Sonnet Stitches

Knitting, mostly. With occasional kvetching, lots of adventures, gratuitous cat photos and a healthy appreciation for the absurd.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Lent project update

Some news came this week about the well-being of the recipients of this project.

These were stitched together with prayers and good thoughts for their soon-to-be owners (not to mention the unbelievable selflessness of a certain knitting friend who wove in 50 bajillion ends on the blue one because I was pressed for time)... but there's no such thing as too many prayers and good thoughts, so if you have any of the above to spare, please do.




*sniff sniff*

Au revoir, Gwen.

12 lovely feet

There will be a hole in our Tuesday night circle where your hot pink feet used to be.

Go forth and take Washington D.C. by storm, my friend...

(...but save some sock yarn for us)


Friday, August 10, 2007

Another haiku

Guess who finally
Got a ravelry invite?
I'm sonnetstitches.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Current Ravelry number: 197

This means that by the time my Ravelry plug actually makes it into my non-knitting-and-highly-amused-by-all-this-nonsense friend's Internet column on Monday, probably in a slightly sarcastic fashion, I may already have my invite!

Note to self... start photographing stash three weeks ago.



I'm so neurotic
I'm writing inbox haiku
Alas, it's empty


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Gloves for K

A long time ago - maybe three years ago - a former coworker mentioned that she was freezing to death, her hands were turning blue, she could barely type, and this is not helpful to one's productivity when one makes one's living as a writer.

So we discussed the value of a good pair of fingerless gloves when one has to type large volumes in an office whose thermostat has two settings: Antarctica & Gehenna.

It figures I would finally get around to making her a pair when it is 100 degrees outside:

These were extremely basic... provisional cast-on, garter-stitch cuff sideways until it fit around my wrist, grafted together seamlessly, stitches picked up at one end of the tube an applied I-cord hiding the raw edge at the other end:

This of course was leftover yarn from this project. I love all the subtle orange and yellow streaks in what is actually a very bright green yarn, and the purple flecks in the "blood orange" colorway. I was excited to get an excuse to knit with the pretty yarn again, but it was also a shame, because the first draft had a very interesting mosaic pattern on Glove #1. Unfortunately, that did not leave enough yarn for Glove #2, so I actually ripped back and was knitting green on Glove #2 as I was unravelling Glove #1. I should have taken a picture, but this was Saturday and I was kid-sitting (kind of hard to call it babysitting when they're 12) for Teri and not in proximity to my camera. That's also why the fingers are so short. I am not exaggerating that I have about three or four scraps of yarn about an inch long, and maybe one scrap about 3 inches long, and that's IT. I was proud of myself that I actually got a pair of somewhat matching fingerless gloves out of it. At any rate, sorry, K - your gloves were originally intended to be a lot more visually interesting...

The thing I'm least pleased about is how yucky a job I did picking up stitches from the cuff. I did half of a pair of fingerless gloves (in a much smaller gauge) for Joumana that I'm now redrawing because I figured out how to make them better after I completely finished one, and the garter stitch cuff on those was absolutely killer. These, not so much. But I'm including a note that if they are unsatisfactory, too big (K is a tall girl, but I modeled the gloves on my Hagrid-sized hands, so I fear they may be overkill), or she doesn't like the color, she is to pass them one desk forward to the sweet and probably also-freezing guy that sits in front of her and send me specs for a new pair.

I must say, after the marathon baby blanket, it's quite satisfying to have my next project done in less than a week, and have stash-busted leftover yarn to boot.

So... cheers, K - keep warm and I'm sorry it took me three years to knit a project that took less than six hours. :)

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Then you jump to the left...

First off, for The Other Jo, the reasons I don't blog much anymore:

A)I have very little to say that's interesting - currently, I even bore myself. Working on fixing this.

B) I find it hard to stick to one subject.

C) My level of social anxiety is bouncing off the chart. If I write about anything other than, say, knitting, (for instance, religion, politics, etc.), then I am bound to get some flak - after all, I dish out the flak on other people's blogs. But I don't want any flak. I'm pink and squishy and vulnerable and fluffy.

D) What gets posted on the Internet, stays on the Internet. And, unlike in Vegas, that's not a good thing.

E) I'm out of practice. This, I realize, is a circular argument. Maybe I'll work on that, too.

F) OK, it's true - I'm still, after all this time, feeling a bit discombobulated. And I'm not like some people who can turn their misery into marketing hilarity. Maybe I should work on that, too. In the meantime, trust me, I'm sparing you.

G) I really hate the layout of my blog, and I haven't had the time or motivation to dissect it and put it back together. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

That said, it's been an interesting summer, but not much different from last year. The days since we moved here are sort of blurring together. It's hot, but not Oklahoma hot, so it seems like summer never really happened. In previous summers, "hot" meant standing in a puddle of my own sweat at the bus stop and wondering why I even bothered to put on makeup. Now "hot" means I just make the "it's hot" face until somebody turns on a fan.

Except for Stitch n' Pitch. THAT was hot. But not in a good way. Except for that one picture of Christine, and I'm holding that for ransom.

Harry Potter came out, was finished in about 6 hours, then finished again in another 12 around some naps, and discussed at length on The Leaky Cauldron's message board. When I say "at length," I mean I was gung-ho about the inevitable post-book literary dissection until the topic thread that most interested me dissolved into ruins despite my best efforts to plug my ears and go "Lalalalala, I can't hear you...". It went from a question about whether anyone else had noticed all the Christian themes in Book 7 to some shrill denial that there was any such taint of Christianity on their precious escapist fiction and an accusation that anybody who said so was "reading into things" (why yes, that is sort of the point of literary speculation) and then degenerated into completely off-topic and even more shrill pope-bashing and I had to wander off in dismay. Then, this week, I actually went not just home to visit but back to my former city of residence and employment and meeting of my spouse - to be honest, a place I thought I would never have sufficient excuse to visit again. The first thing out of the mouth of my photographer friend (or actually the second thing, after a harrowing update of his recent adventures in the hospital), was "I couldn't believe all the religious stuff in this recent Harry Potter book! What did you think?"

What did I think? I thought I wanted to kiss him, and I wished I had about four more hours to talk to him about the book. Three other people stopped me and wanted to chat about all things HP. Good times. I even flashed my dorky release party pics (and, yes, guys, I know I still need to post them - it's "on my list.")

I've had a couple of random contacts from back-in-the-day via MySpace and Facebook, which I'm really not into (no more than I'm into this blog) but keep up sort of like bait on a hook for a pole I've got propped up on a stick. I've gotten queries from people I haven't talked to in more than a decade (Egad, yes, I am that old now) that go "Hey, are you really DaniƩle from French class?" or "Aren't we supposed to be having a 10-year reunion?" to "This is (insert names of sweet but not-my-type gentlemen who once upon a time asked me out and were politely declined); how are you doing?" I hit pay dirt when I found out my former next-door neighbor from junior high was living here for a few months via her high-travel career. Yes, I got her addicted to the tea shop and managed to teach her to knit before she moved to Boston.

Also, not via Facebook, one of my favorite people came to visit us last month, and my credit card is still recovering. P and I went shopping and I played City Ambassador and did my best to try to get her to move here.

The Truth: I play City Ambassador because I somehow think that if I can get the people I miss to visit me, then the City will truly be as great as I make it out to be. But really? I'm ambivalent. I had an incredibly strong love-hate relationship with our previous digs (loved apartment, hated neighbors. Loved mountains, hated artillery fire at all hours of the night. Loved walking and taking the bus, hated narrowly missing having my head blown off in a drive-by shooting in broad daylight in a neighborhood full of old people. Loved certain aspects of my job, felt woefully incompetent at others. Loved many of my coworkers more than most of my family, probably could have gone to jail for messily disposing of some of the others. etc.) but I can't muster any strong feeling one way or the other about this town, even going on two years. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place - it just feels, still, like I'm visiting.

Now, part of is it that Something Happened (tm) about three months after I moved to the town I left that really snapped me awake, and I made a decision that if I could survive that I could survive anything, and I would do well to make the most of however many years I had to live in that town.

Here? Meh. Insert a picture of my fat grey cat sprawled out on the footrest of my recliner, yawning lavishly and showing off his bloated tonsils. Maybe I need for Something to Happen. Now, that's a scary thought. (And actually, a rather lesser, but still awful Something did happen last summer, and I thought surely if I survive this I can use it as a catalyst for a self-inflicted motivational butt-kicking, but no such luck. I guess it's back to the lab for me).

Also, I've been Making Stuff. Below is a blanket for a boy baby who was born to a coworker/knitter friend the day after I finished. Whew.

Yes, it's a mitered square done from the outside in, like the blanket I made a couple of posts ago, only to change it up I left strategically placed holes, in which I later picked up stitches to make more mitered squares.

I also made this:

If you can't see it, which you probably can't, it's a lacy baby blanket made out of some $3 cotton and acrylic blend I got from Misknits. It knit up beautifully, but I had to do it in such a hurry and in such long stretches that I have reactivated a repetitive stress injury and my left hand tingles constantly. So, no knitting (or at least, lesser knitting) for awhile.
The blanket is for J, who is six months old and finishing up her inaugural tour of the U.S. to go back to Brazil. I think she liked the blankie, but it was hard to tell because she was just waking up from a nap:

The side panels are supposed to symbolize a wheat field. J's dad and I and our respective siblings grew up in what used to be part of our grandparents' wheat field. The top panel is supposed to be the house I grew up in and the bottom panel is a castle because, yes, J's dad and aunts grew up in a castle in the middle of a wheatfield. The hearts are to symbolize her stateside family. I hope that when she's older she will see it as a connection to us - I know very little about the way my dad and his siblings grew up in Wyoming, since I grew up around my mother's family in Oklahoma, and I always felt like I missed out by not knowing very much about what made my dad who he is.

My husband, on the other hand, got a first-hand experience of my childhood. While I was at a baby shower for Helen's impending baby sister, my dad bribed the spouse with a round of frisbee golf, and then made him mow the lawn:

Did I mention the lawn in question is 3 acres and includes a water garden, trees, and lots of other interesting obstacles? (Although, thankfully, it is missing the clothesline that nearly decapitated me on several occasions when I was but a wee lawn gnome puttering around on the big tractor wearing my dorky yellow visor)

Also, as mentioned above, we got to see a lot of people we hadn't seen for a long time, and also spend a lot more quality time with people who usually just get drive-by coffee visits. This was, all in all, a positive thing, but I find myself solidly bummed out upon returning. A lot of my identity was tied up in my work before and it just isn't anymore, partly because it's so hard to explain to people what I do for a living that I don't get a neat little label, and partly because...
... well, this has already been a Russian novel of an update, hasn't it.

Suffice it to say, I saw a lot of people that I knew I missed but had forgotten how acutely (Aubrey, if you're reading this, I'm talking about YOU), and I am none too good at goodbyes, or at hellos that are going to lead rather shortly into goodbyes. My reaction to meeting people I have been dying to see for ages is apparently to get lightheaded and nervous, jabber like I have Tourette's syndrome until it's time to go home, and then realize all the important things I wanted to ask just never came out of my mouth.

Um... I guess I need to work on that, too.

After that stirring bit of navel-gazing, and since I don't have any puppies with which to distract, I'll leave you with this: She's awfully cute, even when not swathed in my labor-intensive work of art:

'Til next time (and yes, Jo,, that will be before you retire).