Monday, June 28, 2010

MIA: Funneh

The funneh is missing in action at chez yarn.

At least we have yarn, though. I bought some new-to-me yarn from a couple of Ravelers last week: Bugga.

Bugga - Orchid Mantis
Bugga - Blue Emperor Dragonfly

The dusty coloring reminds me of Dream in Color's yarn. In fact, the top skein, Orchid Mantis, is near identical to a skein I have of Smooshy in the Butter Peeps colorway.

The Bugga, being 20% cashmere, is deadly soft. It is going to make some fabulous scarves.

So where the heck is the funneh? Well, a weekful of documentaries on American industry, and my continued ignorance of the BP situation, have been leaching all of my joy. I'm back to morose seriousness as I come to terms with some conflicting beliefs.

The theme this month can be summed up in dialogue from Cold Mountain (the movie, I never read the book). Renee Zellweger's character, Ruby, is up to her eyeballs in the hellhole of a life of a woman in a rural mountain town during the Civil War:

"They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!'"

In regard to the laughable, cynical, partisan outrage at the gulf oil disaster, the cold rationalist in me falls back on the indefatigable belief that one reaps what one sows.

We are at the limits of man's engineering abilities. Humanity is failing; not BP, not Obama, not our government. All governments and all private corporations fail given enough time and opportunity. It is a given, as they are human institutions. Redundancy.

When you play with the big guns, you have to be prepared for the great benefits you sow, such as the marvel of our modern American life, as well as be able to acknowledge our culpability when a monumental failure greets us. We tapped the oil, without the ability to cap the torrent, so who the fuck are we to complain about the uncontrollable oil slick raining down on us?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It felt good to get out of the rain...

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I don't know about the rest of the raglan sweater knitters out there, but when I knit a top down sweater, there is always a lull in the knitting when I get near the point at which a) I want to take the armholes off the needles or b) the armholes need to be removed from the needles.

After stewing in my knit bin for a month, I finally got up the chutzpah to go forward, knitting a few more rows before taking the arms off. After that the knitting has been full steam ahead.

I love this Madtosh DK colorway, Terrarium - even more than I love her DK colorway, Cove.

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The yarn itself has a wonderful, plushy texture, preferable to Sundara's much sturdier, more tightly spun, sport weight. But for colors both companies have stolen equal parts of my heart.

Even though Neil Young is heading into the desert (on a horse with no name) when he sings "It felt good to get out of the rain...," the phrase has married itself to this project. The colorway name, Terrarium, reached into the creaky corners of my memory, to one of the short stories showcased in the Ray Bradbury Illustrated Man movie, The Long Rain. A few astronauts are stranded in a jungle on Venus in a constant rain. It drives them batty as they seek the refuge of a sun dome.

Instead of the 3/4 sleeve of the original Tea Leaves Cardigan pattern, I think I'm going to go with a puffed short sleeve. All I have to do is figure out how to knit a puffed sleeve.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The sound of silence

is much preferable to the sound of me whining about my failure to mitigate my stress. Blah blah blah. It goes on and on in my head. Blech.

I have my health, food on my table, a wonderful husbeast, a tidy roof over my head. I need to get over the rest.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

No, Mrs. Norris, the world will not implode.

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When I was a young'un I was entranced by multiple personality disorders. Where most children spend their time learning gender and societal normative behaviors, I was drawn to all that was non-normative. Now that I've come to see my past and present through the prism of post-trauma, I am realizing that multiple personalities are the sign of a healthy mind, not just a mental illness caused by abuse, as immortalized in popular culture by the books and movies about Sybil and Eve.

I think I shall call my inner berator Mrs. Norris, after Jane's uber-bossy, illiberal, and admirably indefatigable Mansfield Park character. She thinks she knows what is best for me and up until this year, I've ceded to her all too often.

When Mrs. Norris says "Complete this knitting project; you started it - now finish it." I have the good sense to question her admonition. No longer do I obey, meekly and miserably, or rebel, just as miserably. Case in point, I began a new sock pattern with a skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR that I have been stashing lovingly for several years.

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This pale "Blue Moonstone" colorway is my manna. But when I began to knit the sock up, my speshul anjel snowflake fingers weren't so happy. I've been so friggin' spoiled by the super-soft-fairy-fart sundara sock yarn, that the tight twist of the STR was feelin' a little brillo-esqe. And part of that isn't the yarn, it's the texture of the lace and cable. STR's tight twist is a wonderful canvas for cables and other textured knitting, but it's touch is much coarser than the Sundara's sock yarn I've been knitting with over the passed six months.

Upon noticing my dislike for the knitted fabric texture, Mrs. Norris's response was loud and clear: "Suffer bitch, you started the project, you finish it." Once upon a time that is what I would do, with misery and self loathing magnifying with the knitting of each and every stitch. Now, notsomuch. I think I've outsmarted the crazeh when I decide on a happy, middle road option; I will knit anklets. Anklets are a much smaller project, i.e, less brillo knitting, but with an eye towards an FO to satisfy Mrs. Norris. In the end, Mrs. Norris is still me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Knitting? Hello, knitting, are you there? It's me Morticcia.

I think my subconscious is telling me to pick up some old Judy Blume books. That's the second time this spring my muse called forth a title punned from "Are you there God, it's me Margaret."

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So I bought more yarn. Who'd a thunk? This most recent acquisition is filed under retail therapy. I was in need and it did the trick.

Five months ago I darkened my hair considerably.

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When I was going more natural with the color, my clothes color range was as narrow as my palate: green to blue to beige to white. These colors have been my steady companion for at least 10 years. A couple of years ago I bought my first non-blue coat, and it's just been chaos at chez yarn. Absolute chaos. Now I'm wearing PINK. Me in pink.

But you know, I think pink goes great with my hair. So, I'm trying not to let ms. inner kool kat laugh in that snide, condescending way she has, making me feel 12 and inadequate, and clutching for the fortification of an all black wardrobe. I'm through with her, but she's still got some mojo left and since she's me, she won't give up until it is all spent.

So I've been starting to stash pink yarns to go with all the pink clothes I bought last month. I need to knit some scarf-y type shawlettes to ward off the onslaught of my work's A/C. I keep buying yarns but they turn out to be just barely not right for the patterns I want to knit or of too little yardage for the patterns I want to knit. My luck finally showed up when I hit Butterfly Yarns for retail therapy last Friday. I found some perfectly pink skeins of a lovely silk and cotton blend from Classic Elite Yarns. As I noted on my rav stash page the colorway should be called Molly Ringwald, as it is her pink, to a T.

I'm knitting a Saroyan and my knitting has been pretty imperfect but I'm not giving this failing any bandwidth. This month is my biggest stress time and I'm not interested in having my sole comfort (knitting) bite back.

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In fact, it's been a great place to experiment with different ssks/k2togs. No one around me will see the differences, or mistakes, that are obvious to me, and I'm finding it very easy to not see them either. That's a nice relief.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Jewels of the World...

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In the flush of first love my husband told me he would bring me the jewels of the world. He's fabulously corny like that. He means it from the depths of his unironic, romantic soul. Of course, I'm a cynic. I smiled at him, most likely batting my eyes, and thought to myself, oh yeah, I'll hold my breath for that. Not.

Other than requiring a big fat engagement ring to satisfy the poor girl chip on my shoulder, I have very little interest in jewels or jewelry. This weekend, though, I realized that my husband has been keeping his word.

The skein of yarn above is Sundara sock in the Candle to the Sun colorway. (I'm not sure if it was a limited edition or one-off colorway). When I was sick a few weeks ago, my hunny offered to buy me yarn to help me feel better. This skein was one of three colorways I purchased under this directive.

Almost all the yarn I've been stashing lately has been purchased by the hubster. Who knew when he promised me the jewels of the world that the jewels would come in the form of squishy, superwash merino goodness from the goddesses of yarn, Sundara and Madtosh. The two dyers were probably in diapers when he made that promise. Okay, so I exaggerate, but still.

And if there is a God, he or she is definitely looking over my shoulder because that lovely skein of yarn is sitting right on top of that Jane text that threw me for a loop. Look at the pic closely, the bottom right hand corner of the picture. I hadn't yet realized how these words shocked my system when I took that picture a week and a half ago.

I still haven't picked up Mansfield Park again. Too many undefined thoughts still stewing about in my subconscious. I spent time yesterday on Librivox listening to Wharton's minor novel, Custom of the Country.

I read this book twice, back to back, a few years ago. There was something so irresistible about it, but I was a little ashamed of my taste. It is only a minor work. I had no confidence in my taste then. This is changing. It may not be a major work, but it is a very tasty, tasty morsel, with it's own set of superlative charms.

 

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