100 Things

It has come to my attention that since my move to the grand Southwest (I'm not trying to rub it in or anything, but it's pushing 80 here today, and I had to put the shades back on the family room window 'cuz it was HOT!), some of the 100 things were no longer valid, so here's a current, updated version.

Also, I'm still feeling a bit under the weather after whatever knocked me out last weekend, so I don't feel like taking pics. Tucson ribbed T is done and washed and ready for photo-ing. Have started work on a secret (until April) project I'm loving (details at Ravelry).

But here goes -- 100 (or so) things:

  1. My favorite vegetable is brussels sprouts

  2. My second favorite is asparagus

  3. With the exception of <2 years of my early childhood, I have never lived outside New England

  4. I made the 2nd biggest leap of faith in my life when I left New England for the wilds of Arizona -- and so far I'm loving it

  5. I really don't like the cold

  6. AT ALL

  7. Though I do love sledding

  8. I've never been downhill skiing

  9. And I don't ever plan to

  10. I once ran over my own leg with a lawn tractor (don't ask me how)

  11. I am afraid of the dark

  12. I am also slightly claustrophobic

  13. Ouija boards do not "work" when I'm in the room

  14. My favorite sport to watch on TV is football

  15. My favorite sport to watch in person is hockey

  16. The only sport I've ever come close to being good at is tennis

  17. I can't play any more because I have carpal tunnel in both wrists

  18. And no ACL in my left knee

  19. I always knew I would be a pastor's wife

  20. I always knew I would never have children

  21. I learned to knit when I was five years old

  22. I learned to crochet shortly thereafter

  23. While my mother knits (and taught me to knit) English, she sent me to my aunt to learn to knit continental because she thought it would be faster

  24. I now knit some sort of combination knitting

  25. I didn't know until recently that that's what it is called

  26. A few years ago I lost 70+ pounds

  27. I have gained about 20 of it back

  28. While I would love to be a size 8 again, I am coming to terms with 12

  29. I quit smoking without going through any withdrawal

  30. I eat a banana every day

  31. Some irrational part of me thinks that if I don't I will die

  32. I never had training wheels -- before my father could get them on my first two-wheeler, I got on and took off without wobbling or falling

  33. This astounds me because I'm one of the most clumsy people I know

  34. Everyone in my immediate family graduated from high schools whose colors were black and orange

  35. I hate black and orange

  36. I don't have a favorite color

  37. But if I did it would be green (or red, or purple, or pink... you get the point)

  38. It would never be blue

  39. I could best be described as a libertarian

  40. I currently live in my dream house

  41. Unfortunately, we don't own it

  42. But you should see the view

  43. I didn't want a dog because they need to be taken for walks during blizzards

  44. Now that I live in Tucson, this isn't a concern

  45. Though now heat stroke and rattlesnakes are

  46. We adopted one anyway

  47. I love him and can't imagine life without him

  48. And I've discovered snow isn't half as bad as cold and wind

  49. I am still a cat person

  50. We also have 2 cats

  51. Our baby boy cat was seized from an abusive home by DSS

  52. He has finally lost his fear of the appliances (except the vacuum)

  53. He's still not sure about strangers, though he's incredibly curious about everything

  54. And for some reason, he seems completely unfrightened by children, even the really loud, active ones

  55. Don't tell my parents, but all those times they couldn't find Scott and me at church we were up in the belfry

  56. It had the best view in town

  57. Sometimes I yearn to preach

  58. I could never be a church pastor because once a year I would have to lead worship from a chancel filled with Easter lilies, and that just might kill me -- literally

  59. If it pollinates, chances are I'm allergic to it

  60. I am far more physically fit than I look

  61. I work out nearly every day

  62. I LOVE to work out

  63. I don't believe in the death penalty

  64. I love it when someone else cooks me breakfast

  65. Numbers (NOT the book of the Bible) don't always make sense to me

  66. Come to think of it, Numbers (the book of the Bible) doesn't always make sense either

  67. I have always preferred the company of men

  68. If I were still single and he asked, I would probably marry JD

  69. Not that he'd ask

  70. And I can't really imagine me as an Army Officer's wife

  71. M says it's probably a lot like being a pastor's wife

  72. I am an INTP

  73. I wish we had more lesbian friends, but...

  74. I am intimidated by many lesbians, and...

  75. I find many others way too angry to be around.

  76. I don't understand the reluctance/fear most people seem to have about dating/marrying/having sex with an ordained person

  77. It pains me to watch our single clergy friends struggle with this

  78. My favorite book of the Bible is Philippians

  79. Don't tell my wife or his, but I have just the tiniest crush on the minister who married us

  80. I changed my mind about college majors because I was afraid of the particle accelerator

  81. Yeah, I know in my mind it's not dangerous

  82. I chose my college major because it had the fewest in-subject requirements

  83. Yes, I took full advantage of the breadth of a liberal arts education

  84. I have been told on multiple occasions that I am "too smart"

  85. I still don't understand what people mean by that

  86. I know what they mean by "too intense," and I own it

  87. My dream job is homemaker

  88. With a sideline as a freelance writer/editor

  89. It's taken me years to be able to admit that

  90. I am one of the most honest people I know

  91. Honest in that fairly transparent, motives up front, what-you-see-is-what-you-get sort of way

  92. NOT honest in that rude-in-the-name-of-honesty way (see this commentary by Stephanie -- it's #3, the big question)

  93. Sometimes this gets me in trouble in interpersonal relationships because I behave as if other people are just as honest

  94. No matter how much evidence I've seen that they aren't, I am still usually blindsided by other people's duplicitousness

  95. I am a process knitter

  96. And once I've figured out the process, projects can languish

  97. I fell in love with weaving the first night of my first ever weaving class

  98. I bought a loom shortly thereafter

  99. As with knitting and crochet, I am nearly fearless when it comes to weaving projects

  100. I've wanted a workshop for ages, and now that I have it, I don't use a lot it because I miss M too much when I'm up there

  101. I have had a compulsion to write since I was old enough to do so

  102. I never thought I would like ballroom dancing

  103. After marrying a ballroom dancer, I find I love it

  104. But I think I really only love dancing with M

  105. I passed the Jeopardy test once

  106. But I didn't get on the show

Spring Fever!

Today we packed snacks, water, sunblock, hats, a camera and the dog into the car and headed to Picacho Peak State Park for the day. It was glorious (sunny, temps in the mid-70s), and the poppies are in bloom, so the mountain was gorgeous.

Just some views of the day:

That last pic is of the "skeleton" of a saguaro cactus (yes, they're trees, and their internal structure is wood). That lumpy thing on the front is the remains of a bird's nest:

When the woodpecker (often a Gila woodpecker or a gilded flicker) is building its nest, it first drills down into the soft flesh of the cactus. Then it leaves for a while, during which time the cactus heals over the wound by creating a nice solid nest for the bird. Then he returns to find a mate and raise a family. When the cactus dies and the soft flesh all rots away, you're left with the wooden skeleton and the bird nests.

Oh, the woodpecker will usually only stay in the nest for a season or two before something else (another bird, a snake, whatever) takes over.

And Pupper would like to tell you that he climbed a mountain and everyone at the park thought he was just adorable. Here is is enjoying a well-deserved rest in the shade:

Really, our ancient, arthritic dog bounded up the hill (no, not the high peak, just a lower overlook) like a puppy. Down was a little more cautious, but, then again, it was for the Mommies, too.

Progress continues on the newly-discovered Tucson Ribbed T. Am anxious to finish and wear it (if it still fits). But now I'm off to rest a bit. After spending the entire weekend in bed with what we feared was the flu when I woke up with incredible joint pain at 2:30 Saturday morning -- but I never had a fever, and today I've just got a lingering sore throat and a bit of exhaustion -- I don't think I should push it too much.

PS. Last night we got tickets to next Monday afternoon's ST game between the Rockies and the D'backs. Second row behind first base. We're looking forward to it.

Lookee What I Found!

So, after frogging the plum sweater and despairing the loss of my mojo, I decided to organize the needles -- finally -- they've been a disaster since we moved.

While going through the stash box where most of the needles lived during the move, I found a WIP I had completely forgotten about. Completely! I must have started it about two years ago and put it aside goodness knows why.

So, I give you, The Tucson Ribbed T:
The pattern is Bob from the Spring '03 Knitty. I cannot for the life of me explain why it is I put this down. The pattern is simple, the outcome is a flattering, comfortable T (if the comments on Ravelry are any indication), and I really like the yarn I'm using. Guess this poor sweater was simply a victim of WIP-overload at some point. Perhaps I started it when I was going through a bout of startitis -- it strikes every once in a while.

Anyhoo, why "Tucson Ribbed T"?
Don't even know how long this one's been discontinued, but it ain't even on Yarndex. I do love the saguaro for the "t" on the label, tho.

So, I have a project, and so far it hasn't bitten me. I have split for the raglan decreases and almost finished the front. Just the back raglan and the sleeves left to knit, so this one should be done well before it's too warm to wear it.


So, the Cable Waist Cardigan has been frogged. The 8-ply cotton on the mondo cone just wasn't working right with the cables. Bummer. I will find something else for both yarn and pattern, however, so no despair. Well, not much.

I've heard others talk about losing knitting mojo, but I don't think I've ever experienced it -- until now. See, I have also had to tear out Rita's Scarf three times now. You'd think this one would be easy: I've made this scarf before; it's just a simple garter stitch. This one ain't rocket science, and still I can't seem to get it to work.

Luckily, my sock is still behaving itself. I'm almost to the heel, and I'm thinking of using the modified heel that Wendy used on her Temptation Top-Down Socks (pdf link to pattern). Maybe I shouldn't press my luck?

Right now the sock is the only (non-hibernating) project on the needles (well, there's the Dr. Who Scarf which I've never blogged [Ravelry link]). Perhaps I need to take some time and celebrate my near-WIP-less-ness. There are all those needles that need organizing, and story deadlines fast approaching, and that pile from my latest trip to the library just mocking me from the floor next to the desk (note to self: must get some sort of bookshelf-like thing for next to the desk). When I am ready to return to the knitting, it will always be there waiting for me.

Or, I could just haul out one of the warps I have stashed. Yes, I tend to wind scarf- and stole-sized warps in batches and store them for future weaving needs (I've never had a good place to keep the warping board always available, so it makes sense to wind multiple warps when I have it out). You think knitting and washing a gauge swatch interferes with getting to the "good stuff" -- what about winding a warp and dressing the loom? Though there are those (LB, for one) who enjoy that part best of all -- takes all types. Okay, I DO enjoy dressing the loom, but winding warps can be tedious.

For now, I think I'm going to take the dog for a walk and then crawl back into bed with a book. I haven't slept well this week for some reason (hmmmmm, could that have something to do with the missing mojo?), and they eyes are feeling droopy.

And That's Just the Sock Yarn!

So, I've finally sat down and explored Ravelry and started inputting stuff. There are now 51 yarns in my stash (Ravelry link), and -- with a couple exceptions -- they're all sock yarns or other yarns destined to become socks. Oh my word! I haven't even started on the stuff out in the garage (which is a perfectly acceptable place to store yarn when you live in a dry climate). Don't worry, it's all in plastic tubs.

Anyhoo, I got this email from Knit Picks and decided I had to have this cardigan. Okay, so maybe I'm totally acclimated to life in the Southwest, but it seems strange to me that they are touting this as a warmer weather sweater but the yarns they're recommending are all worsted-weight wool or wool blends. Doesn't that seem a wee bit warm, even for cool spring evenings? Or am I really a child of the desert now?

Well, there's no way I'm making it in wool for my life here. And M nixed the idea of buying any new yarn for it when she found this
in the stash. It's somewhere near about 8 pounds of light worsted cotton.

So I swatched
and it looks like the gauge should be about right. I'll probably cast on later today or tomorrow.

What about project monogamy? Well, the Kimono Jacket now looks like this:
No, it doesn't really spend its days hanging around in the shrubbery, but it felt like taking in a little sun. And that would be why this little beauty is going into hibernation (though it's called estivation when it happens in the summer) until fall. There's just no way I could finish it before the weather got just too darn warm to wear it.

And then I must do something with these:
Many, many, many moons ago, I made us a scarf using Eros and 24K. Recently M wore it work, and a friend fell in love. So, these two balls are destined to become one for her, in her colors (red and black). It'll be a nice, mindless task that.

What the....? (and some forgotten FOs)

So, I live in the desert. Yes, the desert, where it rains a few inches a year, the landscape is mostly sand and rock, and the water in my betta's bowl needs to be topped off every two days. That desert.

Then why, I have to ask, did I find this in my backyard?!

Yep -- that's a dandelion. And it's not alone:

But, I'm not going to dwell on it (nor am I inclined to use the weed killer the owners left in the garage). For now, I'll just pout, knowing that come the heat of summer, they'll be GONE.

And now, some FOs I'd forgotten about.

Circus Monkeys!

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta #15, 1 ball
Needles: US 1, 2.25mm 40" circular -- magic loop style
Mods: The same as the ones I made on Jennifer's Monkeys: no purls in the pattern; slip stitch heel; and who knows what else, since I stopped reading the pattern after the first repeat. Oh, and I did just an ordinary 1x1 rib rather than the twisted rib the pattern calls for.

These were finished on the drive out, and I've worn them a lot since. Shortly after we got here I found a pair of flourescent peach (you'll have to trust me on the color) Ked-like sneaks that match these socks perfectly.

And yet another Baby Surprise:

Pattern: Baby Surprise by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino DK, 3 balls
Needle: The same Susanne Ebony #6 that I've used on all of my Baby Surprises.

I made this one just because. Yep, just wanted to make a Baby Surprise (I love this pattern). So, if anyone knows someone who needs one....

Baby Steps are For Babies *

I was dazzled by this book many moons ago when I first saw it, and I just had to have it. I had never done any modular knitting before, but the jacket on the cover and a number of the other projects just called to me. Reading the book, I came to the suggestion that you start with the first project in the book, the Ojo de Dios vest -- a simple project made of squares joined simply in lines -- just to get your head and hands around the techniques involved. Problem is, I could never see myself or anyone I gift wearing the vest. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just not something I see myself wearing. What I WANT is the jacket on the cover.

And here is the limit of my process-knitter status. I know a pure process knitter would have made the vest just for the experience and not worried if it ever got worn. While I love the idea of learning and experimenting with new techniques, I need to know that the final product will be used by someone.

So I dove in and made what I wanted. This was an example of pure selfish knitting: I wanted that jacket, and I wanted to make that jacket. And I loved almost every minute of it. In fact, I got so involved in the process that, though it crossed my mind a few times that I should, I never once put the knitting down and got out the camera to capture it in progress. So all we have is this rather not good photo of it finished. It deserves so much more.

dream jacket 1

Pattern: "Dream Coat" from Dazzling Knits by Patricia Werner (MAYA)
Yarn: A whole buncha stuff from the stash, including Silk Garden (the predominant yarn, in three colorways), FDC Wave, Cash Iroha, Lana d'Oro Tweed, and some Bartlettyarns 2-ply
Needles: WEBS Hard Bamboo 9" #6 and #7, WEBS Hard Bamboo 32" circ #6 and #7
Mods: I chose to do a modified single chevron instead of the two half-chevrons and a seam on the sleeves. I used some simple hook and eye fasteners rather than buttons because the button band had a tendency to gap (I think this is a product of how the band is done, because it also gaps on the models in the book).

I love this jacket, and the predominance of silk in the yarns makes it perfect for cooler days here in Tucson (the same quantity of worsted-weight wool would likely be too warm for all but the most un-Tucson of cold days, even for me). I would love to make another one, using only one color of Silk Garden and not changing colors at all -- just knitting it as it came off the balls. For now, however, I have moved on to yet another new knitting challenge and jumped right over the baby steps.

nihon kimono 1

This is the right sleeve and part of the right body of the Nihon Kimono from Shadow Knitting

Again, I was drawn to the technique, the book and certain projects in it (this happens to be the LAST project in the book). After reading through everything, I bought the Harrisville Shetland called for in the purple colorway in the book and dove into this jacket (again, this is the thing I most wanted to have in the book).

So far, I am loving the knitting (I do love me a good #2 needle) and watching the shadow patterns develop as I work on it. Oh, and the wool-in-Tucson thing: this is much lighter wool and will make a much lighter garment, so I'm predicting that it will be just fine for Tucson winter evenings. Okay, we're ignoring for now the fact that I will finish this just about the time it starts getting too warm for anything more than a long-sleeved t-shirt, but there's always next winter.

* Not that I have anything against baby knitters (M is one -- or at least she thinks she is). But there has to be a time when one's accumulated years of knitting experience allow one to skip the baby steps and move directly to the tango.

All for Naught

3 Super Bowl wins in 4 years; dynasty; team of the decade; quarterback of the century; undefeated regular season; 18-0 heading into the Super Bowl; immortality -- all brought to naught by one amazingly, brilliantly, dazzlingly lackluster performance Sunday evening. Did they choke? Or did they simply begin -- after weeks and months of protestation ("series of 1-game winning streaks", etc.) -- to believe their own press? Did they show up in Glendale expecting to win just as 9 out of 10 pundits expected them to win? Did they walk onto that field daring fate to deny them what was rightfully theirs?

The Giants knew it; the Patriots seem to have forgotten: there's a reason they play the game.

And so we have the answer to the ubiquitous question: who wants it more? On this day, on this stage, the Giants definitely wanted to WIN the Super Bowl more. For I do still believe that if they Patriots had wanted to WIN the Super Bowl as much as they appeared to think they should HAVE the Lombardi Trophy, they would have won. They are deeper, stronger, better, and their quarterback is one of the best ever.

But the Giants came to play, and Eli and the boys deserved that win. Congratulations.

Many years ago, Geno Auriemma took an undefeated UConn women's basketball team with no Seniors and four Freshmen into the Big East tournament. They were riding a winning streak that stretched back into the undefeated championship season of the year before, and the pressure had to be getting to them, but they sailed into the conference championship game with nary a hiccup. The Big East tournament championship went to Villanova that year, however, and with that the pressure was off. No longer carrying a two-season-long winning streak around with them, the Lady Huskies were free to sail their way through the NCAA tournament and capture their fourth national title.

Perhaps if the Patriots had lost to the Giants in week 17....

For now I must soothe myself by remembering that the Red Sox have won 2 World Series since the last time the Yankees were anywhere NEAR one, and the Celtics are still in first place and flying high.