Thursday, July 31, 2008

There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness.....Dave Barry

I love that quote. I have walked that fine line many times. When I find something that really interests me I tend to jump into it, immerse myself in it and not come out until I have either gotten bored or life has somehow gotten in the way. As I get older I seem to have more patience and stick-to-it-ness, I am more willing to work out mistakes and not just throw up my hands in despair, and I have much more pride in and appreciation for the finished product. I think knitting has been my biggest and best obsession. It is a great stress-buster. It is portable, tactile, sometimes repetitive, mostly interesting and the end result provides great satisfaction. Knitting socks makes me feel ever so clever. Wielding five fragile rosewood sticks and a fine yarn looks very impressive. I was once on the ferry to the mainland when a small group of Chinese tourists stopped in front of me to watch my knitting, bobbing their heads and smiling at me. They were clearly impressed, which felt good, but I felt like a tourist attraction, almost as good as spotting a killer whale off the starboard side!

I recently finished the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It is a very interesting pattern, a little confusing in that EZ assumes you are in her brain and know what she is thinking. It is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced and the finished piece is a strangely shaped rectangle that looks nothing like a sweater. The 'surprise' is how it goes together. I don't think I could ever have figured it out without a diagram which has you match A to A and B to B and voila! you have the cutest little sweater for baby. I had enough yarn left over to make a little earflap hat and booties. All set for my daughter's baby shower next Monday. I'm also working on a quilt for baby which I'll have finished as soon as I put the binding on today. My plan is to dress a stuffed toy in the knitted outfit and wrap it all in the quilt.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Wee Hours

A little birdie woke me this morning at 4:45 with a very pretty, but LOUD, call right outside my open bedroom window. I tried to go back to sleep but no such luck. Gave up and got up. rrrrgh.

Life has been somewhat hectic this last month. My son-in-law has been in Fiji leading an archaeology field school so my daughter and grandson have been staying with us. Having a 3 1/2 year old around makes for very different days - his energy is unstoppable so there is something happening all the time. He is so cute, so lovable, so affectionate and sooooo busy! I love having them here -- J loves to cook so we have great meals cooked for us as well as lots of home baking (not good for the waistline but so what!) The little guy had strep throat last week, fever, lethargy, swollen tonsils, etc. Poor baby, he really felt miserable, but he was such a trooper saying "I feel better now" whenever we fussed over him. He had to go on antibiotics and yesterday we noticed a rash over most of his body. We stopped the antibiotics (he has had a full week's worth), gave him a soothing bath and hopefully it will be better when he gets up this morning.

I have been getting quite a bit of knitting done as it is something I can pick up and fire off a few rows in between gramma, mom and wife chores. The Sea Baby outfit is for the new grandson due in September. It was a lovely knit with yarn that was 30% Sea Cell. Such a cute pattern. I also made a tea cozy for J to match her lovely Denby ware. That was done in Cascade 220 wool which felts beautifully. Felting always scares me - taking a nice, albeit large, object and tossing it into a hot water wash and agitating the hell out of it is somewhat of a leap. I have only had to frog one item (slippers) but that wasn't the felting process, more the pattern being weird and the slippers ending up looking like a plaster foot cast. I save them though as you can cut the felted object like fabric so may be able to use them in or on something else one day.

The weather has been great, lots of sunny days, some of which have been a little too hot for my liking. Hot flushes and hot weather are not a fun combo. However, it is usually easy to find a cool(ish) spot somewhere and, if all else fails, a drive in my AC equipped car to run some errands makes for a reprieve. The relatives in Florida thought it was highly amusing when I told them we were having a heat wave. They seem to think the Pacific NorthWest is always wet and cold. Funny, that. The garden is gorgeous - roses, star-gazer lilies (8 feet tall!), day-lilies, shasta daisies, canterbury bells.....