It’s Okay to Start Over

The knitters in my family always make fun of me, because I have NO PROBLEM finding that, well into a project, I made a mistake in my knitting early on and throwing the whole thing out, needles and all.  I know it’s a waste of yarn, but it saves me so much psychic energy and angst that it’s really the only thing to do.

Writing up a pattern is different, though.  I’ve been trying to figure out a sweater I saw on Marissa Mayer, and I have started over 4 times already — is it knit side-to-side, bottom-up, top-down, all of one piece or several…  It’s been maddening.  Just today though, I realized I’d a bigger problem to solve.  It’s not reverse stockinette stitch — which is not the most fun, but still relatively quick — at all.  Nope, that sucker is seed stitch.  I can’t even.  Nope, no, no.  Not. Can’t.



I’d like to think I had it in me to start over, but I think I need to take a break before I even consider it.  Maybe some granny squares or a chevron scarf are in order!  Happy Little Friday!

Hot Tip: Remember right- vs left-leaning stitches


OMG. This post changed my knitting life. I usually use post-its to remind me when I’m working on a project what the directions mean when it says M1L vs. M1R. This sentence from Fringe Association is the answer: “A stitch will always lean in the direction the working needle is pointing when you work that stitch.” I’ve been knitting for as long as I’ve been alive but this one sentence makes all the difference and will, I think, let me be more intuitive about the work. It’s too good a thought — and I’m too grateful for it — not to share. Cast on!

Originally posted on Fringe Association:

Hot Tip: Remember right- vs left-leaning stitchesIf you’ve been knitting for very long at all, you’ll have encountered multiple kinds of increase and decrease stitches. You may also have come to realize that each one has a lean to it. (For instance, your first hat may have used k2togs for all of the decreases, which creates a sort of swirling crown, since the k2togs all lean in one direction.) Perhaps you’ve even come to understand that for every right-leaning increase or decrease, there’s a corresponding left-leaning version. To prevent fabric that leans one direction or the other, increases and decreases are often deployed in mirrored pairs, such as a k2tog (right-leaning decrease) paired with an SSK (left-leaning decrease). Or m1L increases paired with m1R increases. The trouble many knitters have is remembering which stitches lean which direction. So here’s an invaluable tip I picked up from Barry Klein once upon a time:

A stitch will always…

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Dear Lizard

I am happy you seem to have survived my accidental onslaught.  I want you to know that, tiny as you are, I first thought you to be a bit of vegetable matter detritus carried in on the hairy heels of Russell Jenkins.  Then, I put my glasses on, because sweeping the floor without wearing them has shown to be ineffective.  So, vision restored, I saw you for what you were.  A tiny little brown spotted thing, not half as long as my index finger.

And, dear lizard, I thought you were dead.  

Which is why I tried to sweep you up, you see?  

But, dear lizard, you scurried.

Which was why I made that sound, you see?  

So, dear lizard, my own lizard brain took the reins, fearing that you planned to nestle yourself up in my ear and into my brain as I slept.  

Which was why I kept trying to get you in the dust pan, you see?

Because, dear lizard, I was REALLY trying to scoop you up and release you to freedom.  

Which was why my broom action got so vigorous, you see?

And once, dear lizard, I’d finally gotten you in the pan, it seemed I’d hurt you, so I found myself both scared and sad.

Which was why I was still making that screeching noise when I opened the front door and tossed you out, you see?

But, thanks be, dear lizard (because I refuse to believe the cats got you) you must be okay and gone to repair yourself, because upon screwing up my courage to look out my front door, you seem to have moved on.

Which is why I can tuck up for a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s long work day.  

Seriously, I hope that little dude/dudette is okay.


How to Get There

I don’t know how your Monday went, but mine was pretty rough. Lots and lots and lots of work, lots and lots and lots of walking in 90+ heat, lots and lots and lots of two steps forward, one step back!

Tomorrow is a new day, but until then, I am thankful for my HAPPY RSS Feed.  It picks up random happiness/spirit lifters from a set of sites I selected and sends me a few every morning. It was spot on today! Sesame Street.  You cannot go wrong with Sesame Street. Trust.

Not too shabby, indeed! Click thru and sing along.

Not too shabby, indeed! Click thru and sing along.

Tomorrow is Tuesday.  Bless.

New Favorites: Summertastic wash cloths


Couldn’t have seen this post from Fringe Association at a better time! We’ve been on a wash & dish cloth spree around here of late, getting ready for Bizarre Bazaar and Renegade San Francisco. It can get boring to do the same pattern over and over, even if it’s quick, so these new ideas from Fringe are just the things to re-light the fire!

Originally posted on Fringe Association:

New Favorites: Summertastic wash clothsDo you know I have never knitted a wash cloth? It’s such a classic thing to knit by the dozens — and such a common starter project — but I don’t really use wash cloths, so it’s never really interested me. But suddenly it’s on my mind. In part because of this great new Purl Bee pattern, Washcloths and scrubbing mitt, and in part because I’m having a “coming full circle” moment over here. Bob and I are currently staying with our dear friends in Nashville, the dynamic brother-sister duo of Meg and DG. Meg (of KnitKnotes fame*) is the one who taught me to knit when we were visiting them in 2011. When I went to see her at Haus of Yarn before flying home, I bought a booklet of wash cloth patterns, thinking that would be a good learning tool, but then there was that whole wash…

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Keep It Together

Big Farty Menace!

Big Farty Menace!

‘Twas the night before Little Friday and all through my hut
Dogs and cats were asleep, so I forgot they were nuts
I was working on slide decks, my favorite sad hobby
When, what happened next surely did shock me
I heard a small squeak and thought, no, not a mouse
I jumped up and started peeking all over the house
Then the noise came again with a much greater thrust
And, I gleaned that the sound was from dear RJ’s butt
No corn, no meal, no high-processed food
I thought I was feeding him well and so good
But, woe is the owner who isn’t prepared
For the effluent one little dog’s bowels can air
Tried every food?  Well, I did, too.
Sad to say that their promises aren’t true.
Lamb-only food, or a veggie-free diet?
“Why not?”, I thought.  Why shouldn’t I try it?
Because none of them work on my stout fart-full dog
I might well be writing my last words on this blog
If tomorrow you write me and get no reply
It’s because RJ farted until I would die
I write this tonight, fearing death on the horizon
‘Cause I just can’t take one more toot in my eye, son
My dreams of a life full of adventure and glee
All swept asunder by my dog’s gaseous spree
First one who gets here can take all the yarn and fabric they want.  I fear the end is near.  How undignified (and fitting for me, probably) to die from dog gas.  I’m going to put on my fanciest outfit tonight before I go to sleep just in case.

I Need a Hero

Or just some of this kind of comfort would be great.  A week full of pitches, a dirty house (seriously, I need a new mop!) and postponed photo shoots (3 times!)  has me over everything.

Russell Jenkins don’t give a damn, but I wish he did, because I could use some cuddly comfort right about now, and can’t afford a plane ticket to get me to it!

Click thru!

Click thru!

Maybe I’ll take a walk and, upon my return, find Russell Jenkins excited to see me and that’ll be that.  It’s a better bet that he’ll be sleeping under the couch with the cushions he’s taken off that same couch and tucked under the couch for comfort … and also to make me crazy!

If You’ve Got It To Give …

Just got an email today from the Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry reminding me that July is African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month.  That’s great, but also, if you’re not African American and you have bone marrow (which, I mean, hello?) you can also donate.  I did, and am donor # 128909 and hoping to be called up again, and that the next time, I’ll be donor #800,000, because, seriously, we can beat this!

My bone marrow donation is, thus far, the singular best thing I have ever done in my life.  Because it was done for a stranger, because it was done without expectation of reward (those cookies and a full day of Mary Tyler Moore in a private hospital room with PTO from work were balla’, though), and because, what else was I going to do with all that bone marrow, really?  That’s the kind of supply-demand economics I can get behind. I got it in excess (with a little help from the injections), someone needs it, they’ll pay me in cookies, nice people and gratitude.  I’ll take door #1, #2 and #3, friend.  DEAL!

Seriously, though, here’s me just prompting you to get on the registry so that you, too, might be able to do more than you’d thought you could do, be more than you’d thought you could be … and, bonus, get as many cookies as you can eat in return in a room full of the nicest nurses, PAs and doctors you’ll ever meet.  I think oncology practitioners must be born and not made, because it seems out of the realm of possibility that people could be taught to be kind in the way that they are.

And, in case you’re a’frait (as we say in the South) of the pain, not all bone marrow donation requires invasive procedures.  I did PBSC donation, which was a bit annoying, in that I had to get up super early for four days in a row!  Oh, the misery!  And, then I had to get out of bed after being awake, step over a snoring dog or two, make my way to the door and open it to let the nurse in (who CAME TO MY HOME TO MAKE IT CONVENIENT FOR ME) so she could give me a shot of meds to spur bone marrow production.  Oh, the suffering .. but, really?  I should have been up walking a dog well before she arrived, the shots were in the fattiest part of my arm (read: anywhere) and they didn’t hurt much.  If you grew up with a big brother/sister who pinched in anger?  It was like that.  The whole thing took 10 minutes, max.  I’d like to thank her, actually, because she helped me not be so lazy … at least for a week.

And, at the end of the day, who doesn’t want to be able to say, “I saved a life!”  or, at least, “I extended the time that one person had to love their family, contribute to their community and make their mark!”?   It’s just as much a gift to the recipient as it is to the giver, and that’s not something everyone gets the chance to experience.  You can have that chance, though.

So, before July ends, get on the registry.  It doesn’t matter your race (which is a construct, but more on that in another post), ethnicity, gender, or anything else. The great thing about saving someone’s life in this instance is the gift is in all of us already and everyone is ready to receive it.  We were born with it.

Eastward, Ho!

T-minus 60 days or thereabouts to making a move east.  Ah, to feel a real winter again.  Mmmmm, at being pressed up against fellow public transportation enthusiasts, and breathing deep their smell!  Sounds gross?  Maybe, but I can’t wait!

More on that later once the details are finalized.  For now, this article I thought I’d share that had gotten me thinking today. Abby @ While She Naps.  I knit way more than I sew, largely because I HATE pattern cutting and I can’t sew anywhere like I can with knitting.  That said, I think part of the reason it’s easy to stay engaged with my knitterly pursuits is because of the incredible communities (IRL and online) built up around knitting.  In particular, of course, there’s Ravelry, which is a daily inspiration. I was wondering why there aren’t similar communities around sewing, so I did what anyone would do, and went and asked Google.  This is the article that popped up, and it’s a really good read, well thought-out, with lots of food for thought!

Just the thing for some Little Friday Eve reading!

Travel Bug

I gotta’ get out of this place.  If it’s the last thing I’ll ever do …. or, so the song says.  Thwarted, in my attempts to sate the travel bug this week.  I still have some good summer travel to look forward to (NY, DC, Bahamas, UK), but that’s not till later, and I need to get out now because it’s hot and it’s lonely working from home and Texas is just a hard place to be for me.  I was planning on driving from Austin to Piedras Negras, Mexico to visit the cathedral, the handicrafts museum, and stock up on some textiles, mayhap.  Mayhap not.  Was trying to plan the route on Trip Advisor and everyone is like, “No, it’s too dangerous, don’t go.”

On the one hand, the anti-xenophobe in me is all, “You first-world fools are just scared of brown people.”  And, if I’m honest, I’m probably less worried about being kidnapped for ransom than I would be were I a lighter-shade of hedge fund manager, so there’s that.  Maybe I’m not so great and accepting, but how do you prove the negative?  So, I steeled my resolve, girded my loins and, sticking to my guns as it were, prepared to make the drive.  I was unafraid, anxious to put my Spanish to use again and see a part of the world I haven’t yet.  Then, check engine light came on.  Dang it.  If you want to be mad at someone, I say, let’s pick on the Germans for a bit, because my German-engineered car is letting me down.

There’s gotta’ be a bus, I thought.  I mean, it’s only about 2.5 hours away.  And, yes, there is a bus.  There.  There is no way to reserve a return ticket.  What.  The.  Hell.  Totally not making that one up.  I called to verify, and the rep was like, “Well, you can buy a return ticket once you make it there.”  Maybe YOU can, lady, but not me.  So, I think this week will see me instead in San Antonio, leaving tomorrow morning.  And, I’m taking the bus, because what other way to remember why working from home isn’t so bad than to get up close and personal with the public?  Anyway, it’s not my usual day in Austin, so that’s something.   It’s a short ride there and back in a day, which means no dog boarding, so it should be fun!  Catch you when I get back!




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