November 2006


Thanksgiving in Detroit was great. There was, in no particular order –

  • consumption of large amounts of yummy turkey, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes drenched in artery-clogging gravy. Yum!
  • good company and conversation. Much laughter and food for thought.
  • fierce Jenga that got up to 34 veering-on-collapse levels (picture ganked from Okee). Observe the ham beside the Jenga tower.

jenga

  • freakishly warm weather for November in Detroit. Temperatures in the 60’s!
  • required and much anticipated visit to King’s, four glorious stories of used books, rare books, beautiful books.

    kings

    The store front looks old and decrepit, but hey, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, right?

    pretty huh

    Here’s a page from one of the books I got from there (thanks Nana!). Grimm’s Fairy Tales, beautiful and two bucks yo!

  • requisite visit to local yarn store. The store’s not very big, but it had a good selection of floofy and non-floofy yarn. Requisite loot from yarn store –

    loot

    a couple of squishy skeins of Cherry Tree Hill supersock yarn in a variegated purpley shade (again! I am entering a purple phase right now), probably destined for the ubiquitous Clap or some sort of wrap. And Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush, because I am sock besotted.

  • not a lot of actual knitting, because, see above.

Well, I’m off to Detroit to eat my weight in turkey.  For someone who didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, I’m inordinately excited 🙂

My mom passed away twenty years ago yesterday.  Um, yeah.  Her death anniversary always makes me a little mopey.   And sappy.

My mother’s name was Eleanor. I am told I look remarkably like her, although I hope the comparison is based on how she looked when she was alive and in excellent health. My mother was very nurturing. She would be the first person to turn to in a any sort of crisis. To this day, I still meet people who remember her as one of the nicest, kindest people they had ever known.

There are certain rules to be observed when writing about our parents. Especially dead ones. We can only describe them as transparent figures with golden haloes, smiling down at us from heaven, large flag billowing in the breeze optional, just before the end credits roll. No embellishment here: I loved my mother. She did such a good job at raising me to be my own person, I ended up doing pretty much the opposite of what she wanted.

Death by illness is really most hateful. It is nothing like Homer, the Old Testament, and Tolkien led me to expect. It is not noble and awe-inspiring. No one delivers a final soliloquy. It is as abrupt and banal as the flicking of a switch. The squiggly line on the monitor straightens out, the defibrillator doesn’t even go whomp, the epinephrine is useless, the breathing becomes shallower and shallower, and even before the doctor pronounces the words, you know. It just sort of feels empty.

I am alive. Barely. Yesterday was spent trying to unstuff my nose and keep food down. Sigh.

Anyway, here’s the product of my little indiscretion from one-at-a-time projects. Modeled by the Mouse. He’s so chipper in the morning.

mouse scarf

Pattern: the super popular My So Called Scarf
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay #107 Sage (actually variegated purples to magentas), about 1.5 balls. Size 11 straights.

stitch detailHere’s a picture of the herringbone stitch detail. The color here is a pretty close match to the real deal. This was a fun pattern to knit, although it got a little boring towards the end. I ended up with a scarf that was about 70 inches long, long enough to loop around my neck twice. The pattern is basically a two row repeat with interesting results. Amazing what can be done from a knit and a purl. The color variations and thick and thin yarniness of the Manos lends itself very well to the pattern. Plus, it feels really soft. Yay!

I never thought I’d say this given the fact that when I first started knitting not too long ago, I never knitted on anything smaller than 8’s, but knitting with the size 11 needles actually felt like knitting with big ol’ logs sometimes. My perspective has become skewed!

I had yarn leftover from the project so I also made this –

hat

I’m usually not one to make matchy-matchy stuff but Manos! Had to use it up! The pattern was pretty much made up. Cast on 90 stitches and k2 p3 ribbing on size 8 dpns. I just kept trying it on until it covered my ears and then started decreasing. Without so much as working out the math first. Chalk that up to me trying to keep my Type A tendencies in check. Of course, the decreases aren’t even. Who cares? Variegated thick and thin yarn, very forgiving. Uneven decreases near top of noggin, who’s gonna look? Take a vacation Type A!


The past few weeks have been insane. A few highlights –

  • Super last minute Halloween powwow with Amy, Kelly, Rob and Rob’s friend Mike. So last minute that all I managed to do was dress up in my trusty aikido gi. Shredded knees and all. Amy has proof! We ended up at Numbers on Westheimer, where a costume contest was in full swing. There was the usual assortment of mildly offensive, slutty, amusing, and creative costumes. The girl who won the costume contest was dressed as Sally from Nightmare before Christmas, complete with yarn-y hair.
  • Work drama! Nothing much I want to say here except that it is quite stressful and the chips on some people’s shoulders are probably the only reason why they’re walking erect.
  • The not-so-secret project and I are On a Break. Nothing to worry about. We just needed some time apart.

    purpley-icious

    Here’s what it looked like the last time we saw each other.

    happier times

    Here we are during happier times.

    To ease my pain, I began an amorous love affair with this. He came on to me, I swear!

    manos

    The byproduct of this short, intense affair looks like this – it’s blocking, so better pictures will have to wait.

    so called detail

  • It looks like I will be moving. To Pennsylvania! A good opportunity to teach and pursue some clinical stuff presented itself, so I am making a go of it. It seems more real now that I’ve told a few people. I am excited. And kind of nervous and anxious as well. Self-doubt is a hard animal to tame. The new job is supposed to start in January. Tons of stuff to do before the move. Let the procrastination commence!