Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Damn it, Honu.

This week we've got a guest cat at House O Samurai. He's about twice the size and three times the weight of Honu. Who apparently, along with no people skills, has no cat skills. Or maybe she's just protecting her food source.

Who can tell, with cats?

Anyway, during one of the mutual hate-fests, I heard this weird humming. I thought it was outside, or the AC system, or the dishwasher. No. It was Honu.

When growling, my cat sounds like a bagpipe drone.

No dignity.

None.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Zie Touren du Sheepenfloofder!

(Still fooling with how I get pictures from my phone to the internet. It's slow going. Right now, I'm having to PUBLISH from my phone, then go back and edit to put in words. Sorry if anyone is getting weird shit in their RSS feeds because of it.) 

The Tour de Fleece. I participated this year, after a fashion. I spun about 750 yards of two ply; all the plying and 95% of the singles, all spun during the almost-month of Le Tour. It's all destined to be entered in the county fair. I finally moved to a place where you can enter spinning! And noticed! (I've been to the fair the last two years and I swear to Arachne I never saw any lone yarn running around the textiles building. Knitting, yes. Crochet, yes. Amazing quilting, yes. Yarn, no.) 

My first project was a Teal to Tangerine gradient from Fiber Optic. (Every year FO goes to the Great Lakes Fiber Festival Gathering Thingie in Wooster, Ohio. Now that I'm hooked, I go over there and loot the booth. This spring I bought a giant bag of fiber at Fiber Optic, and a basket. That's it.) 

335 yards, heavy lace weight, sockish. No idea what I'm doing with it once I get it back from the fair. 

Then, one category of the fair is novelty yarn. To my knowledge, that's all they say about it. Novelty. I can spin the hell out of novelty. 

It's "Fruit Punch" pencil roving from Louet, and I added bright pink nylon sparkles to the slubs because why the hell not? I started with half a pound of fiber, so I got 320 yards of the beehive coil stuff, and 80 yards of plain, which will be handy for casting on and off. Bwahahaha. 

Right now I'm knitting an Aeolian, to, yes, enter in the county fair. My usual attention to detail has been turned up to eleven, and, well. 

It's not going so hot. 

That was 25 rows of what the fuckery. So, now it's gone. I've knit it all back up again already, so I may actually finish it by August 18, when it's due. Or I may not, and just wear the damn thing come winter. THE COLOR WILL KEEP ME WARM. 

That's about it, at House O Samurai. Still trying to spin through migraines with varying levels of luck. I started another Fiber Optic gradient, this one Blush to Celery. 

Ohhhhhmmmmm.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Changes

It's been a long three months. I'm still digging out from under all the baggage from last autumn. As the Goob so succinctly put it it at a family gathering last week, "Mom's side of the family tree is all dead." So. Yeah. Digging.
This is our biggest change. Meet Honu. She's a tortoiseshell cat, so of course in my brain, the name was obvious - Honu is Hawaiian for sea turtle. (This has led to several rather entertaining conversations with the Hawaiian friends. "Why did you name your cat turtle?" "Because she's a tortie." "...of course. Of course she is.")

When Sekhmet died, everyone wanted to know if I was going to get a new cat. I figured the right one would find us, just like when Sekhmet turned up on our back porch. About six weeks ago, I got a call from my MIL. Her bestest friend had found a lovely kitty on her porch, and I was catless, did I want her? And here we are.

 Honu, bless her heart, is a moron. She was a stray her entire life (8ish months) before turning up on our friend's back porch. She has no people skills. None. Sekhmet knew instinctively that when the hoomins were in a dark room, laying down, it was time to be quiet. Honu? She jumps on my back and screeches. At 3AM. The Goob wants to know when I'm gonna "train the cat like Sekhmet". I'M WORKING ON IT, KID!! But Honu is polite - when playing she keeps her claws in and barely nibbles. Sweet kitty. Just dumb.

 ---

 As always in a crisis, I've been trying to keep my hands busy so I don't kill people. I hunched over my spinning wheel and produced a crapload of yarn: ...well, imagine a big pile of yarn here. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my pictures out of my phone, even with the freaking Google ap. Feh.

 In my own half-assed way, I'm doing the Tour de Fleece; I just finished 350 yards of a Fiber Optic gradient that is getting entered in the county fair, and am maybe 1/4 through a half pound of fiber that will be a "novelty yarn" for the county fair.

 ---

 That's about it, kids. Digging out from The Pit of Despair (you gotta make fun of it) and trying to get back on track. Maybe I'll figure out how to post these spinning pictures. :)

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Knitting bag sediment: a Rorschach test.

I've long thought that you could tell everything you needed to know about a woman (or man?) by the contents of their purse. And while I still believe that, I realized yesterday that for me at least, it might be more educational to look at the bottom of my knitting bag. See what you can figure out from this:
-notebook
-USB charger that works on both kindles and my phone
-Go Fish deck of cards 
-ruler
-asthma inhaler
-at least a dozen pens and pencils
-paper napkins
-a straw
-crayons (neatly in a plastic bag)
-TWO asthma inhalers (seriously, Julie?)

 This is in addition to the stuff I throw in when leaving the house, namely Kindle, pattern, books, knitting project, wallet, and phone. Oh, and keys. I am choosing to blame all this on the Goober. Surely the crayons are all her fault.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Testing...?

Trying to figure out how to post things from my phone. For hopefully better real-time snarl and easier photo uploads.

Today's fun at my house:

Thursday, March 07, 2013

And now for something not different at all!

Remember the blog post I did about sun stones and Viking navigation? Two years ago? No? You haven't memorized the blog yet??

Well, short version then. Or, y'know, hit the link.

In the North Atlantic, in the middle ages, there are references, in different texts, about "sun stones" being used, primarily by Vikings, to navigate. Up there, that far north, navigating by star in the summer is pretty tricky, since the sun doesn't always go down. According to various accounts, sun stones would allow a person to find the direction of the sun, even on cloudy days.

Scholars have speculated for many years about what exactly a sun stone was. Or claimed it was crap, because what could ancient man know that fantastically wonderful history PhDs don't? (I could fill several books.) But, the big question has always been, if it was legit, what in heck kind of stone was it?

Over the last decade or so, they have found big, clear hunks of calcite in ship wrecks, and someone figured out how to use them to, hey, tell which direction the sun is on a cloudy day. Most people said question answered, snooty idiots claimed there wasn't enough evidence.

They found another piece of calcite in another ship wreck, announced this week. Take that, sneering ethnocentrist ivory tower knuckleheads.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Oscars Red Carpet

Pics available HERE.

Also, a word on what we're doing here tonight. Yes, yes, we're being superficial and ogling and sighing over the clothes. This is an industry event, for a group of people whose job is, in part, to look good. They've had weeks to prepare, if not months. They know there will be cameras and fashionistas everywhere. So I think it's fair to do some tourism. However, I think it's unfair, and should be illegal, to take pictures of these same people ducking out for some coffee. They're entitled to private lives. The Oscars Red carpet is public, and they know that.

Right then!

SIX PM:

What's-her-face Giuliana's dress looks like a boring version of the one Nicole Kidman wore in 2011.

I hate E!'s coverage. Totally shifting over to ABC when it starts.

Also trying to cook dinner at the same time is damn annoying.

Seth MacFarlane's sister. Okay, sure, but a BROWN dress? To the Oscars? It'd be a nice dress, in a color maybe? It's not even a rich brown or russet, it's just... brown.

Oh, and FYI, I am totally biased toward the entire cast of the Avengers. So when I squee over them, don't complain.

Jessica Chastain. Eh. STAND UP STRAIGHT! It's like the bodice isn't fitted right and she's leaning into the cups. I'm not a fan of nudes, but the gold sparkle on it is a nice touch. The lipstick is weird. Armani Prive. For that it should be fitted better. Her hair is amazing. Very Jessica Lake. Or Jessica Rabbit. Either. I'm blathering like this because E! is blathering. Aw, she brought her grandmother as her date.

Some chick in the background wearing a fantastic, perfectly fitted red dress. Looks like she's Just A Date though. Feh.

More blather. Blatherblather.

Another fantastic dress in the background, on an employee. Dark gray, perfectly fitted.

Made burgers for dinner. Eating mine on the couch, LIKE A BOSS.

MANI CAM? They're finally showing manicures?? COOL.

Ryan Seacrest, why isn't your nose brown?

Amy Adams wearing a griege birthday cake. Oh, geez.

Commercial. ...I may have to go see the new GI Joe. Heaven help me. Last time I went to the movies I wound up getting a brain MRI, but fuck it. Life's short, right? RIGHT?

Back to Amy Adams. It's De La Renta. That explains all the floof. At least it looks like it fits right. Hair is fuzzy. I sympathize. I have fuzzy hair myself. It's an ass pain. Still don't like the color. Someone just stood on her dress. The fuck? They're calling this blue. Uh.

Kelly Osbourne, what in hell are you wearing? Rags?

Samantha Barks, super low cut black dress, but it fits right and she's got the bod to carry it. And someone told her how to stand when she's wearing it. I will bet you $20 she's got that neck line glued on her boobers.

Zoe Saldana. She looks magnificent. Beautiful in layers of gray. Don't know if the bodice or the skirt is prettier, but the layers at the hem are very awesome.

Kerry Washington hauling up the front of her dress. Bwah. THE HALLMARK OF A DRESS THAT DOESN'T FIT. Okay. She's back. Being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest, heaven help her. Wearing Neomio?? Pretty coralish red.

Octavia... who? Spencer. CAN WE GET SOME NAMES ON HERE? Wearing something that's possibly too fluffy. Little... warts... all over the dress. Uh.

Reese Witherspoon... wearing a dress that's FIT. TED. Damn. She must have lived in the designer's pocket for the last week. Wonder if she's sewn into that. BUT IT FITS. Damn, girl. Louis Vuitton. Fits like a coat of paint. Hosts gushing at her and asking for what she uses on her hair. Oh, geez. She just had a baby. OKAY. WE SHALL ALL HATE HER NOW. Wait, zipper in the back. I'd have sworn she was sewn in.

Pregnant lady in a lace dress. Pretty. Jenna Dewan, girlfriend of Channing Tatum? She did a great job. Dressing while pregnant is a bitch, looking good is.. well, job well done, girl.

Blather blather.

Quvenzhane Wallis, blue taffeta dress. Nine years old, well spoken, positive. She's fantastic. "I liked it because it was sparkly." She's carrying a puppy purse. YOU GO GIRL. Her mom and sister are also wonderful. So cute.

FYI, the hot water for tea heats faster if you TURN ON THE FIRE UNDER THE DAMN KETTLE.

Jennifer Lawrence, who apparently knows how to dress, has turned up. Wearing something light pink and very perfectly fitted. At the bottom the dress poofs out into meringue amazing bogglingness. You go, girl. It's Dior. Custom, I believe. Which would explain the fit. No one does fit like Dior.

I don't know what's up with all this neutral shit.

Daniel Radcliffe. I keep expecting him to whip out a wand. And his eyebrows need work. Otherwise, he's adorable, as always.

Jacki Weaver. Kind of out of it, said it took three hours to put on her face. Uhuh. Weird red sparkle bodice sort of like a nude dress version, with a wrapped waist and... odd. AWESOME earrings. Want the earrings. Says her diamonds are "blood free" She hopes.

Chris Tucker, traditional tux. Nice.

I'm agreeing with Kelly Osbourne on fashion. That's kind of worrisome.

Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen. Don't know if it doesn't fit right or if she's slouching or what. It's got the choker neck and bare everything else deal. Looking at photos later, I wonder if she had it fitted while her hands were on her hips, and so it fits perfectly then and not in any other pose.

Sally Field in a red dress of draped organza. She looks magnificent.

Lots of movie ads. This new Oz thing looks really freaky. Why does the male lead remind me of Westley from Princess Bride? Is it the beard/mustache?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is adorable. Sally Field tied his tie in the limo.

Catherine Zeta Jones wearing metallic gold, looking starlike.

7PM, switching to ABC, because I'm tired of E! blather.

OhDearGods, the facelifts.

Laura Spencer. Honey. If your underarm flab bloofs over the edge of your dress, it doesn't fit right.

Kelly Rowland wearing a really nice black and white dress.

LET'S SEE SOME STARS INSTEAD OF HOSTS, HUH?

Awesome multilayered green dress in the background.

Oooo. Catherine Zeta-Jones' dress is AMAZING. The skirt is a nude with the sequins overlaid on it in swirls.

Jessica Chastain again. They're gushing at her. WHARGARBL This may be worse than E!

I'd turn down the volume, but the hub goes crazy when I do that.

Explaining air kisses - don't wanna mess up each others' makeup. Haha, okay, I'll buy that.

Kid given the Kindle Fire, is watching Netflix and has quit whining.

HOW ABOUT SOME FASHION. DID I SAY THAT YET?

Proceeding to flip back and forth between E! and ABC. So this'll be even more fragmented than it already is. Enjoy.

Hub went downstairs, so I turned the volume down. IT IS ABOUT DRESSES, NOT BLATHER.

These commercials are seriously freaky with no sound.

DRESS ES. DRESS ES. DRESS ES.

Can you tell I took a painkiller? No. It has no influence on me whatsoever. JUST ASK ME, I'LL TELL YOU.

Okay. And we're finally back. Ad for Kardashian reality TV. Give me a prize for not throwing my tea mug at the television. And whoa, whoever that was, HORRIFYING face lift. Whoa!

Jennifer Hudson in another variation on the nude dress - sheer fabric covered over with sequins or embroidery in strategic spots. Seems to be a big trend tonight. I think Zeta-Jones' dress is that way, too. I love Hudson. Don't know her music, but she's always so damn positive and thrilled to be there.

The nude dress is originally a Marlene Dietrich thing. I should do a blog post.

Hostesses still standing around gushing at each other on ABC. Seriously? I have to watch E!?

THE MANI CAM! Hudson is... wearing a nice neutral and a cute ring. Okay then.

AIR KISS!

AHA! THE DRESS. Catherine Zeta-Jones. She looks fantastic, she's performing, and sounds wonderful. The dress is Zuahair Murad. It's AMAZING. Love it. The skirt does look sort of like nude dress technique.

Hostesses now gushing at each other on E! WHERE DO I FILE THE COMPLAINT.

Helen Hunt, wearing classic, well-fitted navy taffeta. She has botox around her upper lip. She looks like a muppet. NO, HONEY. No. I like the brooch on the back at the waist, though. Art Deco style.

Anne Hathaway wearing a sort of halter dress in light pink. I don't think it's her best color, it washes her out rather than--

HOLY SHIT, CHARLIZE THERON CUT OFF ALL HER HAIR. She looks great, but HOLY SHIT.

Anyway. Anne Hathaway has the body and attitude to wear anything, but I don't think the color is doing her skin any favors. Her short hair is adorable. She's ragging on Seacrest, so she's now my favorite of all time. TELL ME WHO MADE YOUR DRESS. Could be Calvin Klein, or Dior? Prada. I should have known. She likes them. She says she decided on it three hours ago. It spoke to her. Okay.

So far all the men are wearing traditional tuxes.

Naomi Watts wearing some wild asymmetric dress. I like it. Armani Prive. Fits. Unusual. Sparkly. Nice.

Jane Fonda, American traitor bitch. My husband was/is military. I won't forgive her. And she looks like she's on her fifth face lift. She must have fifty pounds of makeup on to not look like she's got liver disease in that shade of yellow. Yes, yes, meow. I know. MOVING ON.

Charlize Theron in a magnificently fitted Dior Couture. She buzzed her hair for a movie, and what she's got is three months of hair growth. !! She looks great. She could wear a garbage bag and look good. She's also about a foot taller than Seacrest. So she's also my favorite.

Lovely purple-maroon sheath dress in the background.

Jennifer Aniston in a red dress I wore to prom in 1986.

Bradley Cooper brought his mom to the Oscars. He's slicked down his curls, which makes me sad. Wearing a traditional tux with a black vest. I think he combed his beard. Also, yum. Because, hey. Bradley Cooper. His mom is wearing a feather boa. Love it. Work it, baybee.

Samuel L Jackson is on Twitter, talking about swimming. He's presenting an Oscar tonight. He's one of the best things on Twitter.

Stylist blather on E!... host blather on ABC. Feh.

DRESS ES. DRESS ES. DRESS ES.

Blah, blah, blah. Commercial. Blah.

ABC hostess has weirded out Bradley Cooper asking weird questions. Good job. Not.

AHA. Nicole Kidman in a fairly average tank dress. Black with iridescent and gold sequins. Pretty. L'Wren Scott. She also can wear a garbage bag and look good.

Adele wearing a black dress. Sigh. Can we get over the black is slimming bullshit? It's just black. It's got squiggles on it, dunno what's up with that. She's so pretty, I wish she'd done something pretty.

Interesting dress behind Adele, looks like a dark green, nearly black, with a cape or something?

Ben Affleck in traditional tux, Jennifer Garner in a maroon sheath dress with a big bow at the back. I'm partial to that silhouette, but it's kind of eh. The color is good on her, though, and the dress actually fits, so yay for that.

Hugh Jackman in a traditional tux. The Aussie accent always surprises me. And Hugh just picked up the hostess, and said she weighs less than an Oscar. She's gushing at him. He looks magnificent. Yum. His wife's wearing a black suit. Sigh.

CHRIS EVANS!! Looking adorkable in a black suit. He also brought his mom tonight. Did I mention? Adorkable?

DeNiro is looking his age. Damn. Also in a traditional tux.

None of the men are wearing freakazoid outfits tonight! What's up with that?

Sandra Bullock also doing the sheer dress with sequins deal. It's black/grey, and the beads are done in scallops. Long straight hair. She looks nice. Dress by Ellie Saab, with a train. Cute little clip in her hair.

Salma Hayek wearing black velvet and gold sequins. Lovely. Fits perfectly, to show off that hourglass figure of hers.

George Clooney's date is wearing a really fantastic black and gold dress by Naim Kahn. Art Deco.

Bedtime for Goober while they blather about stylists on E!. Feh.

MORE TEA!

"Statement necklace". What in fuck else is the point of a necklace when dressed up??

Daniel Day Lewis blathering about Steven Spielberg. Yes, yes, you're both wonderful, show me some dresses.

E! still blathering about the Amy Adams dress from two hours ago. I am SURE someone else has arrived between then and now.

Kirsten Stewart in a really badly fitted strapless gown.

Halle Berry... oh, honey. Black and gold stripes, long sleeves, long gown... where's that magnificent body of yours??

Just realized that Charlize Theron's hair is almost exactly the same as Jeremy Renner's. It's possible I should stop now.

8:20 PM: Oscar show starts in ten minutes. I'm burned out. I think we're done here.

Tomorrow, fashion. Or spinning. Or possibly history. I've been swearing at a book by the British Museum, lately.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rant Revisited

Which should be titled "Settlement, Clovis Points, and Kiss My Ass", but it doesn't fit in the subject line so well.

Last night I turned on a documentary about the Nazca Lines. I should know better than to do this, at least not without Shoveling Ferret on Twitter with me to talk me down from the ledge. They started on the bullshit "Ice Corridor" settlement of the Americas (which I have ranted about in the past, HERE), and I started yelling at the TV. It went something along the lines of "Ice corridor, my ass!" and the Goob started making pitiful noises 'cause I scared the crap out of her and she thought I was yelling at her.

Then I yelled some more, scared her again, and we eventually changed the channel.

Since, apparently, I still have strong feelings on this subject, you're stuck with it. (Sometimes I think of my blog as my rant collection.)

Right. Meet the Clovis Point:
(Pic from National Geographic web site.)

The first big fuckup of the ice corridor settlement theory is, that everywhere the Clovis points were found, were settled by the same group of people. I do not fucking get this. Like no one in human society ever steals someone's ideas or technology? No one ever TRADES? These are great points, and probably needed to take down something like a wooly mammoth (which N America did have, 'til we ate them all). Anyone who hunted big game would want some of these, so yeah, hello, major trade item.

Second thing? This ice corridor?
(Pic from Wikipedia.)

There's no evidence it ever existed. In fact, considering where the Canadian Rockies are?
(Also from Wiki)
Considering there are STILL glaciers up in those mountains? Yeah. Highly unlikely. HIGHLY. As in, Ice Corridor, My Ass. The few artifacts found in Alberta have been declared PRE glacial by some geologists, as in, even more thousands of years earlier than the Clovis people showed up. Sure, people got to the Americas, and moved around within them, both before and after the glaciers were solid across N America. But DURING? No. Just no.

Third? There are a shitload of sites that pre-date the Clovis people, ALL OVER. Including the Topper Site, which dates to 37k years before Clovis, all the way across the country. And of course, the iconic Monte Verde, most of the way to the bottom of South America, pre dates Clovis by a thousand years and also shows that people were spread out way further than any spear points were. When the carbon dating first came back from Monte Verde, archaeologists practically had gun fights, because some of them were so determined to cling to their nice, neat, inaccurate settlement theories.

The claim that stone age peoples could not cross the Pacific? Ha. Polynesians. Kiss my ass. (Also? If they were just coming along the coast, that's a whole different level of easy, from crossing the open ocean. You could follow the coast in simple rafts, most of the way.)

What complicates this whole damn thing is sea level. During the ice age, sea levels were as much as two hundred feet lower than they are now. So if people had settled along the coasts first, at the height (depth?) of the ice age, the sites are all flooded now. Woods Hole went looking and found a few sites a while back with ALVIN, though damn if I can find the info now. Still, even with new technology, finding those super early sites takes a lot of screwing around and it's easier to go excavate a cave somewhere.

That concludes today's swearing. Tomorrow is another day, and I might live-blog the Oscars red carpet, though. You've been warned.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Spinning and pain control.

There are a few reasons why spinning is a good way to do pain control. There are some good things, other than popping pills, and spinning combines several of them.

The obvious is, distraction. The shrink who taught me pain control techniques (awesome, lovely guy; you need a shrink in Honolulu, let me know, I'll get you his info) had a fancy term for it. But what it comes down to is not sitting there thinking "ow, this hurts". My doc spent an appointment picking my brain, going over all the things I do for fun, any activity I enjoy, from reading to surfing the 'net, to talking on the phone, to knitting. When we were done, he grinned, told me next time I was in pain to pick one, and handed me the list.

I'm not sure this truly works at all on the pain, but it certainly improves your quality of life; short of murder, ANYTHING is better laying in bed feeling awful.

Movement is another goodie. In any type of long-term pain lasting more than a few minutes, your body will build up chemicals in your tissues that will either cause more pain or at the least just make you feel crappy. Any kind of movement will get the blood moving and help flush that stuff through your system and (assuming you have normal kidney and liver function) thereby feel better. When I REALLY want to get things moving, I walk up and down the stairs a couple times. Physical therapists usually advocate going for a walk. But even the smaller, less extreme motions of spinning will work the muscles, move the blood, and help at least a little.

The last trick seems just like that - a trick. You're playing a trick on your own brain. Like a computer, your brain has a list of priorities. And paying attention to chronic pain is pretty low on the list, all things considered. (This is kind of how the distraction method works, too.) A much higher priority is keeping track of where your body is in space, for safety. Your brain wants to keep you from walking into walls and bonking your head. This means the brain hack the physical therapists call "oscillation". Pick a part of your body - foot, leg, hand, and calmly move it back and forth, just an inch or so in either direction. Your brain goes "Ooo, wait, where's that hand going?" and pays attention to that.

It works amazingly, freakishly well on chronic pain.

And guess what you do when spinning? Wiggle your foot or feet up and down. And coordinate it with your hands. Then your brain says "OO! Wait! and pays attention to that.

Of course, you also wind up with yarn at the end. And yarn makes everything better.

Monday, February 11, 2013

From the dark side.

Well, not really that dark.

This is all YOUR fault. I've got people insisting I'm interesting, no matter what I write, so here you go.

I got fed up today and took a drug cocktail that turns off 90% of my pain. (All within doctor's prescribing. Promise. And the meds I do take are low doses.) The drawback is, I get really loooooopy, and I can't take it every day or my liver will fall out while I go through drug withdrawal.

So. I spent the afternoon feeling good but unable to see straight.

I did what I always do in these situations; spun yarn, to distract myself. I'm three quarters done with the silk/wool stuff in blue and purple. I wanted to cast on for my hand spun socks, but I was pretty sure any kind of math - including counting to twelve - was a Bad Idea.

HOWEVER! The Goob is working hard at the glorious art of humor. Today's exchange:

GOOB: There are bumps in my gums.
ME: Yep. Those are your teeth coming in.
GOOB: What else would be growing there? Pickles?
ME: Good point.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Der Schpinningk!

Some of you may remember, when we were living in South Carolina, spinning was my method of dealing with migraines. I'd take a pill, cross my fingers, then turn on some music and hunker over the spinning wheel. That's what I've been doing for the last three months. (That and cranking out a really impressive amount of garter stitch.) So. Pretty pictures.

In progress is this:
It is "Pastel Rainbow Gradient" by Fiber Optic. It was dyed in one long color grade, and I spun it to keep it that way. It's as thin as possible, to make a lace weight... right now it's a single, because I'm sick of looking at it. Eventually I'll chain ply it to preserve the colors, and knit myself some kinda scarf thingie with it.

For practice, I spun this first.
It's from Yarn Hollow. I think the color is called "Third Eye". You get the idea. My MIL got this for Christmas.

This is a two-ply fractal spun lace weight, color "Iris" from Frabjuous Fibers. I used it to knit a shawl, but you can't see it yet 'cause it's a gift for a friend of mine. However, once she gets it, I am going to post three thousand pictures because it is AWESOME. I love when you pair the absolute perfect yarn with the perfect pattern, and it works. That's when knitting turns the corner into art. Or one of the times.

My last spinning project was for a pair of socks.
I split some Abstract Fibers superwash (I can't remember the color name, I was calling it Obnoxious Pink) lengthwise in half. Then I spun each half separately, and chain plied to make sure the colors would turn into stripes when knit up. I took these in to show the folks at the LYS today, and they were mistaken for commercially spun yarn. I'm calling that a win.

My current project looks like this at the moment:
This is another from Abstract Fibers, also called Iris. It's 50/50 silk and merino. I'm doing another fractal spin, and knitting another shawl like the one I knit for my friend. But I'm KEEEEEEEPING IT FOR MEEEEEEE this time. It's the tactile equivalent of a hot fudge sundae.

For Christmas, I gave my MIL a couple hanks of stuff I'd spun, and she was thrilled with it. Last night we all met for dinner, and she whipped this out in the restaurant to show me what she was doing with some of it:
That's two ply laceweight spun from superwash pencil roving dyed in the color "Catamaran" from Fiber Optic. (They do some of the most vivid colors I have ever seen.) She's knitting one of the scarves from Victorian Lace Today. She called me a couple days ago, to thank me for the yarn. And the book. And the needle she's using - I gave them all to her. We had a good laugh. ANOTHER ONE LURED TO THE DARK SIDE.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

PNEUMONIA!!

I have this little problem. See, the husbeast and I have a long history. It's led to a lot of inside jokes and other shared... experiences, so that seemingly mundane things will set me off giggling. (Especially when I'm on these damn antidepressants.)

Lo, these many years ago, about ten, I think, we were living in Hawaii. Every year, when the rainy season starts, everything flowers. It's sort of like spring on the mainland. So everything would flower and pollinate  and I'd react to something (I think it was the tree in the front yard), and I'd wind up with pneumonia.

Every. Damn. Year.

The first year, it was just one of those things, whatever, I dealt with it. The second year, I was sensing a trend and not amused. By the third year? Oh, I was fed the hell up and not tolerating any more of that shit. So I ignored the congestion, the cough, the laryngitis, and ignored it, and ignored it.

The husbeast watched all this, having been around for all three rounds of pneumonia. He didn't say much. (He never really does.) One day, around noon, he called me from work. He'd made an appointment for me, with my doctor. He was coming home to get me and take me. My choice in the matter was whether to get dressed or be wrapped in a blanket and stuffed in the bed of the truck. At the time, he was healthier and I was skinnier and it was a valid threat. I knew he'd do it.

I got dressed.

When I left the exam room, the husbeast met me in the waiting room. We were surrounded by patients, nurses, receptionists, and doctors. I said "It's pneumonia." The husbeast said "YOU DUMBASS."

Everyone gasped.

I rolled my eyes and went off to the pharmacy for my meds.

At the pharmacy, in the waiting room full of people, the husbeast asked what meds I had. I said "It's a Z Pack, like I had last year." He said "YOU DUMBASS."

Everyone gasped.

I rolled my eyes and went off to the truck to go home.

So, fast forward ten, fifteen years, and I'm sitting in the doctor's office here, and the doctor says "It's pneumonia."

I started laughing. I can't help it. I'm sane, I swear.

(No the husbeast was not there to call me dumbass, and he might not have anyway -- I've gotten a little smarter about this stuff.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Eeyore Diaries!

I have awesome blog readers. (Well, no, I guess the word would be FRIENDS, since I haven't written anything lately, right?) In the past few weeks, I've gotten quite a few e-mails from people, asking me if I was all right. Some folks had been imagining some pretty dire stuff, so I guess I'll catch everyone up. WARNING: This is why I hadn't been blogging - because everything I wrote made me sound like Eeyore and it's been one stupid, annoying, or horrible thing after another around here. But here we go.

My brother died in October. I think I mentioned that. While I was in the middle of drug-resistant pneumonia.

Sekhmet passed away at the end of November. I think the suffering was minimal; cats usually hide when they're in pain and my evil fucker was plopped on my lap, purring, 'til the end. I'm reasonably sure she booby-trapped the house with cat toys as a reminder, because I'm still finding - and sniffling - over them. When we buried her in the back yard, the Goob waited about an hour and then asked when we dig her up again.

Yeah, it's still my house, after all.

We all had influenza for Christmas. I don't remember Christmas dinner - I made it - but I'm told it was good. I have a vague recollection of drinking too much wine, which, oh yeah, THAT was my best idea ever.

After the influenza, the Goober got pneumonia. Her turn? Anyway, that was mid-January and while the pneumonia's technically gone, she was just at the doctor again because she's still coughing up her toenails. Doc and I think it's inflamed lung tissue and cold, dry air.

I've been dealing with wicked nasty migraines since autumn, really, but the weather in January and February, with thirty degree temperature differences shifting around wildly, really laid me out.

But there's sort of good news. At the end of November, I saw the writing on the wall, the holiday looming, and went to the doctor. We doubled my anti-depressants. I was taking them for pain control. Now I'm also taking them for actual mood like they're meant to be. So that's helped keep me out of the Pit of Despair as I sarcastically call it in my head. (Because you gotta be rude to your brain when it's fucking up.) It's also increased my ability to concentrate, back to something sort of like normal. Which means I've put my head down and made stuff.

Pictures to come, but I've cranked out quite a lot, both knitting and spinning, in the past six months or so. Some of it got ripped right back out again because knitting and drugs and 103 degree fevers? Don't go so well together. And the other night I spun while on lots of migraine meds and it looked like one of those experiments where they feed spiders drugs and see what happens.

So that's about it. Four months in a couple hundred words. (Oh, I've slept a lot, too. Shocked?) But there have been no hospital stays, no ER visits, and nothing really too terribly serious in terms of health. We're muddling on through and even managing to be happy, most days (don't remind the Goober about the groundhog puppet and the doctor's visit, though).

Thanks, everyone, for being awesome.