Monthly Archives: February 2009

Master Plan for UFOs

Does anyone else remember Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre?
In one episode, Puss ‘n Boots, the cat says in a purring voice,
“It’s all part of my plan . . . my master plan . . . ”
My husband and I have been repeating that line ever since
the kids watched that a million times in the 1980’s.

So, anyway, the plan is this:

I will not start anything new until all the UFOs are resolved
one way or another.
Either finished, frogged, or flung away.
Hey! I like that!

New Motto: UFOs must be Finished, Frogged or Flung!

Your Newest Album

My band is “Moonbase Project” and our newest CD is
“Men’s Hands and Purses”
moonbaseproject

From a Friend:
1. Go to Wikipedia and click on “Random Article” or follow the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random
The first Article you find is the name of your band.

2. Go to this quotation site in
http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last 3 or 4 words of the last quotation on the page is the title of you new album.

3. Follow this link for a Flicker photo;
http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
the 3d image on the page (no cheating now!) is your album artwork.

4. With PhotoShop or GIMP, design your album cover with elements 1, 2, and 3.

5. Post your album cover on Facebook and tag all the people whose new albums you’d like to see.

Harlow – most adorable celebrity baby ever.

nicole_richie3_300

OPI's South Beach Collection!

Here it is, the spring lineup of glorious new OPI polish colors!

southbeach21

And here they are in their little bottles,
with their cute little names!

southbeach1

OPI’s South Beach Collection!

Here it is, the spring lineup of glorious new OPI polish colors!

southbeach21

And here they are in their little bottles,
with their cute little names!

southbeach1

UFO Thumbnail Line Up

Okay, all together, my collection of unfinished objects:

Blue scarf for my dad.

bluescarf21

A scarf for my coworker, Lydia:
lydia31

Socks for Nora, my daughter:
norasocks11

Entrelac scarf for ????
entrelac12

Baby sweater for my cousin’s baby, Diego:
baby22

Cardigan for me!
jasmine2

Lace scarf for ????
silkywool11

Afghan for an Afghan.
afghan4afghan13

Ribbon Yarn bag.
ribbonbag31

Soft wool ribbed scarf for ???
ribbed11

Now to extract some Important Lessons from the UFOs.

My Favorite UFOs

The last group of UFOs! I saved the best for last.
These are items that I’m really looking forward to
working on, as soon as I clear out the underbrush.

Number Seven is an afghan I’m making as part of the
Afghans for Afghans project.
I just posted about it, so there it is.

Number Eight is a bag knit from ribbon yarn.
I’ve finished the main sections. Now I need to:
(a) make a lining from the scarf I found at the thrift shop;
(b) sew it all together;
(c) make an I cord from the other ribbon yarn, and;
(d) sew the button on.
Look! It’s pretty!
ribbonbag2ribbonbag1
ribbonbag3

UFO Number Whatever Number I’m Up To is my first
lace scarf, barely started. It also was part of a class.
It’s lovely yarn and, like the ribbed scarf, its recipient
may become clear when it’s done.
Coupla Pix:
silkywool1silkywool3

UFO the Last I Hope is a Louisa Harding cardigan begun
last summer. I am determined to finish it.
It’s hard to tell, but the yarn is kind of sparkly.
jasmine1jasmine3

More UFOs!

The UFOs in this group suffer from Diminished Knitter Enthusiasm,
for various reasons.

UFO Four is an entrelac scarf. It’s pretty, isn’t it?
But . . . the yarn is scratchy,
I have a zillion yards of it, and it takes forever.

Proposed solution: finish current skein,
and see if it isn’t long enough to give to
someone with a tough neck. Here ’tis:
entrelac1

entrelac2
entrelac3

Number Five is a baby sweater.
I made it in a class taught by the same wonderful woman
who taught the entrelac scarf class. It’s almost done.
I still have to do neck edging, and sewing it together.
Not much pressure to finish, but I will, on general principle.
Even though I’m really bored with it. Here it is:
baby11
baby21
baby31

The last one in this group is UFO Six.
Nice scarf, goes quickly, I like it, and maybe
when it’s done, I’ll figure out who it belongs to!

Note:
I feel myself getting bored with this Listing UFOs Project.
Just like I get bored with interminable scarves.
Hmmnnnn. ADD knitter?

Anyhoo, here are a couple photos of this scarf:
ribbed1ribbed2

Meet the Contestants

This is part two of my master plan to conquer UFOs.
Click here for Part One.

Let’s meet my UFOs, shall we?
A confession: I counted ten of them this morning.

First, here are three that I pretty much have to finish,
even if I don’t have as much enthusiasm as I’d like.

1. First Contestant is a scarf for my co-worker, Lydia.
Let’s call the scarf “Lydia”
How much I like it: Not at all.
I hate the Lydia scarf, because (due to knitter error),
its dimensions change like an eight year old making a
“hubba hubba” gesture. I hate that it’s all garter stitch,
I hate that it’s made of a super-soft man made fiber, and
I hate how I messed up the keyhole opening.
Degree of Pressure to Finish it: 100%.
I have to finish it. Lydia has already seen it, she likes it,
and she terms the mistakes “creative.” Sigh.
So, even though I hate to give someone a gift that I
don’t think reflects my true talent,
– or, worse yet, maybe it does! –
I must finish it. And soon. So, that’s why this awful
thing is at the top of the list.
Sigh. Here it is:
lydia3

lydia11

lydia2

The second UFO is a scarf for my dad.
How I feel about it:
I wish the edges were smoother.
It’s a nice design and nice yarn.
The pattern is restful (read: mindless),
which makes it good for TV.

Degree of Pressure to Finish: 100%.
My dad leaves for Florida in a week,
and it was supposed to be a Christmas present.
And here is Contestant Two:
bluescarf2
bluescarf1

Contestant UFO Number Three:
Socks for Nora, begun about two years ago.
How I feel about them:
I’ll be proud to finish them.
But, why did I pick such dull yarn?

Pressure to Finish: 85%
I really should finish them, they are almost done,
and they are for my daughter, after all.
I’ve just gotten a wee bit bored with them, y’know?
* Yawn * Here they are:
norasocks1

norasocks2

Hey, they might be okay after all!
And she has been patient with the long delay.

So, there are the first three.

UFO Organization and Plans

I am required to attend at least 12 hours of continuing education every year, including a certain number of hours devoted to ethics and to mental health/addiction. The end of February is the deadline for making up a deficit from the year before. Naturally, I owe about 13 hours from last year, including all the mental/ethical hours. So, naturally, I’m taking them all next week, the last week in February. Also, naturally, I’m once again resolving to do CLE bit by bit during 2009.

Meanwhile, next week I have 15 hours of videotaped replays of CLE from the past year. Because these sessions are on videotape, there is no live human to not-understand that I pay attention better while knitting, and no human to be offended at my knitting during the sessions.

You know what this means, don’t you?
Fifteen hours of knitting time!
I hope to use this time to move a few items from UFO status
to the much more satisfying category of FO.
More on this later!
Now, back to work.

Swap Packing Cat-astrophe!!

Oh no! Should I send her with the yarn??

catinbox2

Valentines Day Plans

The Warm Ewe Up Swap Question was
What are your Valentines Day Plans? heart-border-143092
Mine have all come true:
1. Remove the “Valentines knitting ideas” from my website. Done.

2. About two years ago my father took my sister and I
with him on a tour of Provence and the Riviera.
Today we had a delightful Valentines Day reunion lunch.

3. My husband and I are fans of the
Plant Delights Nursery.
For Valentines Day, I signed him up for one of their classes.

4. *wink wink, nudge nudge *

So, there you have it.

Countrywool in Upstate New York

Countrywool, in Hudson, New York,
is so appealing! Countrywool,
which has been Reviewed by Knitters Review,
sells yarn and supplies,
sponsors fun-sounding classes and retreats
and has an eco-friendly, community ethos.

Hmmnn . . . how can I attend one of these weekends?
Meanwhile, maybe I’ll order a ball of yarn!
handspun

Pete & a Grammy & My Cousin-in-Law

Time for some bragging. Y’know my cousin Mai?
mai
I knew you’d remember her.
Well. Y’know Mai’s husband, David Bernz?
davidlrg2
Right, that’s the one.
Well, Pete Seeger won a Grammy award for folk music, for the CD
Pete at 89.
pete-seeger

David Bernz, my cousin’s husband, or as I’m calling it cousin-in-law, was the Co-Producer of the album. I think that’s pretty cool!

Let's Talk About the "Suleman Eight"

I’m a little irritated by outrage over Nadya Suleman,
the California woman who had octuplets.
So, maybe if I write for a few minutes, it will become
clearer exactly why the furor bugs me.

I don’t dispute the Obvious Conclusions drawn
by Everyone Out There.
Of course! it’s ridiculous to have eight babies at once,
still crazier for someone who isn’t married, and
weirder still if you already have six kids.
And, yes, the mom might have a screw loose,
or be seeking attention, who knows?
Furthermore, the doctor did indeed
take a big foolish risk.

So, okay. We all agree.
Ms. Suleman showed bad judgment by seeking fertility
treatment, given her circumstances and
the large brood she already had.
The doctor showed bad judgment by accepting her as
a patient and by implanting so many embryos.

But . . . what?
Well, for one thing, on any given day a zillion people
use bad judgment regarding choice of mate, timing of
child-bearing, family planning or lack thereof,
marriage, divorce, family size, child-rearing, and every
other aspect of family life.
Every single day some folks have kids without having
a spouse, and other people marry the wrong person,
leave perfectly good spouses, and still more people
decide not to have kids or to have more children, even
though it’s the wrong decision for them to make.
Every single day some folks bribe children with candy,
others allow too much TV, or hit their kids, or they’re too
strict or not strict enough, or whatever.

Most of the zillion daily instances of bad judgment
never require Official Action, but when bad judgment
crosses certain agreed-upon lines, then the Law or
Social Service may intervene.

Other than that, why is it anyone’s business?
Wait!
I hear a voice saying “it’s our business because it’s
going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money!”
Nonsense.
Of course children in an impoverished family
will use more tax-supported services than children in a
middle class household. But – these eight don’t use up
any more tax dollars than eight kids dispersed among
three or four poor unmarried mothers.

Plus, since when is “costing taxpayers money” enough to
make someone else’s mistakes into my business?
Cigarette smokers cost us all more money than these babies
ever will, and what about tax money spent on
injuries and illnesses that are traceable to alcoholism,
addiction, obesity, riding motorcycles, etc.?

Don’t get me wrong – If Nadya Suleman were my daughter
or sister, I would have stronglyadvised her against having
octuplets. But, being as she’s a total stranger, I guess I don’t
think it’s our business.
I think We All should just Back Off and Butt Out.

Besides, am I the only one anywhere who is kind of curious
about them? Nadya is pretty – I bet the octuplets will be
cute! And what if, against all the odds, she makes something
of her life and is able to raise them? I mean, I know it was
a dumb thing to do, but it’s done now and it’s not the babies’
fault, is it? Here they are – Welcome to the World, babies!

Let’s Talk About the “Suleman Eight”

I’m a little irritated by outrage over Nadya Suleman,
the California woman who had octuplets.
So, maybe if I write for a few minutes, it will become
clearer exactly why the furor bugs me.

I don’t dispute the Obvious Conclusions drawn
by Everyone Out There.
Of course! it’s ridiculous to have eight babies at once,
still crazier for someone who isn’t married, and
weirder still if you already have six kids.
And, yes, the mom might have a screw loose,
or be seeking attention, who knows?
Furthermore, the doctor did indeed
take a big foolish risk.

So, okay. We all agree.
Ms. Suleman showed bad judgment by seeking fertility
treatment, given her circumstances and
the large brood she already had.
The doctor showed bad judgment by accepting her as
a patient and by implanting so many embryos.

But . . . what?
Well, for one thing, on any given day a zillion people
use bad judgment regarding choice of mate, timing of
child-bearing, family planning or lack thereof,
marriage, divorce, family size, child-rearing, and every
other aspect of family life.
Every single day some folks have kids without having
a spouse, and other people marry the wrong person,
leave perfectly good spouses, and still more people
decide not to have kids or to have more children, even
though it’s the wrong decision for them to make.
Every single day some folks bribe children with candy,
others allow too much TV, or hit their kids, or they’re too
strict or not strict enough, or whatever.

Most of the zillion daily instances of bad judgment
never require Official Action, but when bad judgment
crosses certain agreed-upon lines, then the Law or
Social Service may intervene.

Other than that, why is it anyone’s business?
Wait!
I hear a voice saying “it’s our business because it’s
going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money!”
Nonsense.
Of course children in an impoverished family
will use more tax-supported services than children in a
middle class household. But – these eight don’t use up
any more tax dollars than eight kids dispersed among
three or four poor unmarried mothers.

Plus, since when is “costing taxpayers money” enough to
make someone else’s mistakes into my business?
Cigarette smokers cost us all more money than these babies
ever will, and what about tax money spent on
injuries and illnesses that are traceable to alcoholism,
addiction, obesity, riding motorcycles, etc.?

Don’t get me wrong – If Nadya Suleman were my daughter
or sister, I would have stronglyadvised her against having
octuplets. But, being as she’s a total stranger, I guess I don’t
think it’s our business.
I think We All should just Back Off and Butt Out.

Besides, am I the only one anywhere who is kind of curious
about them? Nadya is pretty – I bet the octuplets will be
cute! And what if, against all the odds, she makes something
of her life and is able to raise them? I mean, I know it was
a dumb thing to do, but it’s done now and it’s not the babies’
fault, is it? Here they are – Welcome to the World, babies!

A4A Start

The beginning of my Afghan for Afghans afghan – afghan4afghan12

and a random photo of YT interrupted during her customary after breakfast nap in the linens:
ytonshelf

Afghan for an Afghan!

I admire the group Afghans for Afghans,
and not just because the name is so cute.
Recently I joined the Ravelry group Fans of Afghans for Afghans
Earlier this week I noticed that my knitting had gotten all tangled up, literally and figuratively. I’ve been knitting too many things on tiny needles, too late at night, and thought about it all too much.

As an antidote, I put down all my other projects and began a baby blanket to send to the A4A folks. From the website and the Ravelry group, I learned that we don’t have to worry about whether the yarn was safe in the washer and dryer, because the recipients are not likely to have access to a washer and dryer. The main rules seem to be to (1) make the blankets within a certain size range, (2) make them out of all-natural fibers, no acrylic, and (3) to not include any representations of people, animals, plants, etc., as this would violate Muslim tradition. I also learned that green is a favorite color in Afghanistan. Aha! The perfect use for my skein of spring green yarn from Frog Creek Fibers –
frogcreek

I’ve started a blanket using an invented checkerboard pattern. I’m planning to make it in blocks, using this as a way to learn more about joining squares. I’m using a size 5 needle, so no squinting in the dark. And it’s fun to be making something for a child far away.

"The Road to Inner Peace"

Om . . .

I am posting in its entirety an email I received this morning with the subject line
The Road to Inner Peace:

I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, “The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.
So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn’t finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now!

Pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace…

Hee hee, giggle, giggle.

“The Road to Inner Peace”

Om . . .

I am posting in its entirety an email I received this morning with the subject line
The Road to Inner Peace:

I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, “The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.
So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn’t finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now!

Pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace…

Hee hee, giggle, giggle.

Adjusting Yarn Tension

I really appreciated the kind thoughts yesterday.
The headache itself wouldn’t budge, despite a combination of advil, Fioricet, and Hydrocodone. Tough l’il dude, that headache.

However, in the middle of the night, I did some thinking about knitting and realized that I’ve let it become somewhat stressful, which is absolutely absurd. I have a tendency towards worry and anxiety, and in the realm of knitting I’ve become a bit tense about silly things. I would really really like to know if I’m the only one who, without even being aware of it, has become tense about things like this:

1. Too Much Yarn. “Oh no! I have too much yarn! I’ve spent too much money on yarn, and not only that I have yarn for which I have no plan! I have single skeins that I only bought because I liked them! I have yarn I bought online because the person selling it seemed like she could use a boost! I have more yarn than I can ever use up! SABLE!!

2. Too Much Yarn, II. “Oh, no, my-too-much yarn is a symptom of larger character flaws! It’s just exactly why the economy is in trouble, because we all buy material things instead of enjoying what we have! It’s analogous to overeating, or drinking, or any other compulsive, impulsive behavior! My too-much-yarn is the reason we will never be able to retire! It’s an example of my general imperfection as a human being!

3. Too Many Projects. Shame on me for starting so many projects and not finishing them all! I knit most of a sweater last summer and decided I don’t like it and I’ve never put it together! I made both pieces of a bag that lacks only a strap and never finished it! I have a bookmark, a sweater, and two scarves partly done!! I have yarn and a pattern for the moonlight stole in the Christmas Vogue Knitting, I have yarn picked out specifically for the Must Have Cardigan! I have started a Louise Harding sweater, last summer!! The entrelac scarf from last fall that got to be two feet long before it burrowed into the bottom of the basket! I have not one, not two, but THREE gradience collection scarf kits from Unique Sheep, just because I like them. How awful!!

4. Too Many Projects, II. What should I do about the too-many-projects??? Am I allowed to pass them along to someone else? Is it a Grave Character Flaw not to Stick With It until they’re all finished? What if I just get bored with a certain scarf? Oh no, I just remembered the lace scarf I started in Gali’s class – another project! What if I got rid of some and had a fresh start? Would that be shameful, like declaring bankruptcy when it’s all because of your own credit card debt, or would it be sensible? Or both? Am I Morally Obligated to finish every last thing before starting anything new??

5. Not Enough Finished Objects. Despite all these projects, the thing I really want to knit is a couple of sweaters, etc. for myself. And I’ve never made myself one sweater!

6. Not Enough Time. I’ll never ever have enough time to post all my yarn and books on Ravelry! I don’t have time to check my friends blogs! I forget to check my email! I drive an hour each way to work, I work, and I’m tired out when I get home. When the hell am I supposed to be knitting???

7. Stupid Competition. Why come all these other ladies are able to master lace, to finish complicated sweaters, to post gorgeous photos of tricky things involving entrelac, lace, and cables all in one original design? Meanwhile I barely manage to finish a ribbed scarf in bulky yarn! I’m losing the (nonexistent) contest! I’ll never amount to anything in the knitting universe!! (so what?)

8. Night-time knitting. Every night I try to get in some knitting. But, oh no! a lot of the time I’ve had a glass of wine and end up having to rip out half of it! Other nights my husband goes to sleep and my knitting is literally messing up my love life! And the light in the front room is too dim! And I don’t have another one to replace it with! And sometimes I’m watching a show and can’t knit anything complicated – but, wait, I want to knit something complicated! I’m so conflicted and ambivalent, help, help!!

9. Random Knitting Anxiety. I should be knitting for the Common Good of Mankind! Does knitting with lace yarn hurt my eyes?? Will it cause arthritis, or cure it? Could I succeed at running a yarn store? I have over fifty knitting books! How did I end up with so many?? Why do I spend too much time and money on sending/giving things in a yarn swap? Is it a deep seated need for approval? Or is it just that I’ve always had a “gift for gifts”? I need to straighten the knitting & sewing room, it’s a mess! Am I in too many Ravelry groups? Not enough?

10. One last Knitting Issue. I’m dying to start a Ravelry group where it would be okay to discuss anything related to knitting. Or not related to knitting. Because, sometimes I have a question or thought or curiosity that doesn’t fit into my groups. I really want a Ravelry group where the common theme is just “here we are, some women with a sense of humor who discuss life and yarn” as opposed to being from a certain community, having a particular favorite show, being a mother of twins, etc. What should I call it? All Strings Considered?
String Theory? The Whole Ball of Yarn? Ruby’s Random Roundtable?

Okay, I feel much better having aired these lurking concerns because, having exposed them to the light of day immediately reveals them to be monumentally silly. However, one feels a bit exposed admitting to such dumb thoughts. Does anyone else ever have these foolish anxieties?

What is this Stuff?

Apparently I have a “cluster headache” for which I’ve been given something called —
Butal-apap-325-caff

Well, I may not get much knitting done, but at least my brow will no longer be knitted (cricket noise).

The next post may be a bit drifty . . .

Valentine Knitted Lace Bookmark

I bought some delightfully scritchy Noro yarn, sock weight, dark pinky-purple, and have started, frogged, restarted a lace heart bookmark. It looks best with size zero needles, but then it’s so tiny I can only do it in full sunlight.

I’ll add a photo when I get home
(NOT that I’m blogging at work, no never!)

Hmmnn . . . might be a good idea to have different projects for different settings?

Eyeball Headache

I am now about to indulge in that most boring of all blogging activities, the Random Gripe that is of No General Interest to anyone but Me.

To wit: I have a headache behind my left eyeball that is driving me nuts. eye

Whoa – cool graphic, except it might give someone a headache!

Field Trip with Yarnygrrl

Last summer I was in a swap with someone who had soooooo much fun trading emails with me that she uprooted and moved here.

Wait – what’s that? I’ve been told that she really moved here to be with her boyfriend. Well, that makes sense.
Anyway, today we finally took a field trip to the Hillsborough Yarn Shop.

As we entered the yarn shop I was repeating to myself “you don’t need any more yarn, no more yarn” with predictable success . . .
Two skeins and a book of patterns later, we hit Tupelo’s for lunch, followed by sinfully good chocolates and a mandatory stop at the thrift shop.

In short, a fun time was had by all. I like my erstwhile yarn-swappee and maybe we’ll go to a movie sometime.

Housework? manana, baby.