Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mojo Rising

No sweaters done, but I'm at least knitting again. Maybe it's the new love in my life. Not this one:

Even in her less-angelic moods:

Or these:

Those are the deep, abiding ground of my heart. But something's got me going back to the needles. Look, I'm making a bag out of Lamb's Pride Bulky on 11s -- somewhere to put the tiny cards that used to live in my missing wallet. I'll knit until I like the shape, make another one with a flap, do a side piece/strap, assemble and felt it. I hope it un-lumps.

And I've been spinning (without having Thing 3 turn the wheel for me). Look at this -- he did the dyeing (I think it's a real Tequila Sunrise kind of colorway), and it spun up like this with the color repeats kept in line by spinning it lengthwise, rather than over the fold, as I'm apt to do:

He asked for mittlets, bless his little heart, and in true Twisted Sisters fashion, I gave high-e knitting a try. See how it's biasing in the stockinette? Neat-o, I think. Almost ready to divide for a little thumb. Nothing like instant gratification.

So what is the mystery inspiration for all this creativity? There's a hint under the mittlet. . . . and I can't stop singing "Long May You Run." Give up?

It's my new car!

I firmly believe it is wrong to love objects more than people, and of course I don't. . . but between the spinning wheel and this camper van, it's tough. I used to have a 70's era VW van, and I loved that a lot. Then, briefly I had one of these, and now. . . lucky lucky me.

I'll have to plan a spinning camping trip soon with all of the people I love more than the car!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Can't Knit a Stitch

Apparently, when I'm under stress I go all mush-brained. I lose things (hello, Tennessee, seen my wallet yet?), I can't keep my house clean (at least that's the current excuse), my back goes out during high-exertion activities like "brushing teeth" and "putting a kid into a car seat" and today's feature "making my bed," and I'm so. Very. Tired. Funerals and dad in the hospital and husband job stress. . . just stuff. Yawn.

Another fun symptom is that when I pick up sticks and yarn and make those weird spell-casty gestures, I get even sleepier. Listening to my lovely spouse read aloud is probably the only thing that makes me more sleepy. Since I tried to knit, thank goodness my sister drove to the funeral in Los Angeles last weekend! Even with five under eight in the car, and "Branching Out" to work on, it was a sleepy trip for me. Yes, I can screw up lace billed as "The Easiest Lace You'll Ever Ever Attempt, And If You Can't Do This, You Are A Dork." Stress is not your friend.

The only fun thing I can do beyond the sketchiest parenting and work -- lots of work -- is spinning. So it's not the fiber itself that makes me sleepy, apparently, it's the needles. That's a theory.

I got a bunch of wool from the Sheep Shed Studio (like a crackhouse for cheap spinners) and put the children to work with some kool-aid drink mix.

I plan to spin it up and maybe knit them something like socks for Christmas. Stop laughing, those of you who know how I feel about sock knitting. This knitting "allergy" has to stop sometime. Besides, I actually love these children and have to do something for them.

And I've been doing some spinning, but not photographing it. I'm nearly done with one of the handpainted Corriedale bunches of roving from Lambtown. It's not the softest wool in the shed, but it's very soothing. Actually, spinning is remarkably soothing without the soporific "knitting needle effect." Thank goodness for small favors!

The Things continue to do. . . many things. This is fall in Northern California.
Thing 1 is working on "growing" as a hobby. It's breaking the bank to keep that child in shoes, cheese, and pants. Eating. Growing. Eating. Growing. Sleeping. And asking me for favors.

Since this one saved me approximately $30, I was happy to oblige:

Now she can wear them at least through one more growth spurt. We got enough to trim three pairs of jeans for her and one for Thing 2, who, while not growing as fast, hates to give up outgrown clothes. I miss sewing. Maybe someday, when my house is not spontaneously messing itself up and I'm not working all the time and making food and cleaning up food and not gardening or working the bees (thank you, windy/cloudy days that I can't get into the hive easily during!), I will actually set up that machine and make. . . something. At that point, probably I'll need something like a cozy for my missing memory because I'll be about 150.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Where did September come from?

I have always loved fall. Loved everything about it, even though I grew up in a place with "fall-lite." I could tell, even if it was still 100 degrees.

And I still feel like that. Only, this year, I'm not sure I'm ready for it. We don't do a big back to school thing or anything, not much changes, but . . . I had hoped to get more done last month, and make this a big picture-heavy "Whoopie, I'm back!" post.

Life, as they say, got in the way. More work, a very nice vacation, an emergency trip to be with my mom and dad while my dad is in the hospital, and just stuff. Not so much knitting. Clearly, twelve sweaters are not to be during this year.

I knit a sweater for a neighbor's baby -- small, but not as small as the picture suggests:

And I did finish "Coachella" although I haven't sewn in any ends:

I think I'm going to give it to my lovely sister, who will wear it with more panache than I could.

Also, I began "Branching Out" with some old souvenir mohair.

Oh, and this came to live with me, and we're very happy together:

So imagine some more skeins of yarn, and some fiber waiting to be spun.

I don't anticipate a real slowdown in the rest of my year, no matter what earlier hopes might have been. I don't know if I can read everyone's blogs and take the time it would require. Three more classes to teach, and the money is quite welcome. Kids are good and busy, bees need work and well, I've got to go out of town this weekend and life just keeps happening. I'd like to hear how some of you stay on top of everything and sail along serenely. There has to be a trick.