March 31, 2015

Happiness is...

Posted by Ryan at 03:19 PM | Comments (3)

I’m a bit of a knitting heretic because I buy minimal yarn...now. I did some respectable damage in the past—which explains the four, three-drawer Rubbermaid storage units; two big-ass, manly, garage-type containers; four underbed containers; and miscellaneous project bags, all full of yarn. But over the last few years I’ve stopped the mindless yarn accumulation, partly from guilt, partly for financial reasons, partly because for the last two years I haven't been able to go to the knitting conference where I let my freak yarn-flag fly, partly because I now tailor my projects more to what I have in stash.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not open to suggestion.

In honor of my 55th birthday, a friend gave me a cheque to buy one skein of Blue Moon Socks That Rock heavyweight, my all-time favorite sock yarn because of the weight, because of the rich and unique colors, and because I’m lazy and socks knit from this yarn knit up quickly on just 48 stitches. Because very few LYSes carry the heavyweight anymore, I resorted to ordering the yarn online, directly from Blue Moon. The plan was to buy one because the cheque covered the cost of one. Yeah, about that:

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I feel emotionally rich, fulfilled and happy just looking at this exquisite pile of yarn. It will be a while, I think, before it joins the other yarns in storage upstairs.

The colourways from left to right are Tea and Alchemy, Watermelon Tourmaline, River Rocked and Sherbet.

March 25, 2015

Who's Next?

Posted by Ryan at 11:01 AM | Comments (2)

Apparently rescuing a Kit has become a “thing.” This makes me happy. But first, the most important picture of all in this silly Kit saga: an adorable picture from San Diego of Kit the Second and his mom with Kit the Second sporting his new togs and his mom sporting a beautiful smile! I so enjoyed this whole endeavor.

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Then, this past weekend, I took Kit the First to a little knitting meet-up at my Local Donut Shop (I was going to use the initials as a take-off on LYS but it came out LDS and, nope—not Mormon. Last time I checked, they have special doors that would zap me on my way in anyway.) and nothing would do but one of the knitters there had to have her own Kit. So meet Kit the Third, otherwise known as Draggie or else Ms. On. Yes, Ms. Drag On.

Draggie ready to cross the threshold into her new home:

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Discovering that her new home is a little less warm than a dragon would like:

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Making a warm nest out of roving:

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Cobbling together an adorable outfit until mom can make some real clothes. (And trust me, Mom can do it all, the dyeing, the spinning, the knitting. Ms. On is a very lucky.) As cute as this is, from certain angles this outfit makes Draggie look like a shoeless psychedelic mummy with a horrendously bad purple comb-over. Or is it just me?

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March 16, 2015

Smile for the Camera, Dahling!

Posted by Ryan at 06:54 PM | Comments (4)

I finished the scarf and hat for Kit the Second. Time for a little fashion photography with Kit the First as the model. However, the shoot got off to a shaky start. Not one second before this picture was taken, Kit was sitting up and there were no cats on the microwave.

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So producer, director, model's agent and model moved the shoot to a safer location, a wobbly bookcase that I know the cats are afraid of.

First, the complete ensemble:

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The scarf avec des fringes:

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Le chapeau:

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The jaunty look:

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Babushka:

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Snoopy fighting the Red Baron:

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The winter of 2015, East Coast version:

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And, no, I have made no progress in getting myself a life.


March 11, 2015

H2Oh no!

Posted by Ryan at 04:25 PM | Comments (7)

As much as I am nature- and earth-oriented—always rescuing bugs from inside the house, almost driving off the road every time I see a bald eagle, mesmerized by the smell and feel of loamy, warm summer dirt—I don’t have the energy, willpower or commitment to be a radical earth do-gooder. One thing I do get twitchy about, however, is water. One day I realized how much tap water I was wasting while waiting for it to get hot, how it was both a waste of a precious, limited resource, and a pointless waste of money—also a precious, limited resource. Accordingly, ever since, and at the risk of going all Hetty Green, I’ve heated water in an electric kettle* instead or captured the cold water to use later for cooking, drinking, taking my pills, making coffee... Here is my “water station,” the electric kettle and the pitcher of extra water:

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I may have to rethink this whole "extra water in the pitcher" idea, however, because today I was sitting at my dining-room table, looked up, and discovered this:

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I have no idea how long this has been going on. He seemed suspiciously comfortable jamming his head in the pitcher and drank quite contentedly and for quite a while. They have two water bowls so what the hell…?! Stupid cat.

*I realize that this, in turn, uses electricity which means I’m still using a resource and wasting money. This is similar to wasting water to rinse something before you put it in recycling. Gack! I can’t think about it too much or I’ll go doolally.

March 10, 2015

Friends and Dragons

Posted by Ryan at 02:09 AM | Comments (3)

Remember how in the last post I called the blog “the gift that keeps on giving” and said I had one example to share? Even during the short time since, more things have popped up!

Keeps on Giving #1—Friends

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This is Mary Mitchell Barnett, a long-time blog reader and kind soul who, despite never having met me, supported me greatly both during the Great Relationship Explosion of Ought Eight and the Fun Cancer Times of 2012-2014, even sending me this inspirational reminder during some of my darker times:

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Recently, Mary came from Virginia to Seattle to visit a dear friend of hers and invited me to join them for dinner. When we saw each other for the first time, we actually did that high-pitched, Valley Girl shriek that I could never imagine myself doing but it just blorped right out of me. It may possibly have been followed by a second shriek and more hugs but I’m taking the Fifth. (It's important to note that we were already in the chi-chi, cosmopolitan, foodie, "earth to table" restaurant. We shrieked like this in the restaurant.)

(Whenever I meet blog friends for the first time, it always goes exactly the same way. We’ve never met, we’ve never spoken, and yet we immediately launch into familiar, comfortable, upbeat and nonstop conversation as if we’ve been friends for years, and the visit with Mary was no exception. Is it the ongoing effect of Dulaan? Is it the nature of knitters? Is it women? (An absolute “no” to the last because the same thing happened when I met Dr. Mel.) Regardless, I will not look this gift horse in the mouth. It is one of the greatest of the many blessings the blog has bestowed.)

Thank you, Mary, for a lovely visit! Remember, Madrona knitting convention in February of next year! And hello to Denton!

Keeps on Giving #2—Fun Things

A few days ago my sister emailed me this funny photo.

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We have quite the fun-house mirror effect here because you, the viewer, are looking at a photo on this blog of a photo of another Kit giving a smooch to a picture of my Kit on this blog. Makes my head spin!

Back story: When a friend of my sister “met” Kit before Cata brought him to San Diego, she felt the urge to rescue her own dragon. Then my sister told her about the blog posting and voilà—fun-house mirror! (Apparently Kit the Second truly needed adopting and TLC since it had an overly snaggly tooth that required needle-and-thread dental work and one leg was sewn on backwards. Quality control at its finest. Poor punkin’.)

If anyone else wants to rescue a dragon, this is where the SPCA houses them. Just sayin'.

Keeps on Giving #3—An Excuse to Knit
This should come as no surprise to anyone—a tiny scarf on the needles for Kit the Second, soon to be followed by a hat. I think this scarf needs a fringe, don't you?

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(Vital stats: Six stitches, seed stitch, size 2 needles, yarn Pashmi from The Unique Sheep. Not sure of the colorway but I think it's Daybreak. In real life, the colors are a smidge darker but definitely orange, purple and dark pink.)