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May 31, 2004
the party's over.

I forgot to take the "before" pictures and was too caught up in the moment for "during", so here's "after".

The party was great; the house looked great and it was fun to get to show everyone around. I'm full of warm fuzzy feelings about good neighbors and good friends.

I am also full of fish tacos as we ordered way too many and I've been eating the leftovers.

06:43 AM
May 26, 2004
channeling my inner martha

We're having our housewarming party on Sunday. So I'm in full tidy mode... or fighting against it... still too early to do the fun stuff like flowers or moving tables... making it seem like we're actually having a party. Or even clean the bathrooms... with two little ones underfoot it's foolhardy to actually do the cleaning too soon. I did the major mop and dust over the weekend. The rest will wait until the last minute... But I've been planting a few flowers, spreading bark, getting flotsam hauled away by the thrift store... buying paper plates...

I'm one of those people who loves the idea of having people over... but the party's always too short, or it seems silly that you did so much for it. Anyway, I'm coming to recognize that I just enjoy the process of preparing for the party, and the party itself is just icing on the cake.

07:17 AM
noro, noro, noro!

The yarn for the knitted throw for the bed came at last and here it is with the pictures that Leo did.

I'd figured on knitting each strip about 7 inches wide x 3 skeins so that the blanket would end up being about 6 feet on a side. I started knitting the first strip at that width, but it didn't really seem friendly to the length of the color changes in the yarn, so I'm knitting a narrower band. This seems closer to right. It's tempting to just keep going and declare it "fine", but I figure with this much left to knit on it, better to get it all sorted out now than when it's half knit.


Thumb's healing nicely. Very functional and only a little sore. Stitches come out next week.


Heard from my book lady again. They are still going forward with my proposal and will be showing the dummy to the interested publisher(s?) in June. So that's good news. In other book news, I'm revising one of my patterns for publication which is going to be fun. I'm looking forward to knitting it again which is a good sign, certainly.

06:41 AM
May 23, 2004
washability?

i'm making a sweater for a young teen and was all set to use Noro Kureyon, but then I started thinking that this was sentencing the sweater to a terrible laundry accident. Would you knit this yarn for a 12 year old? Clearly there's no substitute for Noro, but what fun yarns are there that stand up to machine washing? I need something that will show a bit of stitch definition, please.

06:05 AM
May 19, 2004
freak accident

last night as i was getting ready to get dinner together i went to open a cabinet and the ceramic knob snapped in half slicing my thumb something fierce.

waited for leo to get home about 15 minutes later then went off to the ER for 6 stitches, some betadine and a tetanus shot. though the tendon was very much visible within the cut, it doesn't seem to have been damaged, so i ought to heal up fine.

now my thumb looks like this:

it doesn't hurt too much as long as i don't try to use it, but let me just say that life without even one of my opposable thumbs is challenging. good news: i found i can still knit... sort of.

09:52 AM
May 17, 2004
do i really need a blowtorch?

for some reason, I have a bee in my bonnet about making a flan or creme brulee for the party we're having in a couple of weeks. i think i came up with flan as the food will be mexican (in a californian way). what's the difference between the two? i think i prefer creme brulee as it's more creamy/less eggy and has that crunchy broiled sugar on top. do i really need the ramekins to cook them in? are they a pain to make? any favorite recipes?

i saw a recipe on epicurious for a bittersweet chocolate-ancho chile one that seemed like it might be trying too hard, but reviewers loved it. then again, a classic creme brulee is, well, classic. i was also thinking of a flourless chocolate cake, because everyone always loves those. and fruit. lots of good fruit.

06:17 AM
May 11, 2004
silk garden

Now that my yarn's on its way, I am thinking more seriously about the design. Is the multidirectional scarf approach really the right one? There are so many ways to show off the beauty of this yarn and so I'm pondering.

Garter stitch is so yarn guzzling, but I like the simplicity of it, and I like the fact that there's no wrong side. Afghans with a "wrong" side don't please me so much. Plus, I like the idea of doing it in strips so I'm not buried under it while I knit it. A 10-inch wide strip is portable, a 60-inch wide blanket isn't.

I can imagine something quite lovely and sort of Fassett-esque with diamonds, and there are always mitered squares. Variable sizes in sort of a Koigu Oriental Coat way...

Thoughts? Feelings? Experiences? I've never knit a blanket before.

04:48 PM
May 10, 2004
pushing fate?

Okay I just plunked down my pretty pennies for 30 (30!) skeins of Silk Garden to begin this great project and am eagerly waiting for it to arrive.

Surely beginning such a monster project will ensure that my book producer will call tomorrow and want me to start working on the book ASAP. And I will be stuck with 30 skeins unknit festively displayed on my bed.

In truth, it would be fabulous if the call actually came through from the book people, and it would take me a while to line up all the stuff I'd need for it before I could even really start knitting, so I'm probably pretty safe...

And now I should be feverishly knitting on the sweater I'm making so it doesn't end up at the bottom of the basket for another several months. Almost ready to start shaping on the back! Then sleeves...

04:48 PM
May 9, 2004
inspiration.

Sometimes inspiration smacks you up side the head and it's good when it does. I've been noodling with some new knitting ideas but hadn't settled in on a project that really had me excited.

I'm still knitting away on a sweater for publication that I really like, but at this point all the creative parts of it are gone and it's just knitting with no surprises. I'll be glad to get it done but it doesn't have the sparkle of a new project.

Then, this morning, through some window yarn shopping on Ebay and my continued subconscious thoughts on what artwork to display in the house and where, I was gobsmacked. I want to hang one of Leo's pictures over our bed. And then I want to make a knitted quilt/throw blanket out of Noro Silk Garden, that will be made up of strips knit like wider versions of Karen Baumer's multidirectional scarf. In my imagination at least, the play of the colors across the intersecting triangles will be quite interesting and fun to play with once I get ten or so strips knit.

An ambitious project surely, but I have found the scarves so pleasant to knit that I think I will keep on with it. And, symbolically, I like the interplay of our creative works. The Noro colors work well with many of Leo's images, and I think the soft geometric forms of the knit triangles will complement the lines in the picture. Two creative works, each with its own form and energy, but each made more interesting by its relationship to the other.

Have I mentioned that we're closing in on 15 years together?

10:08 AM
May 3, 2004
no news

Just cute pictures of the kids.

11:42 AM
May 1, 2004
stuff

In my idle minutes I'm trying to put a syllabus for a knitting class, thinking I might teach the first session this summer. I'm excited to do it, but getting all the ducks in a row -- particularly the finding students ducky -- is a project. really, i just need to make a flyer. i'm sure i could come up with 8 or 16 pretty quickly and 2 2-hour classes with 7-8 students is what i'm looking to start with.


I cleaned out the garage this week, and then the office/craft room closet. maybe I've got pioneer Melissa's clutterfree bug. i brought the sewing machine table in and put the machine back in it. so that i might sew without a huge production.


My furniture roll continued, maybe not so impressively, with 2 end tables for the livingroom. Both likeable and compatible with each other and the emerging fin-de-siecle decor of the livingroom. i mentioned doilies to a friend, but she couldn't embrace the idea. but surely lace knitters could see the whimsy in some chartreuse anti-macassars and such?

And the friends that were trying to unload the 8 thriftstore diningroom chairs will be bringing them over this weekend. Delivery even! I don't remember exactly what they look like, but my plan is to strip them and paint them with outdoor paint in bright colors to become the patio chairs. Sure, eventually they'll age, but I figure I can get several years out of them, especially if I put them in when it rains.

I lost the auction on the fountain thing. Back to the idea of creating one from whole cloth, or, uh, whole tile. Did see a multi-tiered plant stand at the drugstore yesterday. If it's cheap enough, I may put it in the fountain spot to give me more time to work on the project.


I've been plugging away on a knitting project that had been laid aside for a long time. I made some good progress on it, but I put it aside to work on something small and colorful yesterday. Just a little Kool-Aid baby hat as a pick-me-up. I'll get back to the meat and potatoes soon.

After looking around, I may have to knit a Charlotte. Everybody's doing it. I can't exactly imagine wearing a shawl, but I suppose over a fancy sleeveless dress it could happen. But I love all the colors and it looks like fun.


And in a twist of events, things are looking brighter on not one, but two, book fronts. Someone has asked me for a pattern and technical editing on a book she's writing that sounds like a great book. It's already getting serious with the publisher so it looks like this one's got the green light. And, on the very same day I heard that, the book producer that I'd submitted an idea to got back to me and said the publisher's knitting rep IS interested and that she is taking the idea back to HER people and we'll hear from them in a week or two. If this book comes to fruition I'll be very excited. And busy.

06:27 AM