Thursday, September 27, 2007

This is our entertainment center. The teevee, with rabbit ears, the Sirius boombox, and the combination record player, CD player, and radio.

I don't watch much teevee and I'm not just saying that. I don't. But I brought the set from the back living room into the front living room so I could watch The War on PBS this week while I knit. Can I just say, "Oh. My. God."

I know a lot about WWII - for a woman my age. Books, movies, teevee, stories. This series has brought home the horror to me all over again. And the wars don't stop. Sweetie says wars happen because of men. Men have always and forever (?) fought for wealth, status, power. It is their nature. He says that it's just like two male bunnies fighting - only on a larger scale.

For me, it's horrible.

When we went to the Patton Museum, Sweetie was enthralled with the tanks; the power and force, etc. etc. (They have the largest tank collection in the world, I think.) He put himself into the aggressor's shoes; the person in the tank. Me, I was in the regular person's shoes. I imagined the tanks from the weaker position. Being run over by the tank.

We have C 130s fly over us a lot. Maybe three or four in a line. C 130s fly low and slow and make a deep rumbling noise individually. In a group, they rattle the windows. It's awe inspiring. I imagine having a thousand planes flying over, dropping bombs on me. I imagine being on the ground and seeing the sky filled with death machines.

So, I'm depressed today. I'm glad the show won't be on again until Sunday. But I will watch it. Even if it gives me bad dreams again.

Otherwise, this is Floppy, the wry neck bunny. Sometimes I call her Fosdick. She escaped from her little corral last week into the larger enclosure and it seems to be doing her good. Her head doesn't tilt so far to one side anymore. I think she is actually getting better! She's getting around far better than I ever thought she could.

Percival likes her.

Also, some acid crazed spider got aholt of my shawl and did bad things. I have started over.

And it did rain.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Silky is so lovely covered in wool.

Not so lovely anymore but much cooler.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Knit and Hook

Still hot here, ninety-five degrees. Geez Louise. However, it should be 5 or so degrees cooler tomorrow and yet again we are being teased with a chance of rain. Percival keeps his cool, though. (I missed the shot of him on his back in the hole, little feet up in the air.)

I clipped Silky today. Sweetie dubbed him Sicky last year - but then he got better and so got a better name, too. He is silky. A good wooler, as they say. Bunny clipping season is just around the corner. Oh boy. One down, thirty something to go.

Still knitting the new shawl. There is something to be said about swatching, that something usually being "Don't need to" followed by "I should have." I mean, I should have at least tried a sample of the pattern alteration I made instead of spending an hour knitting two rows and then 4 hours unknitting those two rows. Lace, with its yarn overs and knit 2 togethers, behaves weirdly if one switches places of the yarn overs and knit 2 togethers. Who knew? But I got it figgered out and I am liking the change. I guess I better because I'm moving forward with this thing. You can't see the change in this picture, though, because it was taken last week. The green is gradually getter darker as the shawl gets longer.

Also, I meant this shawl to be a half circle. But because of one extra pair of yarn overs every eight rows well....who knew?

Click here for the low down on an Alabama prostitution ring.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Still hanging out with my crazy - and it may get worse. Looks like the investment company that bought Sweetie's workplace last year was a "strip and flip" sort of outfit. In other words, squeeze as much money as possible out of the operation and then dump it. If the company is to be sold or merely closed, we don't know yet. We are both, at the moment, being philosophical about it. I mean, if you would ask Sweetie where he would want to be in five or ten years, he would say, "Not working for these people." Me, I'm kinda happy about not having to work. But I will if so needed. There's no reason to get our panties in a bunch until we know what all is going on.

In the meantime, I'm knitting my anxieties away on the green shawl. I'll have pictures next post.

I also took in another refugee bunny. Sigh. The owner got pregnant and they moved and blah blah blah. She is a cute, grey and white Netherland dwarf and acts much nicer than the boy dwarves. Claudia is currently caged and in the kitchen until Sheila warms up to her. She may or may not be the third house bunny, depending on Sheila. I know that Heizen will take to her.

You know, I get such a deep satisfaction out of taking care of the bunnies. They keep me calm and sane. (Except for when they make me nervous and crazy. Which isn't often.) The bunnies are such quiet, soft, contained little things and they will sit mostly patiently in my lap for grooming or clipping. I hope that they sense goodness from me; that I won't harm them.

On the shameless self-promotion front, I'm working on packaging for the 300 goodie bag items for the SOAR retreat. (Presentation is 90 per cent of sales after all.) The acronym stands for Spin-Off's Autumn Retreat. Anyhoo, it is an opportunity to distribute samples and promotional material to 300 dedicated and socio-economically gifted hand spinners from across the country. My "goodies" will need to ship Oct. 1. What with Sweetie's work situation, I am now hoping that it will generate a few sales.

It's still hot and dry here, but it's not such a horrible heat because it cools down at night to the 50s or 60s. We had 4 inches of rain in August, so our grass and greenery is not completely dead - but I can't remember when we got that last inch. Water holes for cattle are almost completely dry. It's worse further south which I noticed on the drive to the family reunion. No rain is forecast until Tuesday. Did you hear that the ice in the Northwest Passage has melted for the first time in 350 years? Fuck. I'm glad I'm old.

Older Brother has corrected me about the first known date of our ancestor, Ambrose H., Sr. He has been tracked to 1750. His son, Ambrose H., Jr. settled in the Tennessee county that I was born in c.1810. That still sort of freaks me out. My parents once told me that if I threw a rock in that county, I would hit a relative. Now I know why.Crazy

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Here are some lovely lace patterns to buy. I especially like the Dragone.

You know, I do work - every so often, that is. Lately I have been cranking out fiber sausages like these.

I'm really digging the saturated jewel colors! This blend is equal parts merino, alpaca, angora and silk. Delicious. At the end of the month, I'll be sending 300 little packages of Fuzzarelly Fibers for the goodie bags at SOAR (Spin-Off's Autumn Retreat.) Hopes are that some sales will be generated - just not too many! I don't want to work all that hard.

The weather has turned comfortable. It was 50 degrees this morning and all the bunnies are feeling fine. The four little outside babies have grown. They also dug out of the back yard enclosure and are now true yard rats. Well, I kept them safe during their most vulnerable months and I still put out pellets and water for them. It's amusing to watch them ass around - chasing, eating, playing and humping. Pretend humping so far. Once in awhile, Millie Cat stalks them or Buster lopes around but the bunnies ignore them both.

Today I am a gui-tard. Ha Ha! Lessons are going well except for my total lack of practice. In school, I never practiced the clarinet or the oboe and was good enough to get As. I want to do well but without any effort - like the total slacker I am. However, I do get my money's worth because even if I am a slow learner, it gets me out of the house every week for something not grocery related.

Right now, my crazy is here. The hermit/anxious/phobic sort of crazy. The sun, all of a sudden, seems to plummet to the western horizon every evening. That's the precursor to my fall/winter depression. Which probably explains the crazy anxious. feeling.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Here is a tutorial for weaving in ends as you go. Photo heavy, but clear instructions.

I have been knitting a little bit. Finished the latest pair of socks, which took a little longer than anticipated because I changed a few things.

Removed the little stripe up the back as it was too bulky and it pooched out in an unattractive manner. Also reknit the cuff because one was too tight for comfort. Seems like I need to practice the tubular cast on some more. I needed a very elastic bind off and I used on I found online. I am sorry that I don't remember where I found this - was it Fleegle's blog? - but I saved it for just such an emergency. It is quite stretchy but cute.

I have also begun a cape/shawl garment. It is essentially a shawl but with shaping for the neck. Gave myself a headache trying to find some pattern in my several books and magazines that rocked me. Something not too hard but not too mindless. I have always liked this leaf motif and so worked up a chart using it, working from the neck down. It seems to work well with this yarn, a lace weight merino from 2 years ago when I was first trying to knit lace. I figured that if my idea sucked, I could just throw it away. No, not really. I am too cheap to throw away much of anything of value, however marginal. I do think I will over dye the yarn in deeper shades of green.

Buster says "Hi!"

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ah, Family

Hope you all had a nice day off if you got one. Sweetie had Saturday and Sunday off, but as usual, he worked the holiday performing start up at the plant.

He stayed home Sunday to mind the live stock while I traveled 41/2 hours to my paternal family reunion. My first but it was the 87th annual. I have such mixed emotions about family, especially my father's side, but despite my misgivings, I made the trip if only to see two of my three brothers and their families.

The event was in a rented hall, and the first person I saw greeted me by name! I hadn't seen that second cousin in over 30 years. Her three brothers knew me right off, too. I met more cousins than I knew existed and most of them knew my dad. They were all related to him. There were maybe 50 to 60 people there - all of them my family - and I was welcomed warmly by everyone. It was a strange feeling.

The coolest thing, though, was learning about the ancestors, (although I didn't learn nearly enough in the short time I was there.) The family tree begins with Ambrose H., Sr. in 1810. He was Generation One and lived in South Carolina. I am Generation Six. I hope someone can eventually trace our roots back to England.

Another very cool thing was what one particular second cousin said to me. When we would visit every summer, one of the few of my dad's people that we would go see was this cousin's family. All of us kids were about the same age and I remember that time fondly as there seemed to be no underlying tension, no amorphous anxiety. Anyway, this cousin looked me in the face and said, "You look so much like your mother." I was touched to the core and delighted at the same time because I always admired her looks - tall, slim and blond. For someone to say that this short, chubby and brunette woman looked like her - well, of course I was delighted.

My package from Yubina arrived Friday, a brown paper package decorated with a variety of Chinese stamps. I had ordered 150 grams of cashmere lace weight yarn and 100 grams of cashmere and silk lace weight. Soft and luscious stuff for Future Shawls.