elected) that they were messing up once again. Dealt with one bully, an embarrassing appearance on the city’s tv channel, a newspaper article, and they were forced to change their minds. Temporarily.

I really need a new windmill to tilt against, because I’m never going to defeat this one. They’re never going to get this one right, I guarantee it.

Current audiobook: Just finished The Collected Stories of Winnie-the-Pooh performed by Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench, and Jane Horrocks (Bubble from Absolutely Fabulous, and LV in Little Voice. If you haven’t seen Little Voice, it will absolutely blow you away.)

Currently Reading: Reading most of the past year of Frazz online. Cannot get over how much I enjoy that comic.

“I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” – Carl Sandburg


Well I can kind of make a ring now, sort of. Not without a great deal of help from the teacher. We two sisters headed out to a solid 16 hours of introduction to silversmithing classes. Very interesting (and I mean that in many ways) teacher from whom we learned lots of tips and tricks. My ring ended up slightly too big, but today when my hands were warmer it fits. So I guess this gets to be a summer ring?

First Silver Ring

Made by Hand by Me!

Currently Reading: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Up next: The Ambassadors : from ancient Greece to Renaissance Europe, the men who introduced the world to itself

Current DVD: The First Grader is in the queue. Will definitely need tissues at hand.

“We have to learn from our past because we must not forget, and because we must be better.” – Kimani N’gan’ga Maruge

I am still looking at the yarn and baby hat pattern I set aside weeks ago. Somehow, I am just not motivated to attempt the redesign, or knitting it the way the directions state. Nor am I aching to unfold the loom for any great projects, because then it would be in the way of all things.

I think spring restlessness is setting in, about a week early. The cleaning has begun. I dumped a box of books at the used bookstore (they refused the other full box so that will be donated somewhere). I have another pile of papers to send through the shredder. I’m sure a bag of clothes will head to Goodwill soon.

And yet I seem to keep acquiring yarn, with no plan how to use it. Okay, I’m sure none of you ever do that. Buy yarn you might not use, purchase books you might never read. And I’ve discovered that Tuesday Morning is both 1) a yarn store and 2) a book store. Things I should not know, if I want to keep the clutter to a minimum and the yarn stash from exploding.

Current Book: Just started Then Again by Diane Keaton. This might end up being too deep and thought-provoking for me right now. No, I’m serious. It is an autobiography, but also a biography of her mother and all of her lost dreams, recorded in collaged journals over decades. Keaton Sr. even continued making these journals through her 15 years of Alzheimer’s, when some days all she could do was write one word or just a string of random numbers.

I need to plan to read something very very very funny right after I finish that book.

Current DVD: Big Bang Theory, Season Three, picked up today at the library; Some Kind of Wonderful, because I haven’t seen it in a very long time; Adventures of Mark Twain (claymation) because it contains a short version of Diary of Adam and Eve’s Diary, which are two of my favorite Twain stories.

“Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.” – Thomas Alva Edison

Recycled Lamb Moving Sale Today!

Recycled Lamb in Lakewood is moving across the street tomorrow. 25 years in one place, and their big move is across the street? Well, it makes sense to the lovely ladies who run the shop, so why not?

Ordinarily RL is one of the few local fiber shops open on Sundays, but they are closed tomorrow for the Big Move/Great Yarn-Over. Today they are having sales to limit the amount of hauling they have to do. Sales on weaving yarn, as well as discontinued yarns and some pattern books are 30% . I know where I’m headed later today.

I was just there last weekend, seeking out Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in lavender and gray for a baby hat. I’m going to attempt a version of the “Sweet Hex Child’s Hood” by Lisa Shroyer.

This pattern involves something called a steek, where you cut apart your knitting. What? Of course I am terrified of the idea of cutting apart my knitting, so I am attempting to redesign the hat so I can knit it flat with no cutting. And I’m changing out the design, so I can use something from the fabulous Icelandic Book instead. As opposed to just following the pattern As Written by the person who actually knows what they are doing.

Current Audiobook: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Currently Reading: Anyone want to explain to me why I felt compelled to purchase a paperback copy of Conversational Japanese at the thrift store this morning? In my dreams someday I’d like to visit the Miho Museum, but seriously have no plans to make that happen. So why purchase the book? There’s probably an interesting psychological study in that; what do the books we purchase say about us?

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

Completed another cap, once again to the sounds of club mix and Tallis. This one is technically a Cap for the Troops, even though that program has been disbanded. A colleague’s son tried in vain to find a job, and when he couldn’t, he ended up joining the military. She is proud but terrified, so I poured lots of good thoughts into the hat as I knit it. Rustic Wool, Queensland Collection.

Cap for Troop

Be Safe, Be Safe

Spent four hours yesterday reading You Need Help Charlie Brown. In french (Ca Ne Va Pas, Charlie Brown). Because I’m feeling the need to try to actually learn something useful, like another language. Not sure how useful it is that I now know the Great Pumpkin is la Grande Citrouille in french. Struggling to read through those, I was reminded of how much deep though Charles Schultz put into those “simple” cartoons. Don’t believe me? Re-read some of them for yourself.

“You cannot open a book without learning something.” – Confucius

Unfortunately, another chemo cap is called for. I’ve mentioned before how I wish there was no need of these anymore, right?

The trick this time around is that the recipient is Chinese, so I’m a bit flummoxed on the color choices. After taking a quick read through some Chinese color sites, the obvious choices would have been aqua blue-green (health) or green (purity). Trouble is, in Chinese culture the giving of a green hat indicates infidelity. Yikes. So I settled on purple (joy and happiness; hopefully geared towards feeling better), because that seemed like the only choice.

Head Huggers Rolled Brim

Chemo Cap

Head Hugger

Knit on size 6s using Malabrigo Silky Wool in Light Hyacinth (No. 420). Randomly, I’ve discovered that knitting to a dance mix really speeds up the process!

Went to the yarn shop Monday, forgetting that they’re closed Mondays. Ran into another knitter who needed help learning how to purl. Spent 5 minutes teaching her how and pointing her towards Tiny sense of accomplishment for the day. What a mensch as my friend B would say.

Current Book: Last of the Gaslight Mysteries by Thompson

Current DVDs: First season of Big Bang Theory

Current Audiobook: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed

Current Music: Other than the club mix for knitting, listening to my latest indulgence, Tallis Latin Church Music by the Taverner Consort

“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.” — Alex Karras

I bring you the sparkly Cthulhu fingerless gloves. Because really, when you’re thinking of a malevolent entity (or god, depending upon your viewpoint), don’t you think sparkly? Black Panda Silk sock yarn and multicolored glass beads (Purple Iris set from Orr’s Trading Post if you’re curious).

Okay, you’re now wondering if the picture link is broken. Guess which crafter forgot to take a picture of the fabulous final product?

Based on the amazing Cthulhu Mittens by Diana Stafford

I knit these basically like wrist warmers just longer, so they are the same diameter all along the arm. That makes some parts extra loose, but I figure the tentacles around the wrist area can be fluid for effect. Right?

Not having measured my friend’s arms for this surprise gift, I didn’t want to make these too small through shaping. By doing the traditional provisional cast on, I was able to knit in a separate ball of yarn for one side of the thumbhole (back of the glove basically), then knit the two yarns together once each side of the the thumbhole was bound off. It seemed to make sense at the time. There is probably a better way to do it, but I’m stubborn-enough to want to figure these out on my own.

Current audiobook: On CD 19 of 38 of 1Q84 by Murakami.

Current book: Waiting for the next three Gaslight Mysteries to come in, starting Edison’s Eve : a magical history of the quest for mechanical life

Current DVDs: Pile from library is growing including Harry Potter Finale I and II, Young Victoria, Case Histories (yay Jackson Brodie!), Flight of the Conchords.

“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” – H P Lovecraft

Said my piece in the public area; they nicely shut me down. Ah well, I tried to fight the good fight. Not good at recognizing when something is a lost cause.

Finished the binding on the quilt late last night, given away tonight. And what design was it? The turtle design from Contemporary Quilts: Original Patterns Based on the Drawings of M. C. Escher by Kay Parker. Made of all different kinds of blue batik to make the Dream of the Blue Turtles quilt. Extra points if you get that reference right away.

Dream of the Blue Turtles Quilt

Just keep swimming

Next up: I need to finish (okay, basically start and finish) two pairs of beaded wrist warmers in a week. Ready, set, knit!

Still reeling a bit from the lack of sales at the annual fiber guild. Not sure what direction to take with design, so I haven’t made much of anything lately.

Now of course, deadlines are coming up. I’ve been working on a giant project for 10 years, always putting it aside to do something else. Well, now it is due. Tomorrow night. Because I have put it off for so long I feel I have to finish it now or never. I have to work all day today and tomorrow, and I need to attend a meeting tonight.

(The meeting is so I can put my two cents in about my local government’s poor decision making. Letter to the Editor wasn’t published in time, so I have to show up in person and make my unhappiness known. Hell has no wrath like a woman scorned? Try scorning the taxpayer and trying to get away with it.)

And I need to hand-sew the binding all the way around a king size quilt. By tomorrow night.

Odds on that happening?

Recent reads: Re-read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Because when you go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, you are required to re-read that book. Moral imperative. Also re-read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Robinson, because you have to read that every Christmas.

Currently reading: Up to book six of the Victoria Thompson Gaslight Mysteries and still enjoying them. She very cleverly wrote them close in time, so even though I’m on book six, only about a year-and-a-half has elapsed in the storyline. At this pace and this historical setting, she can write dozens of these. Smart, very smart.

Currently listening to: Two long-awaited audiobooks came in on hold at the library. 11/22/63 by Stephen King and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Clocking in at 30+ hours (King) and 46 hours 46 minutes (Murakami) for your audio listening pleasure.

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

Time once again for the local holiday gift fairs. Some were actually last weekend, so I’ve already missed out on some shopping opportunities. Of course, I have shopping done for everyone but mom. Not a clue what to get her. Not clue one.

This shopping ahead isn’t always a good thing. I found a great white elephant gift for the holiday party at work. Now we aren’t having a party. Bought the gift two months ago so now cannot return it. Ah well, live and learn and lose $6.

Boulder Area craft fairs

Jefferson Unitarian Church
Holiday Craft Faire
December 2 and 3rd, 2011

Shining Mountain Waldorf King Winter Faire
Saturday, December 3, 2011

Denver Public Library Holiday Used Book Sale
Doesn’t everyone need at least one book as a holiday gift?
December 8, 9, 10 2011
Central Branch

Denver Christkindl Market
Through December 23, downtown Denver

Currently listening to: On Yoolis Night, Medieval Carols and Motets
Found for $1 at a different library book sale two weeks ago.

“I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.” – Thomas Jefferson