Sunday, February 27, 2011

With deep regret, ribbit...

I'm going to be traveling in a few weeks (It will be warm! There will be sunshine!) so I'm trying to plan some traveling knitting. My current project, the Great and Powerful Niebling, is much too complicated for airport/airplane knitting, let alone visiting-beloved-family knitting, so I've been trying to come up with an alternative.
Of course, the urge to cast on something new is a powerful force to contend with. My queue runneth over (both on Rav and off) and I have yarn in the stash that is practically shouting at me.
There are stacks of bags in my craft room, full of UFOs, that are also shouting at me. Guilt is also a powerful force to contend with. Projects that were once best beloved, now unloved, smothered in plastic bags.
I need to finish something.
Or, at least, continue something.
The one that pulls me hardest is the sweater I started with my handspun Cotswold.
The reason it ended up abandoned in a plastic bag is that my gauge swatch lied. That, and an overwhelming load of sentiment.
I cast on the sleeves just before I flew to KC in 2009 to say goodbye to my mother. I knit while I sat at her bedside, keeping vigil through the days and nights. Even when I realized that the gauge was off, that it was going to be way too large, I knit on, keeping my hands and mind busy with the soothing routine of stitch by stitch, row by row.
When I got home, I couldn't continue with it. I knew it had to be frogged, but by that time it was all tied up with the loss of my mother. There was no point in knitting on, but I couldn't face ripping it out, letting it go.
I folded the knitting gently into a plastic bag, and set it aside.

I'm ready now.


turned into this

turned into this

and into the water it went.

It's time. I will begin again.
Though the original stitches are gone, the yarn and the sweater will always be connected to my mother. It will be a hug from her that I can always hold in my heart.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy to be a wiener

Cuz what I wiened was this:The wonderful kmkat , who cracks me up on a regular basis, decided that I cracked her up as well, so she sent me this book as a reward.
Given my general failure at spinning a yarn heavier than sport weight (if I'm not extremely vigilant, I'll end up with laceweight every damn time), this is the perfect book for me. Lots of lovely patterns knit with skinny skinny yarn - yeehaw!

And while I was processing pictures, I saw that Madman had taken pics of the last fish he caught.

It was a very tasty lake trout. (That's a big knife and a huge cutting board, for size comparison.)
And the perfect part? Going fishing is part of his job. Only my Madman could figure out a way to be paid to go fishing...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just shooting off a flare to let you know I'm still here

Work seems to be sucking every last bit of energy out of my tired little body. Add in the February I've-Lost-The-Will-To-Live blues (It's cold and gray and gloomy and thus it has ever been and thus it ever shall be...) and we've got a serious lack of post-worthiness going on around here.

I manage to knit a few stitches on the Niebling in the evenings, but progress is slow and unphotogenic. It's now a slightly larger lump of bumpiness. (Or bump of lumpiness. It could go either way.)

I'm still spinning Goldie's fleece, but it's just more and more of the same the same the same.

I need sunshine. I need warm weather. I need to not have to put on a hat and a coat and boots and a scarf and gloves just to go outside.

I need to stop whining and just let spring come in its own good time.
(Which up here is May.)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Alex, I'll take 'Winter' for $100, please.

And the answer is: 'No'

Alex, that would be 'Does Gayle want any more snow?'


'Winter' for $200, please.

Answer: 'Two complete circuits, clockwise'

Ah, that's 'How many times did Gayle brush off her car tonight, since the snow was falling too fast to keep up with?'


'Winter' for $300, please, Alex.

Answer: 'Thunder and lightning'

'What's going on right now at Gayle's house, right on top of the several inches of fresh snow that's just accumulated?'

Absolutely correct! And the rain is such a nice touch.

Alex, let's skip ahead to 'Winter' for $500, please.

Answer: 'Mother's Nature's ass'

Alex, I believe the correct question is 'Where would Gayle like to shove up a snowshovel?'

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What would be the point of a weekend off if you don't end up with critter pics?

After all the auto angst, it was a smooth trip there and back, with nothing whatsoever exploding. Yay! (If only it wasn't an 8 hour trip. Each way.)

And I promised pictures...

First up, piggies!
I've mentioned a few times that my dad raises pigs. A lot of pigs. (He told me his New Year's resolution this year is not to build another barn. Those of us who know him think this is totally hysterical.)
I tried to make friends with these little cuties, but they weren't having it. I couldn't even tempt them over with corn. Every time I moved, they'd scatter, then inch closer as long as I was perfectly still. Even so, they kept a strict distance between me and them. I was disappointed, since I really wanted to scritch them behind the ears.

Hard to believe that something so small grows up to be something so big...

Anyone who is currently breastfeeding might want to skip the next couple of pictures - they'll give you nightmares. Or maybe you'll want to look, and think about how happy you are that you're human and not swinish...

Yep, that's two layers of piglet goodness.

While I was trying to get closer for a better shot, one of the little piggies panicked and made a noise. Mama heaved herself up to see what was going on. The little ones vanished -

and hid behind her.

But they were way too curious to stay hidden for long.

All these little ones are about a week old. They're just at the point where they've started to run and jump and spin around dancing. I could have watched them all afternoon, but there were other critters to see...

My Wicked Good Stepmother has an alpaca collection. (She started with 2, then suddenly found herself with 6. She's not entirely sure how that happened. She's back down to 5 now, as one of her original ones passed away last fall, but who knows how many she'll have tomorrow.)

And you know me and the chicken pictures...
Here's part of Dad's motley crew -

As you can see, there's plenty of variety in that pen (and I only got about half of them in the picture.)

There's also some molting going on. Poor raggedy looking things...