Friday, April 29, 2011

Better than Blood Pressure Meds

Yesterday there was a confrontation at work with a member of the public.Without going into details, I can say that by the end of it I was, quite literally, a quivering blob. I haven't experienced my hands actually uncontrollably shaking in a long enough time that to look down and see it was disturbing.

The adrenaline rush started bleeding off pretty rapidly, with fear and fight-or-flight turning into a healthy dose of anger. With the adrenaline went, apparently, all of the heat in my body. I couldn't get warm. Worse, I had to go and sit through a meeting where I couldn't knit. There were faculty other than my own present and while I was just attending to listen and ask a couple of questions, knitting was a no go. And so I politely sat, twitching and jotting notes of things to do when back at my cube.  My knitting was in my purse--right there on the floor--and I couldn't pull it out.

After the meeting it was back to work and I got a hot chocolate to try and combat some of the chill. It slowly faded, to be replaced by a monstrosity of a headache.

Finally, after another meeting only ratcheted the headache up another notch (not the fault of anyone in the meeting, just reliving the morning), I went for the needles. Just two rows, I promised myself, and then back to the email queue and the articles I want to read and the book I'm interested in looking over and the three things I want to take care of before I go home....

And a couple of rows took the edge off. I stepped out of my head and into the yarn and ticked through a few stitches and for five minutes the day receded.

But then an email popped up that needed to be answered and there were things to do and it was time to be on a public service desk. I grabbed another round of caffeine (probably not helping that headache) and kept slugging.

After work I had to run an errand that took me out of my normal commute. Before I even got to the train platform my needles were in my hands. With "whatever song comes on next" on the headphones, my head went down and the needles ticked. Errand completed, I climbed onto a bus for a 30 minute ride across town. A teen sat down next to me because it was one of the last seats available. At first he seemed uncomfortable, though that seemed to have less to do with me in specific than that I existed as a person in a seat in general. While I normally like to look out the window, yesterday I was just focused on my needles and the names of the stops the bus was making. Round and round the sock I went.

I got to the Blue Line and home and washed off the day in a shower as hot as the water heater would allow. And I noticed my headache was finally gone. The stress had finally filtered to the stitches and, while there was still a fair amount of "dealing" to be done, at least I felt a little better equipped to cope.

And I got another inch done on the socks I haven't shown you yet. I'll try to get a picture for you soon.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

O Hai...

Greetings to everyone who is dropping by from TurtleGirl's Tabby Tuesday!

And if you would like to see how my tabby, Gypsy, likes her kicksticks:



We return to knitting content soon. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shrug off the Bichon

Last fall, M had requested a shrug for my canine nephew.  He tends to wear mostly shades of dark blue and she had a pattern in mind--Cables and Bits from Knitty . I agreed that it would be a worthy undertaking and, since she's family by choice if not blood, set out. Yarn was picked out, the pattern was printed.....

And then time passed without anything happening. I keep having projects seriously stall out. It's frustrating and clutters up the living room excessively as I keep searching for something else to knit.  Something new, something shiny. I rearranged things on Ravelry the other day, moving things into hibernation and realized that I really only have about 4 projects that are in rotation and aren't just lurking in various places around the apartment. I keep telling myself I'll get them out and work on them. Soon. Very soon. Really. No, I don't believe me either.

050 But packing for a recent trip to Atlanta to see dog and M, I threw the yarn and the DPNs into the bag. Granted, I didn't pack the straights, stitch markers, or circulars that I needed but hey...who doesn't feel like improvising and frantically needing to shove stitches together every 3 minutes whilst knitting...

It was 80 degrees and I could sit outside on a bench surrounding a large magnolia tree in M's backyard and knit. Dog refused to come and hang out--he needed to supervise his mother and ensure that she wasn't having a potential snack without him but I could be alone with the various insects that kept dropping out of the tree or climbing up my legs. The tiny little green inchworm that I discovered on the v-neck of my t-shirt was  probably the most interesting.

The shrug took about three days of knitting time. It would have gone much faster if I'd had straights and circulars with me. I didn't do the "bits" part of it because I'm not really a fan of bobbles and I think a male dog doesn't really need them. Plain ribbing was equally handsome.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And There Was Cotton....

I was doing so well. Truly! I'd not bought very much yarn this year and I was feeling all virtuous. Pride before a fall and all that. 

Apparently, and this was news to me, Pisgah and Co are going out of business/have sold Peaches and Creme to a new Canadian company Spinrite. What this means for those of us with a bit of a cotton obsession remains to be seen, Peaches and Creme has been one of those go to places when one needs large quantities of cotton for some time. Certainly I've purchased a fair amount before. 

It did, however, also mean than cones of the bulky weight were on deep discount. As in, cones for $2.28, click there at your own risk because suddenly I owned a TON of cotton.

I probably could have carried it home from the UPS store, but I wasn't sure just how big the box would be.

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Gypsy was happy to inspect, particularly after I'd opened the box
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I now have 14 cones and 4 skeins of Peaches and Creme bulky weight. It's still in the box mostly because I don't begin to have anywhere in my apartment to put it. I have started making washcloths out of the Black Cherry (black/pink/white) (30 stitches, 3 stitch garter border, stockinette) and I've got a grocery bag out of the Peppermint (red/pink/white) going--just out of self-preservation and in a vain attempt to prove that I'll use it up. AudioGirl has already called a couple of cones for a new bathmat. The Incredibly Patient Mother has suggested that sometime next decade she might need more washcloths. I think everyone is getting bath scrubbies for Christmas. 

Also--I apologize for anyone who was following my Flickr or Rav stream earlier this week and got glutted with cotton shots. 

So much for losing stash weight this year. *sigh* But at those prices....

Monday, April 18, 2011

Windy Knitty: New Chicago Wool Shop.

I hauled the Philosopher yarn shopping recently. Windy Knitty just recently opened on the north side of Chicago, far enough away that it's is probably best combined with other North on the Red Line errands or destinations but still, very accessible by train or car.

There's not even a speck of dust, it's so new--the grand opening was only right at the end of March. It's a lovely large storefront on Clark street, with huge front windows and plenty of natural light. We walked in, said hello, and I started pointing out brands that I saw.

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New to me local Chicago dyer. Very nice vibrant colors. Good base. Could definitely see myself getting more of this.

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How does one resist Three Irish Girls IN PERSON!

After leaving, and somehow restraining myself to only two new skeins of sock wool, we discussed the experience. He likened yarn collecting to wine collection. We have our different vineyards (dyers) with small local suppliers and large companies, we have different vintages (dyelots) some of which are good and some of which are less so, we have different types of grapes (sheep) which are carefully mixed or not mixed, we mix grapes (or fibers).  There are people who are incredibly brand loyal, we tend to buy a lot and save for special occasions, it's perfectly normal to wait a couple of years before using or decanting. And for $20, you can get a pretty decent item be it sock yarn or a bottle of red wine.

It's a little far to go for knit night, but I'll give it a shot. Certainly I'll go back in search of some stash enhancement.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Please to stop sending me yarn bombing emails...

In recent months I keep getting sent various "cute" stories from around the nation where someone has convinced a group of knitters or beginning knitters or such to yarn bomb trees, fences, door handles, railings, etc.  I am, apparently, supposed to be delighted and desperately want to join in the fun.

I'm not and I don't.

I have several issues with yarn bombing, not the least of which is that majority of what I've seen I don't find attractive. The majority that I've seen has been acrylic yarn wrapped around door handles or oddly shaped-strangely gauged shapes crocheted or stitched together. This is then wrapped around light posts, railings, street signs, trees, etc. There is sometimes pattern, method, something, but usually it's done with odds and ends of yarn of different weights.

Also with many of the pieces, it doesn't seem to be put up as an installation but an "indefinitely" kind of thing--with the ending being when the cleaning crew for the city, block, building have to take a knife to it to cut it down because it's on public property, on private property where permission wasn't given, gotten gross, complaints were received, etc. It's a relatively easily removable form of graffiti, granted, but even by those who yarn bomb describe it as graffiti. Particularly with the wrapping of handles and railings, I wonder if it may impede usage.

I've seen a few pieces that were lovely: where a yarn flower garden was created, a temporary defined installation, lace work done on a wire fence. But there are so many other needs on my knitting time and so many other things that I find beautiful that I can't see any particular appeal. If I want to decorate, I can knit ornaments, pillows, doilies, tea cozies, Rebecca Danger monsters....

So could we all just understand that I'm not interested and stop sending me the emails?