February 28, 2015

Kit

Posted by Ryan at 03:38 PM | Comments (5)

(You will not believe how I relate this to knitting. It’s a neat trick, if I say so myself. Read on.)

If any picture is worth a thousand words, this one is. So much going on behind the scenes here.

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Event 1: On February 6, I hit the big five-five. (Still trying to wrap my head around that because it means I started this blog 12 years ago. Goodness, how things have morphed since April 21, 2003. That being said, I’m elated that the blog is still here, even if it’s limping along. It was and is one of the most important parts of my life. Plus, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. More on that in a couple of days.)

Event 2: Fast forward a week. Big Sister Cata and her son/my nephew come up from San Diego to celebrate the five-five. (That’s my “little” nephew, Michael, in the picture, 16 years old and 6’ 4” if he’s an inch.)

Event 3: Their second day here, I hauled Cata and Michael down to the Museum of Flight, my favorite sightseeing place. That’s where we are in the picture. And, although you can’t tell, in the picture I’m feeling slightly weepy, wobbly at the knees and breathless because…Concorde. I have an all-consuming passionate and Freudian thing for the Concorde; have had since I was young. (Which, now that I think about it, doesn’t actually make sense since, well, you know…)

Event 4: Unbeknownst to us, we’d gone to the museum on the first day that the Concorde was open to the public. The jet has been here since 2003 (you can bet your sweet bippy I was at the Museum that day) but the day of our visit was the first day visitors could go inside. So that’s a photograph of me 30 seconds before I went into the Concorde (which, I realize, Freudian-wise, is a little backwards but work with me), feeling like a teenage girl going to a Beatles concert back in the day.

And yet, none of this is what this posting is about. (You know how I do—start at A, end up at Z.)

See the green thing peeking out of my hoodie pouch?

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That’s my dragon, a birthday gift from Cata. He came in a box announcing that it was a Dragon Rescue Kit so his name quickly became Kit. Here he is fresh out of the box:

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The next day, nothing would do but my new adoptee had to come to the Museum with us. I mean, he’s a dragon, he flies, we were going to see other things that flew…it all made perfect sense to me—and Michael and Cata amiably played along with their crazy-ass sister and aunt, with Cata even taking this second picture. (Ignore the sickly smiling-for-the-camera smile.)

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(Apparently I was not cut out to for adoption, however, because within 12 hours from when these photos were taken, I lost him. And I didn’t realize it for another 24 hours so the chances of finding him were slim since we had been all over the city and environs. However, I pinned all my hopes on one slim possibility. I remembered that, after the Museum, we had gone out for dinner and I had slipped Kit into the pocket of my sweater. So I retraced our steps and, as I drove up to the spot where we had parked 36 hours before, I saw a forlorn green blob lying in the gravel. He was soaked through but otherwise no worse for the wear.)

And, if they haven't already, here is where things get a little weird because…

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Yes, I have been knitting for Kit. And what a hoot it has been, too! I grubbed through my leftover yarn bits until I found the perfect ball of pastel-colored Blue Moon Silkie Socks That Rock and then churned these out in the next hour or so. The scarf—five stitches, the hat—twenty.

Socks are next I think.

And then I REALLY need to get a life.

February 25, 2015

Contrast

Posted by Ryan at 05:27 PM | Comments (7)

When the sky in Seattle looks like this...

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you buy yarn that looks like this:

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December 16, 2014

Sisters!

Posted by Ryan at 03:03 AM | Comments (6)

The only purpose of this entry is to post this picture of myself and Big Sister (Cata) when I was visiting her in San Diego a few months ago. I just love this picture. Big Sister and I are the only two left in our family—and have been the only two for a long time, decades now—so time spent together is special.

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In this picture, we were having lunch at a lovely outdoor restaurant in Del Mar. The food was fresh and tasty...but then there was The Great Kombucha Experiment. Neither one of us had had kombucha before so Cata ordered a glass. She though it was refreshing and even had a second; me, I thought it tasted like used baby diapers. No surprise to us really; we’ve always had disparate tastes in…oh, SO many things (men/no men; children/no children; sunshine/rain; crochet/knitting; wine/Coke; historical fiction/science fiction; light salads/pasta dripping with butter; exercise/SO not) so the kombucha was just another in a long list.

Just recently a pharmacist advised me to include probiotics in my diet every day, and suggested kombucha. I immediately made a skwidgy face and shared the “baby diaper” experience with her. We settled on tablets or kefir instead. A much better idea…

October 17, 2014

Redemption

Posted by Ryan at 05:25 PM | Comments (2)

In an attempt to redeem myself for the “cat pee” dishcloth, I present:

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I smiled while knitting this because I so clearly remembered how, when I started knitting, I postponed learning how to cable as long as I could because I knew it was going to be hard. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to practice all the knitting skills I needed before I attempted--and failed at, I was sure--making my first cable. Then when I did…harharhar. Harharhar. Heeheehee! Snort. Snicker. So, years later, it amused me to just see myself plowing right through this pattern without thinking about it. Not to say this pattern is easy-peasy (it has six different cables in it) but each one was just a variation on the basic “hold in back” or “hold in front” with some fiddly finessing. And knitting with two needles and a cable needle is a piece a’ cake when you regularly use four or five needles for socks. All in all, this took me mebbe six hours, tops? Incidentally, awesome, free and accurate pattern if it you want to give it a try.

(Aaaaaand I just found a mistake. Big pouty face. Never mind. If I were really that upset about it, in six hours I could have another.)

October 11, 2014

A Tight Fit

Posted by Ryan at 04:06 PM | Comments (2)

Oh, pshaw! You didn’t really think Joon was able to lay exclusive claim to the bright-yellow box, did you? Monsieur Benny truly made himself at home. (The burgundy color at the bottom of the box? Possibly a t-shirt but I’m taking the Fifth.)

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Thank you for all of your warm and supportive comments. They touch me more than you know (maybe as much as a bowl of chicken-noodle soup?). I’m working with a psychiatrist, I've lined up a new therapist, I have an appointment with gastroenterology and, as Big Sister and I say when faced with life's yuckies, On We Go.

I was also tickled to discover this in my location tracker:

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I have a sneaking suspicion that the one from Provence is my lovely French cousine Maria, sister to Cousin Tom of Dulaan fame. Si c'est le cas, bon jour, ma belle cousine! (And, as I like to remind my readers, this is all the information I get so your identity is safe; I know squat-else besides this (and what you provide in the comments.))

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In order to maintain my knitting cred, I give you Possibly The Ugliest Thing I've Ever Knit. Fortunately, it’s nobbut a dishcloth so no rending of garments or tearing out of hair over hours of time wasted. Still...ew.

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Thing is, in the ball, this yarn is unique and lovely, a mix of rich cream, a light yellow, a lovely coral and a medium brown. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it; it made me feel calm. But the finished product? The opposite of calm. Twitchy, even. I finally figured out why and why, specifically, I tend to hold it away from myself with two fingers. Knit up, the light yellow looks exactly like cat pee. I keep expecting the dishcloth to reek of Eau de Boy Cat (except that Benny doesn't have accidents). And the rigidity of the stripes is the opposite of the soft, drape-y, soothing swirl of color in the ball. Lastly, there’s the fact that I was just lucky that the main stripes landed square in the middle of the cloth. I don’t like to think that things go well in my knitting because I’m lucky; I’d like to think that, because of my 13 years of knitting experience, I knew there were going to be stripes (which I didn't) and I gauged and calculated for them (which I didn't), which is why they are where they are (which isn't). I deeply resent the perfection of the middle stripes. Of course, it’s possible this just means I should get a therapist sooner rather than later.