October 28, 2009

Invisible is the New Black

While I sincerely considered everyone’s suggestions about what to do with the stubborn segment of unbendable yarn, ultimately I resorted to Plan D: Grab your needles, close your eyes, and plow right on through that section of yarn, saying all the while, “La, la, la; I can’t seeeeeeee youuuuuuu!” And sure enough, when you inspect the fabric afterwards, you can’t see it—because you were overly worked up about it to begin with and just had to put on your big-girl pants and stop dithering. This applies to many of life’s problems, I’m thinking.

So the scarf is finished and I couldn’t be happier with it for what it is: simple,
drape-y, colorful, born to go with blue jeans, born to be a pick-me-up on the blusteriest of fall days. "Puck’s Mischief" is a remarkable colourway which, I discovered today, compels both muggles and knitters alike to paw at the scarf. The colors can best be described as being “lime” throughout: lime green, lime pink, lime purple, lime orange—edgy and acidic. What makes it all work and not leave you clawing at your eyes in pain is the one ply of black. Which, oddly, disappears. Look:

The original yarn...

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The scarf...

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And a rare photo of your Blog Mistress actually wearing something she knit...

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P.S. It's postings like this that keep me reading blogs. I howled!

Posted by Ryan at 07:20 PM | Comments (6)

October 26, 2009

Sometimes You Just Gotta Shake Your Head...

From a newspaper column in which questions about Seattle traffic are addressed:

Question:

Why did the city put up signs on southbound Stone Way just south of 50th saying the right lane is ending, when the left lane is the one that actually goes away?

Answer:

Brian Kemper, interim city traffic engineer with the Seattle Department of Transportation: "Thank you for calling our attention to this. We have reviewed the site and agree with the reader. We will replace the signs to correctly indicate that the left lane ends and traffic should merge to the right."

During the entire time spent on assessment, planning, installation and, dare I say it?, quality control, no one noticed this? Sigh. And oy.

Posted by Ryan at 09:59 AM | Comments (9)

October 23, 2009

In Search of the Blogworthy


When you’re a blogger, you tend to look at life through the lens of The Bloggers' Eternal Question: “Is this blog-worthy? Is this? Is this? Is this? Is this? Is this? Is this? Is this? Is this? How about this? Or this?” Occasionally you luck out and aliens zap your dish-washing bucket, your cat ricochets off the kitchen ceiling, a climbing rose tries to lobotomize you, or you find a ball of yarn sitting on your fence. But lately, for me, the answer to the Bloggers’ Eternal Question has been, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no and no. Not that either. Or that. Or that. Or that.” Even the cats have been behaving, although Benny has been beating the all-holy hell out of Joon and I don’t know what to do about it, especially when she screams as if she’s being savagely dismembered and three seconds later she’s scampering after him doing the Happy Kitty Trot on Happy Kitty Toes with the Happy Kitty Arch in her tail (cat owners will know what I’m talking about). They fight at night but the big beat-down usually happens in the early a.m., when they’re waiting outside the bedroom door for me to wake up. It plays out something like this:

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

[A loud, fat, furry, thump against the door, a signal the beat-down has begun.]

Joon: HISSSSSSSSS! ROOOOOOOOWWWWRRR!!! HISSSS!! SQUEEEAAALLLLLL!!! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! ROOOOOOOOWWWWRRR!!! HISSSS!! SQUEEEAAALLLLLL!!! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! HISSSSSSSSS! ROOOOOOOOWWWWRRR!!! HISSSS!! ROOOOOOOOWWWWRRR!!! SQUEEEAAALLLLLL!!! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! ROOOOOOOOWWWWRRR!!! HISSSS!! SQUEEEAAALLLLLL!!! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

[silence]

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Benny: Meow.

Joon: Meow.

Me: Shut up, already! I’m getting up!

A potential blogging-material bumper crop arrived in the form of a recent getaway to the shores of the Olympic Peninsula with friend Gail but it, too, played out quietly, thanks to rain and a plan for it to be a mellow trip from the get-go. I can, however, liven things up with a few photos.

Me, trapped in the corner by slavering hounds:

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In defense of the dogs, although they were more than willing to play along, this is strictly posed. I had actually been lounging in the middle of the kitchen (while, granted, the dogs milled about hopefully and expectantly) when I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if…

Boo actually spent most of his time doing this:

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Ambience:

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More ambience:

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Yet more ambience:

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While not being cornered by slavering hounds or taking photos of ambience, in keeping with the theme of "quiet," I knit the fool-proof simplest of the simple, a k2p2 ribbed scarf (Blue Moon heavyweight, merino, colourway "Puck's Mischief"):

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Work on this halted temporarily last night while I considered what to do with this...

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...an issue with production which wouldn't be too bad if it didn't result in two inches of stiff-as-cardboard, will-barely-wrap-around-the-needle yarn. Before I cut and try spit-splicing it, anyone know how well merino felts?
Posted by Ryan at 05:49 PM | Comments (16)

October 10, 2009

What the...?

What's wrong with this picture?

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How about a close-up...

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...and how about if I share the question that lasered almost painfully through my brain when I discovered this upon coming home last night:

"Why the hell is the ball of green yarn that I know is in my firmly zippered shut knitting bag sitting on my fence?!"

I have my suspicions but, in the end, I suspect this will remain one of life's little mysteries.

Posted by Ryan at 07:06 PM | Comments (15)

October 03, 2009

"Lonely Spinster Found Dead in Yard, Wild Animals Feasting on her Flesh"

While this may look like a sad, drooping, mangled vine for which something has gone terribly wrong, this picture actually shows A Good Thing. However, as with most anything that makes it into this blog, there is A Tale.

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Loooooooong-time readers may remember an entry from eons ago in which I mentioned that I have a climbing rose which is, granted, beautiful but which—Strike One—bears flowers that smell like rose-scented urinal cakes. Strike Two—over the years it has decided to grow between the gutter and the eave and the eave and the walls of the garage…

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…so it needed to be severely punished pruned.

The Plan Was (O, fateful words) to cut away the dead stuff, leave the bulk of the branches intact, and finish the pruning later in the season when the leaves had fallen off. What I didn’t realize was that, not only were the canes growing betwixt and between, it was the betwixt and between that was holding the whole magilla up, not the trellis to which, silly me, I thought the rose was tied. I cut what apparently was A Very Special and Important Cane up near the gutter…and the whole rose suddenly collapsed. On me. On my head. And attached itself firmly to the top, side and back of my scalp with thorns. Think those metal halos they screw into the heads of spinal-injury victims.

That, and as feathery and ethereal as climbing roses look, I now know they are actually frickin’ heavy. And unwieldy. So there I was teetering on the bench you see in the first picture, various canes fastened to my head, not wanting to move lest the thorns bury themselves straight into my brain, arms aching from holding up the surprisingly massive bulk of the rose so that no more damage was done and because I was afraid the canes would break if they fell to the ground. This is how it starts, I thought, those newspaper articles about people found dead in their homes after freak accidents.

I finally did the only possible thing and let the whole vine fall, scalp and canes be damned. I survived relatively unscathed, losing only some hair. The planned-for-later pruning was done then and there, with perhaps more violence than was called for, and I’m pleased to say I’ve shown the rose that it's mah bitch. And, yes, there was some bondage involved:

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Posted by Ryan at 06:19 PM | Comments (17)

October 01, 2009

Bet You'll Be Salivating in 3...2...1...

You know how sometimes knitters run out of yarn for a project but they come by the “running out of” honestly because they’re using, say, an angora, cashmere, vicuña, qiviut blend in a one-time-only colorway, a yarn which can be found nowhere but in one tiny village perched precariously on a cliffside in the Andes and which disappears into the mist when you trek away and is never seen again? And how they’re searching desperately for more of that yarn in a specific dye lot on Ravelry and the fate of a spectacular project-of-a-lifetime hangs in the balance and a huge, long Ravelry thread starts up about this quest and lots and lots of people get swept up in it?

Yeah, my knitterly life’s not like that.

Sure, the near-future holds for me a hunt for some yarn of a certain dye lot to complete a sweater. But it’ll be Cascade 220. In black. Yawn. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, guess who? Added to my list of blogs as “B5.”

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Other than the alien genitalia, here’s my favorite thing I grew in my yard this year, chocolate sweet peppers.

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Thing is, your brain is convinced that they will also taste like chocolate. But they don’t, and the resulting mental confusion and disappointment is epic. But once you get past that, they taste sweet and crunchy and yummy, even qualifying for a heartfelt, said-out-loud “nom nom nom.” More of these next year, I think.

Just for fun, a side-by-side with a normal pepper from another plant. (Hmmmmm. Nice idea for a colorway, no?)

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Before I sign off for the day, a nod to dear friends Elaine and Leslie who, after seeing the mention of Stalker Angie, have demanded, tongue in cheek, that I acknowledge that I have three stalkers, not just one. And this is true. I don’t know all the gory details but Elaine and Leslie pride themselves greatly on having stalked me for months years ago, finally getting themselves invited to a knitting party at MaryB’s so they could stalk up close and personal. And that is, in fact, how we met. And I continue to be indescribably grateful to them for their love and friendship and, in particular, the unwavering support they have given me during the last crazy year+, no matter how deep and dark and whackadoo things got, and still get, especially the whackadoo part—but mostly because I like to say it: Whackadoo! Whackadoo! Whackadoo! Everybody, now!

'Til next time, Dear Readers.

Posted by Ryan at 06:44 PM | Comments (9)