Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Lesson of the Day

LOL. What a whiner. I've been concerned that my last post was a little too bitter in tone. I wanna keep things light around here, and this morning I found the humor in it: Me. This is one of the reasons I identify with the wall flower Bella, everything is do or die with this character and here I was whining about how boring she is as if it were do or die.

Me: "Mirror Mirror on the Wall, who's the whiniest of them all?"

Mirror: "Well Dear Knitter, you don't have to be bitter, as it is you the whiniest Drama Llama queenie pie pie."

I've been contemplating other things besides Twilight. No, really.

Watching myself knit my recent FO, the Strange Fruit Clothilde, an interesting thought occurred to me. When I knit, in particular, knit lace, my hands are actually graceful. It's like hand ballet and it makes me feel lovely inside. Being short and squat, in body and digits, and congenitally poor at most hand crafts such as drawing, painting, and sewing, it's a revelation to actually watch my hands knit and think they look graceful and pretty and deft.

Finally I feel like a craftsman. And as such I know the beauty of my finished objects comes from the raw materials, i.e. yarn and pattern. My Strange Fruit Clothilde is one such:

Strange Fruit Clothilde

It's a great pattern. I used the charts and had not one problem. I'm glad I did a second repeat of the lace edging. The Dream in Color Smooshy yarn was a lovely yarn for the project. It's light and lofty and plays nicely with the architectural lines of the gull lace and stockinette.

Strange Fruit Clothilde

This is my favorite picture

Strange Fruit Clothilde

I knit four repeats of chart 2, the body chart, and repeat the second half of the edging chart. I used the K1, K1, K2tog bind off method, rather than referring to the pattern. I'm not sure what edging she actually does use.

Oh, and I love the cable cast on for the shawl. I may try to work that into other shawls.

Another thing, according to my scale, I only used about 300 yards of the light fingerweight Smooshy. Seems crazy so little yarn makes such a decent sized shawlette.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Could Bella Be More Perfect?

I've been stuck on the 24 hours after Bella becomes immortal for dayzzzzzzzzzzzzz. OMEdward this part is so boring. Each and every time I force myself to read the section where she and OMEdward go hunting for the first time, I contemplate water torture instead. Some reason water torture loses. Why? Why? Why?

Seriuhsly. There's no humor in this, no drama. Bella's perfect, her love is perfect, she has expensive clothes, a perfect daughter, and her inlaws built her a cottage to make a lover of fairy tales beam. Her true shallow colors come shining through when she beholds her immortal beauty. But damn, I'm bored bored bored bored.

And yet I still read on. Just really more slowly. Well, I'm actually not reading this tripe, I'm back to listening to it. I am unable to force my eyes to suffer the torment. My ears, well my ears are accustomed to crap in a way I refuse to allow my visual field to be.

I'm shallow enough to look at this all day with delight:


I guess we all have different Achilles heels. Logic tells me mine is no more superior, but hot darn if I don't feel it is. Lesson for today: "To each his own."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

color and texture...

DIC Smooshy Strange Harvest

DIC Smooshy Strange Harvest

The remaining cake of a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy, in the Strange Harvest colorway. I still want to knit one more repeat of the Strange Fruit Clothilde and then I'll be done.

Strange Fruit Clothilde

When I see/saw the name Strange Harvest my mind instantly connects the phrase to my emotional memory of the Billie Holiday version of the song Strange Fruit. I'd never read that wiki entry before, but I have known a long time of what type fruit Holiday sang. The song was always a favorite of mine. Once I learned of the meaning, it became part of the mythology of my life.

Was it only 40 years ago our country looked the other way when men of color were lynched without due process? Mankind is a shameful beast. I feel weak and ineffectual. It is a grandiose hope of mine to change the latter and be able to make a dent of improvement in the former.

The new year awaits...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twu Luv

It's almost Christmas, theoretically my favorite day of the year, and it's all I can do to not be reabsorbed into the Twilight saga. I haven't knit a stitch since Sunday. I'm reading it again, not listening to it. I'm at the windswept lee, on the cusp of the confrontation between Jacob and Bella wherein she realizes she is in love with Jacob, as well as Edward.

It's not monomania. Yet. I'm not concerned. Yet. (I thought I was querulous, but I'm actually) Just quizzical.

Last week it felt superfantabulous to 'fess up to my Twilight obsession. Shame is one of the demons I need to conquer. Like Neo, I am congenitally compelled to look for The Source. There are numerous signposts. I don't understand all the metaphors, but their gravitational pull is unmistakable.

One of these signposts is the Laurence Olivier/Merle Oberon Wuthering Heights. Even though I don't understand it yet, I just know this movie is one of the sources of my crooked childhood fantasies of love and health, of my learned dysamory. (Dysamory should totally be a word! And so it is, sez me.) The other source may be Janis Ian ("In the Winter," "Watercolours)".

When I was in my early 20's I went to a double feature at the Brattle Theatre, ostensibly billed as a Willie Wyler festival. I went to see Wuthering Heights. The Heiress was the first of the two shown movies shown.

I was all set for the catharsis of Healthcliffe and Cathy's twu luv when all of sudden people in the audience laughed. I couldn't tell you what scene they balked at, as this was 20 years ago, but I remember the sense of assault I felt. How dare they find twu luv funny! Or really HOW DARE THEY FIND TWU LUV FUNNY! FLOUNCITY FLOUNCE FLOUNCE.

Although I didn't know it at the time, nor can I be 100 percent sure due to time and self ignorance, but this may have been my first lesson in irony. Before the movie was over my naïveté was fursploded. I was simultaneously ashamed of my intellectual squalor and skipping to my lou my darling on the yellow brick road of condescension, undeservedly.

I wouldn't realize for another 10 or so years that irony does not come naturally to me. (Note to self: rabbit hole = not being able to stomach Jane. My one dimensional conceit would be a source of even more shame.

Sucks for me, but fear not; I'm so beyond ready to find some humor in it. I'm impatient to laugh at my specious moroseness. Really I am so impatient I'm resigned to counterfeit patience. (Would a google map help? Dude, I'm ovah heeyah! )

Maybe it's my way of coping with the fact that what I love about Christmas is in it's waning phase. Maybe the distraction of the improbable fantasy of the Twilight Saga is here to rescue me from the reality until I learn how to face it more productively. That sounds reasonable enough.

Quick! Look! Lovely, tiny, little stitches. Yum.

Indian Rib

Friday, December 18, 2009

confessions...horn name it

Yesterday I was all gung ho on getting the Christmas package to my sister wrapped up and ready to mail, as well as putting a dent in the gift wrapping, in general. My guest bedroom is a wreck with the gift and wrapping overflow. And most importantly, my cat Grissom is not happy his lair has been taken over by a five foot long, pink, stuffed pony. (I should get a picture of that.)

If he doesn't get in 16 hours* of this...


OMG the dirty looks would make Edward Cullen look like the poster boy of happy.

Anyway, I carved out some time to devote to wrapping and shipping and when I got down to it I couldn't find my nieces' gift card.

I automatically assumed I lost it and in the third of a second it took to go from "Christmas wrapping FUNSIES!" to "FUCK! I lost a big fat gift card," my Christmas mojo evaporated. Like poof, gone. Like, I am a failure, I better just pack it in now, take a couple of Tylenol, chased with some Advil, a tension headache is coming. Oh hello! Here it is. Where's the couch? I suck.

But today, mysteriously, I don't. Suck, that is. Knitting Kris said something nice about a project of mine on Ravelry and it got me thinking about myself and well, I am the Goddess of Cables. Didn't you know?

It's all because of this:

Cable Warshrag

This is a cable washcloth I knit as a gift out of some Peaches & Creme cotton. Well, it's not that I knit it, per se, just that all I needed for this project was the first couple of rows of the cable pattern. My mind somehow infers the rest of the pattern.

I will miss the most obvious metaphor, but for some strange reason knitting cables comes very easily to me. (Well, the FO has more than one error, but that's because my attention to detail has been sucking wind, not because I didn't know what I should have done. Seriously the more I look at that the more errors I see. Whatta dope.)

So little comes easy to me. I've spent about ten or so years feeling like crap about myself, about my mind, about my abilities, about my worth as a human being, and well, now someone says something nice and I'm swinging ecstatically out on the opposite pole. The mood vacillations are severe, I can scare myself. Maybe it's menopause.

Or maybe it's just too much Twilight.

I have always been a drama llama. But coming in contact with the overwrought, long winded, ridiculously improbable story lines of the Twilight series, has brought me back in touch with my unique brand of crazy. And yesterday I was in Volterra (via audiobook)(for the umpteenth time) with Bella not thinking Edward loved me even though every thought and gesture bespeaks otherwise, and we were almost killed, and it was hard. Very hard. Life is hard. Being in love with a literally stone, ice cold Dionysis is hard. (OMG! Not only did I make a pun, I realized I punned!)

Seriuhsly, though. Seriuhsly. As Cleoland has taught me, "Twilight means never having to say you're kidding." This advice works in real life too. I remind myself, life is short. If it's not feeling sweet, it's best to move on and quickly. It's more fun to spend one's time knitting, than sulking on the couch, wallowing in disapprobation. I am a speshul angel snowflake, I may not remember where I put things sometimes, but with the knitting? Iz haz mad skillz.**

*Hyperbole, as is most of this post. Drama llama = me. Remember?

**The lolspeak is annoying, but I just.can' I'd say escape while you can, but the post is over...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Never underestimate the power of a good whine...

I am a narcissist. A real one, like textbook real. My narcissism doesn't conform to the textbook definition, as well it shouldn't; personality disorders aren't one size fits all.

So, with an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mentality, I do spend considerable time performing mental gymnastics to make said narcissism less, well, narcissistic.

It does make sense. It does.

So Friday and Saturday I had a ferocious need to finish up my first Clothilde. It came out beautiful in the last of my Sundara Sport. I told myself that as soon as this was done I'd finish up the last bit of my Christmas knitting.

Midnight Moon Clothilde

Midnight Moon Clothilde

This is what happened after I finished washing and blocking the Clothilde:

Strange Fruit Clothilde

Strange Fruit Clothilde

And I did it with a chuckle, instead of disapprobation.

A woman's gotta knit what a woman's gotta knit.

I think part of my problem is that there is too much blue in my knitting basket. The original Clothilde and the Christmas socks are both blues. I chose the warmly edible hues of Strange Fruit for contrast. I think it worked because sometime yesterday afternoon, I had the urge to put the Clothilde down and take up the Christmas knitting. No longer am I a toe short of one sock as I was in the morning when I took progress shots:

Indian Rib

I began the second sock last night and I feel I just may be focused enough to finish it up this week.

My whiny selfishness has been foiled, once again. (Hopefully I won't be eating these words in a day....)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Procrastin Eschewing Knits

I was all gangbusters on my Christmas knitting.

Until I wasn't.

You know how it is, don't you? I'm trying not to paint myself into the "selfish hoar" corner, but depending on the moment, I'm either successful or I'm not. My mind knows I've been working on gift socks since October, and thinking and stashing for them as early as September. I'm on my last pair and I know I could do them if I just stick my mind to it but I donna wanna.

"Selfish hoar."

"Awwww, shutuppayouface."

All I can think about is that I haven't knit myself a pair of socks since May.

Waving Lace Socks
Sundara sock, Marina over Icicles.

Marina Waves Socks

And what good are buckets full of sock yarn if they're not being knit into socks for memememememe?

Marina Waves Socks

Marina Waves Socks

"None" would be the answer, but that would be incorrect. Sock yarn is good in and of itself; it doesn't need to be anything, it just needs to be.

"But still" she whines forevermore.


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