Thursday, March 31, 2005

just rambling

here it is almost Friday again and i'm still knitting on the bottom panel of the cardi, and still trying to get the damn tax stuff
finished, and still doing my daily Greek lessons. sadly, i dont feel like i'm making a lot of progress on any of those things!
yesterday was a strange day..... the smallest things annoyed and frustrated me. i suppose it's at least partly due to Mercury in retrograde. got a bit of an attitude adjustment in the evening knitting/tv time when i found a couple of good programs on
PBS. i tuned in to the 2nd half of a program on Afganistan as they were talking about the destruction of so much of the old
culture and art of the country by the Taliban. there was a Russian archeologist who had excavated some ancient sites during
the 1970's and uncovered lots of gold, some of it as jewelry decorating the body in tombs. it had been placed in safes and
hidden from the Taliban, and they opened the safes as the Russian man watched. he was able to account for all the treasures
he had unearthed 30 to 35 years ago. as the excavating season was coming to an end he had finally (after many years)found
the buried Sleeping Buddha and had uncovered the toe of the statue, but had to close the site and wait til next season. what
an exciting thing for him to look forward to and how agonizing it must be to wait after finally making the discovery!! it was
appalling how much of the art and history of Afganistan was destroyed. it made me think of all the Tibetan Buddhist
art and treasures and religious history which was destroyed and looted by the Chinese government. and the next program on PBS last night was an Andrea Bocelli and figure skating program, which i totally loved. loved his music so much that i am
right now downloading his "Andrea" album from iTunes!!

Here's a recent photo of Rachael -

She has been in the Peace Corps in Tanzania almost 1 1/2 years and has signed on for more time... about 6 extra months, i
think. For anyone who doesnt know, Rachael is the youngest of the Twisted Sisters, is the daughter of my dear friend, Pam,
is an extraordinary young woman and is a "daughter of my heart" and good friend. i love her and miss her so much!! and am
so proud of her!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Cardigan in progress photos

Having scuttled all previous planning and beginnings, i'm making progress on the design i finally settled upon. and it feels
liberating to be done with all the dithering i was doing. rather than follow a pattern, i've struck out on my own and will check
measurements of a favorite cardigan as i go along. i decided to make a bottom panel with random width stripes going vertically... and knit til it's big enough around. the next step is still a bit hazy in my mind, but i think i will pick up stitches
along the top of the panel, and knit up to the shoulders, doing decreases for a square neckline at the proper place. then
will cut down far enough for armholes, pick up stitches there and knit sleeves (maybe 3/4 length and straight??) note to self:
remember to do those extra stitches for the steek. the wonderful yarns i bought in the beginning are still in the plan, plus
a few handspun. here's some photos:
the (very) rough sketch

the bottom panel in progress

the knitted fabric and yarn

some of the not yet spun fiber and yarn from it. this
is merino, silk, mohair locks, tencel, sari waste thread and cashmere which i carded on my Duncan carder.

any words of wisdom on the design description? have i missed something?

a forgetable day

Actually, it was a good day if i erase the crowds and traffic. I knew i was getting really tired of driving around and making all
the "errand" stops when success was getting thru an intersection before the yellow changed to red. the first stop was NW
wools to deliver a new batch of dyed fibers... and it's a good thing as the shelves were looking quite bare, which is a good
thing really but it means i have to get my butt in gear and do more dyeing. not that i dont love fiber dyeing because i do.
spent at least an hour at the shop rearranging the fiber shelves, looking at books and finally buying the book that Linda had
ordered for me. cant remember its name, but Norsk is in the title and it has a couple of patterns that i love!!
from there to find a bd gift for Della's 40th party tomorrow night. i got lost in the huge wall o'cards at Birdies.... some very
funny ones. then wandered up the street (in Multnomah) to the kids toy store and it only took me 45 min. of browsing thru
books, games and toys to decide on a couple of games to put in the toy closet. back to my truck and the drive thru lots of
traffic to Trader Joe's, where i love to shop. had hoped to get eggplant and fresh green beans, neither of which looked real
fresh. ever since Greece i've really loved having eggplant at least once every couple of weeks, with lots of garlic and either
baked slices or fried chunks with tomato and other veggies. did find other delights to buy, including 2 trays of sushi, one
was with salmon and the other with veggies. i did resist lots of things i wanted to put in the cart, but the grocery budget
(budget? HA) is about depleted and there was still the Costco stop for the mega packages of tp and tissue, plus sundry other
stuff that found its way into the cart. i guess i dont get out often enough if a day like this seems like way too much driving
around and traffic and crowds. both TJs and Costco were packed with cranky noisy people and their grocery carts doubling
as rolling weapons. twas good to be home finally. had a quiet evening watching Jon Stewart and then Chris Matthews while
i spun awhile and then knitted on the cardi. just a little over 5 months til we go to Crete.......

Monday, March 14, 2005


nothing new on the sweater. it's just languishing there. neglected. alone. have been spinning more yarn for it and am still
not entirely happy with how all these yarns come together. i really hate it when i get so dithery and stuck on a project... it
should be fun and i'm making it not so much fun. so, turned my back on that and spent a lovely sunny morning in
my studio carding little batts on my Duncan carder. my favorite so far is black merino with wild accents thrown in (almost
literally), such as wildly colored sari waste threads, bright pink (polar red), retro green (lime), and a few more subtle colors.
using silk and mohair locks with the threads. sometimes i'm my own worst enemy in the arena of fiber selling, cause i give
in to the temptation to keep the ones i love a lot. then i end up selling them later when i go into stash reduction mode.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

the sweater

I had to rip out the first 2 inches of the sweater.... it was entirely too big, despite a swatch and careful (i thought) figuring.
it's ok tho as i didnt really like the handspun i was using in the ribbing. i have indeed done revisions to the pattern, even
tho i thought i wanted to just follow a pattern. cannot figure out just why i am doing so much dithering and have so much
indecision with this sweater..... it is not, after all, THE sweater of the millennium. it's just a cardigan. the special thing about
it is the commercial yarn..... which is wonderful and soft. so, am i freaking out over purchased yarn? well, i didnt think so,
but maybe i am. too late to think about it tonight anyway. tomorrow.....

Monday, March 07, 2005

Spring... tra la

all is well in my queendom! saw my first hummingbird of the season yesterday, and in my book that constitutes the
beginning of spring! have hung a tiny little hummingbird house on the trellis outside my kitchen window and beside it a
basket of blooming dark pink pansies. and i've seen a florescent red hummer checking out both of them. wouldnt it be
sweet if it built a nest in this little house?

and an obligatory cat photo... this is Buster, the resident watchcat, watching the dogs approaching and ready to whap them
if they need it!

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Here's a photo of one of my orchids that's blooming now for the first time since i got it about 8 months ago. The first bloom
opened 4 or 5 days ago... and now there are 3. it's really pretty!

Today i spent several hours at Oregon Orchid Society show and sale, and that is the ONLY way to buy orchids! oh dear
goddess! there was a tremendous and overwhelming array of plants and prices. enough to cause a heart to race and one to feel faint. cant believe i left with only 4. my main mission was to find a green orchid that i loved AND could afford and i found it, brought it home, set it on the counter and immediately knocked it to the floor, of course breaking the long stem of blooming flowers off the plant. damn! so here's a photo of the stem in a vase of water. maybe it will last awhile. there are about 6 buds which havent opened yet.

isnt it lovely??? of the other 3 plants which came home with me, one has a long stem full of buds which should open soon.
and the other 2 are babies and who knows when they will get around to blooming. the east window sill in the kitchen is full
with overflow on the shelf/countertop by the window. i do believe it's another obsession in bloom. (har har har). it's a good thing that Jim cannot read my mind or he would see the "garden window" pushout thing that i'm seeing as the perfect setting for my orchids!! hhmmmm... i wonder what the cost to create one would be in $$ and labor???

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

planning an adventure!

We got confirmation last night that we have a place to live in Vamos, Crete for 3 months beginning in september! Now i am
beginning to believe that this will actually happen..... and i've got a lot of Greek to learn in 6 months. i'm so excited about
this that my heart is racing, and thoughts are tumbling around in my brain each trying to become the focus of the moment!

My next sweater knitting plans have gone thru some changes to settle on the Kadrina cardigan shown in an earlier entry.
finally decided i want to follow a pattern and not go thru the anxieties of planning a sweater from scratch.... just plain dont
want to do the figuring and designing myself right now. i love the neck on this cardigan and love the yarn i bought for it...
and love that i actually bought some yarn for a sweater for the first time in i cant remember how long. and it is so soft and
lovely. i will supplement the store bought with some handspun, so am having fun dyeing some merino/tussah to spin for
it. i cast on last night on #5 circ. needle, getting 4.5 st/inch over a patterned swatch, and i think this will work.

Tomorrow i will send Kate Robertson my yarn for the Threads Project. it is a single from the armfull of yarn that my Greek
friend, Frosso, gave me in october when we were in Arachova, GR. (see my journal of the trip at I had some wool left that was given to me by Rosemary Wilkinson of Falkland Islands, so spun
some of that and plied with the Greek single. Rosemary's is a natural dark brown, and Frosso had dyed hers with natural
dyes a deep reddish brown.