Fingerless glove

looking for what's missing... I'm a knitting, spinning, mother of teenagers with a big dog, a small cat, minus the lovely rabbit Meliflua.

My Photo
Location: Virginia, United States

Right now I'm listening to "An Irish Country Village" by Patrick Taylor, reading "Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake" by Anna Quindlen and knitting Wisconsin Wintersocks. And casting off the lace shawl I've been working on since I last posted.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


It all started a year ago when my favorite local grocery store closed. You'd think I'd be over it by now, but I just haven't recovered. The space is still empty and I haven't moved on. I've taken to guerrilla shopping wherever I happen to be when I need milk.

So imagine how discombobulated I am by the fact that three of the radio stations I listen to changed formats. Within a week of each other. The classic music I used to wake up to is now "George: We play whatever we feel like" (I am NOT making this up), the classic rock station formerly known as the Arrow (WARW) that I listened to in my car is now "The Globe". They've gone green. They use wind power (which I am all for) and although my second favorite radio personality is still there and trying to make the best of it, they are not giving her much to work with music-wise. The third station played the usual mix of thought-provoking NPR fare with some blocks of Celtic, classical & folk music -- all classical music now, presumably to make up for the glaring hole left when George was let loose.

Then I had to change imaginary workout partners and Brad Pitt is not as good at this as you'd think he'd be. I tried to get Anthony Hopkins but he just wouldn't do it. (You try to get Anthony Hopkins to work out with you. He's cool, but he won't do it. Even in your imagination.)

Add to that Cass's latest birthday. She got recruiting junk mail from 10 colleges yesterday. I'm cool with that. Going off to college? Good thing. The driving thing? Not so good.

Maybe I have a little issue with change. (Insert maniacal laughter here.) Maybe I'm fond of routine. If you call it "order" it sounds virtuous. Maybe a little sunshine and a day at the spa (more maniacal laughter) would help. Maybe I exaggerate. (Devastated? Yeah, I think maybe I exaggerate, but I'm not the one snorting milk out of my nose with all that maniacal laughter.)

And then there is my latest knitting project. Did you ever knit a new pattern that was interesting, that was coming along just fine, that was turning into a nice fabric, but you chose the absolute wrong yarn for this pattern? I've been working on a multi-directional scarf: triangles of garter stitch where the grain faces in different directions. It's beautiful in a yarn with long color changes, or interesting in a solid color. Here's mine:

See the triangles? Me neither. That would be the problem. All that shaping and shortrowing and they're practically invisible. I'm determined to finish it, but now it's starting to look like it will be short, besides being invisible.

I'm going to follow the idea I got from the Brat Factor, and hang a medallion around my neck that says, "Everything will be alright." Good advice, eh? It works for just about everything.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yeah, What She Said

I thought about doing a special Valentine post, something about the depth and beauty of real love. Maybe include a little poetry.

Then I read Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog post "Love is all you need."

That thing about Twinkie love vs. whole wheat bread love? That says it all.

It's empowering to know I'm not the only woman who'd rather have a guy clean the bathroom than bring her flowers. Anyone can buy flowers, but that bathroom thing? That is, as Stephanie says, "Love with teeth."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hat Weather

Garrison Keillor said something like, "There's no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothes." (Or it may have been Sir Ranulph Fiennes and "There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing" but I'm more an armchair explorer than a polar explorer.)

Usually I run around with a Sable (faux, of course) headband and it keeps me quite toasty, even in what passes for cold weather around here. For the last few days, it has been honest-to-goodness hat weather, not because of the cold but because of the miserable Oobleck falling from the sky: ice pellets, snow, sleet... cold, slippery, malicious precipitation.

I haven't knit many grown up-sized hats since I did this one:

(Imagine a ribbed watch cap, striped with subtle, natural shades of gray and cream and brown sheep wool, handspun on a spindle made of an old CD and a dowel. I've looked everywhere for the photo. It must have been lost in the last Crash.)

I'm not sure I ever mentioned it, but my mother's cousin shears sheep. On a visit home to Wisconsin, Rusty blessed me with several fleeces in different colors. We're not talking fine, pure-bred Merino here, but good, everyday wool -- not too coarse -- with enough length & crimp to be easy to spin and enough color to be a treat. And there is plenty to be said for the sheer luxury of LOTS. I sorted it, boxed it up & shipped a bunch home (I think there's still some lurking in Mom's garage. Sorry, Mom.) and started spinning some just to keep my fingers busy.

As I spun, an idea percolated to knit a thank-you hat for the man who sheared the sheep.

This was one of my favorite knitting projects of all time for lots of reasons. It has very high "silk-purse-from-a-sow's-ear" appeal. It's satisfying to go from a dusty, greasy fleece in the barn, to yarn, to stylish warm hat. I got to spin for the best audience: a whole parking lot of uncles and cousins who were fascinated to see wool that Rusty had sheared -- wool they "knew" -- be turned into yarn by their niece. Best of all, when the hat was delivered to Rusty, this man who's been shearing since he was 12 years old said, "I've never had anything from the sheep I've sheared." After over a half-century of shearing, that's a lot of wool under the bridge.

So it's hat weather. I'm just sorry I haven't a photo to share.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Remember a few months ago when I talked about the very best birthday cake of all time? Cass was going to bake one for my birthday, but things got away from us (as they do that time of year.)

One day last week she was home from school with one of those illnesses that clear up after a good extra 7 hours of sleep and some decongestants. She called me as I was driving home from class & said she had a surprise for me:

Isn't it cool? Angel food cake with hickory nuts and maple butter cream frosting. Cass didn't know the angel food cake pan was hiding in the WAY back of the cupboard (requiring a ladder), so she used two loaf pans. It was excellent, superb even. And I'll bet I got to eat 90% of it myself, which I rationalized by saying angel food cake is low in fat and cholesterol. (We won't mention the icing.)

I didn't want to post it until the grades for our first lecture exam of this semester were posted. It was our most difficult yet, and I didn't want to jinx my grade.

It's safe now. I did fine.