Monday, January 28, 2008

Breathe Deeply

Today, Sweetie mocked my reclusiveness. In the real world and the less-real world of Ravelry.

He visited my profile there and said, "Hey honey, this is just like MySpace and FaceBook! It's social networking!" Oh crap, I thought. How dorky it this. "You really need to get involved if you want Fuzzarelly Fibers to grow!"

I know. I know. I hear you. Shut up, dorky butt.

I recently sold every-little-bit o' Fuzzarelly Fiber to The Sassy Spinster in Lancaster, Texas. So if I talk up FF, then I will actually have to make more. Sigh and dammit. (crank crank crank)

Sweetie just laughed out loud at me. Out loud! I'm glad I can amuse him. The Rat Bastard!

So. I updated my profile on Ravelry and friended four or five people that had friended me. Hi, Shannon, Valerie, Victoria, Kitty, Nancy! And I joined two whole groups.

Even worse, has been getting hits from the Fiber Event in Greencastle, and the Southern Indiana Fiber Arts Festival in Corydon. That means I really need to actually update and work on the site. Double Crap and Damn!!

I can not work! The bats and acid-crazed brown recluse spiders make it impossible for me to deal with people!

Pictures of Wednesday. Not quite three weeks old and currently 8.1 oz! Astounding! Despite my earlier doubts, I think he'll make it.

Lastly, forced Sweetie out of the house yesterday to visit a beaver mound, which is in a quarry lake down the road a bit. Couldn't quite photo the actual beaver home but here is an example of their handiwork.

'Beaver mound' made me realize that I haven't bathed or changed clothes in some time. Maybe it is the inner homeless person, european, psychotic in me. Is this TMI? Please excuse.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Season to Taste

The ears ain't what they yousta was.

This morning, on NPR, there was an interview with The Wigs. I think that's what the band was called. Maybe it was The Whigs. Hell, I can't hear anymore. Their first song, was, I swear, "Michigan Troll."

Then they sang and it went something like, "Michigan Troll - Come in, over."

How I love that troll! It should be the state non-human of the upper and lower peninsula!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do Not Fold

Okay. So.

Can you believe that January is mostly over? It is 6:30 as I write this and there is still a glimmer of light in the western sky. Cool beans. Now is the time that it is the hottest part of summer in the southern hemisphere. How weird it seems to us, to live in Australia with Christmas in July, as it were.

I would like to experience the white nights of summer sometime in Alaska or Sweden. The gloriousness of having the sun available for so long. Parteee!

Anyhoo. Here in realtime, Wednesday is growing! 4.6 oz. after tonight's feeding.

I've taken to putting W. into mom's cage for feeding. She feeds and grooms him nicely, but he still lives in his bowl. (Not that I know he's a boy, but I hate to keep calling him an it.) His eyes are open! He can be weaned at three weeks (he's two weeks now) if need be. In a few day's time he'll outgrow the bowl and I will have to decide where he'll live. Mom may go into the backyard enclosure - no more boarding with Percival!

Here he is in his bowl with Candy's pelt.

The late, lamented Candy. Her pelt is in it's final stages. It is out of the brine, has been washed, and I am conditioning the skin side stretching and pulling on it while damp. Lastly, I will rub the flesh side with mink oil. Considering the circumstances under which I acquired her pelt, I believe it has turned out purty good. I now have the confidence to do this again - and may try some fresh road kill raccoons later on. Or squirrels. Maybe not skunk. Spring is fraught with wandering small mammals around here. The poor little flattened things could be put to some use beyond buzzard food. They can have the innards, I will take the fur.

The New Shawl is progressing. As are the Sweetie Socks. Nothing worth imaging. The shawl is a mere purple blobby boob on the 16" circulars. It is time to cast on for the second sock, as I have knit the better part of the first sock's leg bit. I am a firm believer in knitting a pair of socks simultaneously in order to avoid the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome.

Sheila has been in a nest building frenzy! She's taken the Swiffer sheet from the mop, along with refuse from my studio (NNS old jacket sleeves, for example), and every bit of alfalfa and broom straw that she can find. Her babies are not due for two more weeks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Use Adequate Ventilation.

Must admit that I am still in the bunker - avoiding the silent, hovering, WalMart-sized bats. The ones with the flashing lights.

Sometimes I am so ashamed of my lack of ability. This time it was the lack of ability, and common sense, to keep Percival and Floppy separated, up in the barn loft. She had babies and are we surprised? Because bunnies never have a tendency to reproduce like, what, rabbits? Do they?

So I found her babies one morning, which had scattered. Two were cold and one was chilled. I took that one and held it to my chest for several hours until it warmed. Mom is now in the kitchen but the the kit is kept separated from her, as she seems to have no mad mothering skillz whatsoever. I have been loathe to even acknowledge the kit, as it reflects so badly upon me and my husbandry skills. Also, I wasn't sure that it would make it.

But it has! Ten days so far. Little Wednesday has finally started to put on weight - it's up to 3 oz. and is brown like its daddy. Little babies never cease to amaze and fill me with wonderment.

A note - At first, I placed mom on her back and placed the little one one her belly to feed. Which it did, but it didn't put on any weight. Grew fur, whiskers, and bigger teeth, but did not gain a gram. A few days ago, I sat mom on a chair and let the little one feed from underneath, as in nature. That's when Wednesday began putting on the tenths of ounces. Floppy appears to acknowledge that this thing is hers, sort of, as she stands quietly for the process.

And Hi!, it's fucking cold here. The furnace is balky. It works, sort of. Some part needed to be ordered to correct the problem so the thing will not be fixed until Monday. Tonight is forecast to be 6 degrees. I'm not worried about me (we still have a wood stove and a shed full of fire wood for just such an emergency) or the bunnies (who take the cold much better than the heat of summer) except that their drinking water turns into ice blocks. Bunnies won't eat if they can't drink.

So - we are all fine. Sweetie has been working lots and I miss him. He has tomorrow off - in order to catch up on his sleep.

Being the book slut that I am, I ordered the first and second books of Modern Lace Knitting by Marianne Kinzel. Using the belly button cast on, I have successfully started the Azalea pattern from the first book. I am using the purple cashmere - again. I gave up on the last shawl effort. I seemed so unable to do a simple two-row repeat - but this time all seems to be going just fine. Go fig. And I have begun a pair of socks for Sweetie, from the book he gave me in December.

This site is too funny. That is, if you are a news junkie.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dispose of Properly

Layin' low to avoid the bats.

Finished the socks.

Only one squirrel was harmed in the making of this website.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Remove from wrapper before cooking

This will be a disjointed yet rambling post; like most of my others.

It got up to 70 degrees today - January 7. Atlanta weather. Used to, armadillos were rare in southern Georgia and last summer I saw one as road kill just south of Nashville, Tennessee. I've never seen a live one. If I did, it would most likely freak me out - like ant eaters do. How long will it be before fire ants are here? And those huge palmetto bugs that are the size of shetland ponies.

I've been feeling good lately and my sense of smell came back today! (The last smell phase only lasted for a week.) I love the smell of the barn, the hay and the bunny poop. Bunny poop doesn't smell bad, but bunny pee can make one's eyes water. My eyes don't water, but it is almost time to muck out the Aegean stables again. I can't do it, not with my allergies so I'll have to get the village idiot handyman guy who can shovel and tote heavy things and hammer nails and fix mufflers to help me.

Sweetie would do it, but he's been working hard, seven days a week. And it's winter, when all he can do is work. Any other time is spent sleeping. What can I say? He gives me his paycheck every week, so if he wants to sleep, then he can sleep. He doesn't fuss at me for being a layabout.

Or knitting socks for most of the day. The Annetrelac socks are coming right along.

Lastly, I caught Sheila rearranging my sheets and pillows this morning. She's so funny - she doesn't pee or poop on the bed (which is notable) and she doesn't tear anything but she grabs the sheet in her mouth and tosses it around. Along with the quilt, the sheepskin, and the pillows. Crazy demon child.

Buster wanted to show off his noble profile.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Objects may appear larger....

Don't sweat the The Large Stuff.

Link works with this...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Cook over a low flame.

I am totally diggin' on the entrelac socks! The technique is interesting and the yarn colors change often, so they are holding my attention.

I'll admit that just reading the directions made my head spin. Time to take off the thinking hat and become a blind follower. Just do as written. And in less that five minutes, the mind-gears engaged and I was off and running.

However, if I didn't know how to knit "backwards" (knitting from left to right as well as the usual right to left,) the love wouldn't be so much.

For example, the pattern instructs me to -

Knit 2, turn.
Slip 1, purl 1, turn.
Slip 1, knit 2, turn.
Slip 1, purl 2, turn.
Slip 1, knit 3, turn.
Etc., turn, turn, turn.

Screw that. So imagine instead -

Knit 2. (R to L)
Slip 1, knit 1. (L to R)
Slip 1, knit 2. (R to L)
Slip 1, knit 2. (L to R)
Slip 1, knit 3. (R to L)
Etc. Just slippin' and knittin'.

I have used this technique for intarsia and bobbles, too. EZ didn't think too much of it, being the opinionated knitter that she was. From The Opinionated Knitter I quote her, "Actually, there is no wrong way to knit, although there is one way which is nearly wrong. I mean, Backwards, or Looking-Glass Knitting. It is not wrong in effect, as its proponents - or shall we say victims? - turn out perfectly creditable garments. But they work in a void of noncommunication, cut off from run-of-the-mill knitters and nearly all knitting instructions."

Victim, indeed! It doesn't take an Einstein to adapt a pattern to one's own purpose.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Do Not Fold

It's snowing. First of the season. Welcome to 2008.

I have no idea what to wish or hope or work towards for in the coming year. I have always just gone along with the jostling tides of life. It could have been worse.

New Year's Day is a human construct and has no impact on me. Just another day.

Having said that, 2007 was a good year. I finally got over the grief of my store closing. I loved that store. Still cannot comprehend all of the energy, love, and karma that I pumped - nay, bled - into that enterprise. It depleted me, it drained me. Arts & Artisans, the store, closed in 2005, after sixteen months in business. Here it is two and a half years later and I have only now been able let it go. I learned so much, I gained so much from my store that, now, I can see doing it again. With a lot more knowledge and experience under my belt. With the same rosy glasses as last time. What a fool I am.

(Arts & Artisans was a gallery and boutique. I sold my own wares and also sold on consignment art objects from many, many people. Near the end, I began to offer knitting needles and yarn and lessons. At the end, the money and my energy was used up and I had to close shop.)

In November, around Thanksgiving, I heard an interview with the bespoke Alice of the Restaurant on NPR. She talked about all of the good things of her restaurant, about how many people she fed and employed. Alice said that making a profit was never her goal - that feeding, employing, and meeting so many people was satisfaction in itself.

I never employed anyone and never even paid myself, but I know that I made a difference to a number of folks. Hearing that interview made me feel less of a failure. There were those whose art I sold, there were those that bought that art, there were those that were faithfully there, visited regularly, and helped and supported me in so many ways. One woman in particular, someone that I can't remember if she bought anything or not, stays in my mind. She was from out of town, on a business trip, she stopped in and we ended up talking for a long time. I did my spiel about following one's dreams, not just dipping a toe in but jumping into life with both feet, life is short, be bold and fearless, yadda yadda yadda. A month later, she returned to thank me for encouraging her to live her life to its fullest. To change the things she was uncomfortable with. Wow. That sort of thing made me feel really good.

There were the two Democrat women on election day, 2004, that brought me a hunk of Mandarin Orange cake from the little diner a couple of doors up. I gave them some inflammatory bumper stickers.

There were several young people that didn't buy much but whose company, vision, and youth, I valued.

I taught several people to knit, a few to spin, and inculcated a love of fiber and art to many others.

I miss the store, but now, I am able to move forward.

I am trying to get into some other kind of business. (I still have my wholesale knitting needle account.) Some little thing from which I can make a small amount of cash, like Fuzzarelly Fibers. Now is the time that I wish I were younger and/or more full of energy. Can't be younger, though. Come on, Energy!