Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Done and Done

Blocked at 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Worn at 3 p.m.

Joe is right--there's nothing like knitting drama. And T-pins in the hotel carpet and plenty of Ramada towels.

I've been too tired to write, what with an almost 10-hour drive home Sunday through the unbelievable mess that is the metro DC area right now. And my daughter Jenn and boyfriend Norm had it even worse. They left at 4:30 Sunday afternoon and did not make it back to Jersey until 9 yesterday morning.

But the weather held up for the nuptials.

Here's one more picture of the shawl hanging over the four-poster at The Cedars--a fabulous B&B in Williamsburg.

You might notice that I only got 42 of the 104 edging rounds. In my book, that's not finishing the project. But the bride was happy and it got many compliments in the 90+ degree heat. I told her to take it off after the wedding ceremony. She did.

And although Liz forgot to pack her "special" shoes and had to wear flipflops under her dress, everything went off as planned.

Here are the Sisty Uglers. My girls. Two different coins but both pretty shiny.

And die ganze Familie.

From left: Leslie, Ken and Judy Snider, Liz, Mike, Corinne, Ma and Jenn

And I'm tired and glad to be home.

But most of all, my one thought was: I wish Corinne's dad had been there.

I think he was hiding under the gazebo's eaves. She done did good, Jimmy.

My rare and handy girl.

Back to fiber shit this weekend. And now to bed.

Addendum: The Cedars just put up all the wedding pictures so if you really want to swear off the Ambien, try this.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Writing is easy. You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds--Douglas Adams

You want to talk about supperating open sores? Mere bagatelles.

There's a bucket o' blood beneath my computer at work.

Only imagine trying to create coherent directions on how to burn a flash card using WinImage for those intrepid users who need to install mobile units, and you'll feel my pain.

I've been out of touch and out of my fucking mind. But I'm here, still writing.

And Still, It's the Melanie
Yepper, as they say in Pennsyltucky. I'm still at it and it's the only knitting I've been doing for how long? Three months? I'm on the border now, with 104 rounds + 4 plain at the end. Oh, and don't forget the "lacy cast-off."

I wasn't going to publish a picture until it was on Corinne's back but it's such a fetching little bag of lace, I thought, why not?

Here's the best detail shot I could manage, given that there are countless stitches now on a 29" circular needle.

The wedding is a week from today. I have done 20 rounds. Do the math. I'm fucked, right? Perhaps not. I have all day today and tomorrow to put my carpal tunnel syndrome into full-blown activity. Plus oddments of time from Monday through Thursday and all day Friday.

Please light a candle for me, say a Novena or a Nelson Mandela or whatever the fuck you believe in. Because this shawl will be finished, even if I block it the night before in the hotel.

I hate deadlines.

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Etsy Blacky Bunny Fibery Goodness
If you haven't bought any stuff from Black Bunny, Miss Carol's fine online yarn and fiber emporium, what's wrong with you? I couldn't wait any longer to spin some of the Pansy Corriedale-ish fiber that I bought from her and it was almost as good as sex with a dark-haired man. Heh.

I'm spinning it a bit heavier than I normally do so's I can get it to become fingering weight for a pair of socks. Haven't done a wpi yet. I needed a break from knitting the Melanie the other evening, so I decided to spin a bit. And with two full bobbins of the Emerald City, I need to spend some time plying that, as well. Not happening this week or next.

Presents of Mind
Here's why I love Ted, besides the fact that he's such an incredible knitter and spinner. He's a good friend who worries about me when I'm up to my neck in work and then sends me a little present to make me even crazier.

On the right is the new mohair that Sharon Miller is selling. I will definitely be taking this to Virginia next weekend to play with. Sharon gives you a miniature Orenburg shawl pattern with the samples.

Do ya think I've had enough lace? Nope, because soon I'll be starting the Wedding Ring shawl with Ted, Franklin and Loopy. This is not a knitalong. This is just four idiots who want to gnash their teeth in unison.

At the rate I'm going, it's unlikely that I will be knitting anything other than lace this year, socks excluded. Oh yeah, and probably that KnitPicks Fair Isle vest that Mammy gave me for my birthday. Compared to lace, Fair Isle is now a slight diversion.

Luddite? Me?
This past week, I was gifted with a Blackberry at work. Now, I ask you. Do I need this?

No. I already have a cell phone and I most certainly do not want to be available 24/7 to anyone, which is why I am known not to answer my cell phone if I don't know who the caller is.

Here's why I consider myself a Luddite. I hate techology, even though I work in the industry. I don't like the idea that people can call me any fucking time they want. I work for a company that provides systems for other companies to track their "mobile assets." I'm waiting for the time when people walk around with their own personal GPS systems on their bodies so that Big Brother knows where they are every minute.

I don't like this at all.

We can know where anyone is at any given time these days. And although I appreciate the benefits that I've gotten from being part of the problem, there are times when I'd be just as happy to not know what the latest technology is. Unfortunately, since I am a writer, the computer will always play some part in my life because I'm too fucking lazy to write longhand.

So there it is. I now own a cellphone, a Blackberry, a desktop, a laptop, a DVD player, an iPod, and a cordless phone. That's as far as I'm willing to take it, and perhaps further than I need to.

A cabin in the woods by a lake. With no phone, no TV, and perhaps just my iPod so I can listen to Telemann and Gilbert & Sullivan in peace.

Being a private person is rare and handy. And private I am, despite this blog.

Next post: Live next Saturday, from Williamsburg, VA. Wherein you will find out if I actually finished the Melanie.

Note to readers: There's been a minor coding problem. That is, your idiot blogger, while making some upgrades, managed to delete some code. I've now replaced it but the Haloscan comments, while still coded, are not showing up. So I will give the Blogger comments a go. We'll see how it goes. Could be Haloscan is having problems. Or not.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so fuckin' heroic.--George Carlin

I'm feeling like I've been pushed up through the concrete this week. And I do feel fuckin' heroic. And particularly cranky. Concrete will do that to ya.

Peeing into the Mainstream
Lately I've been wondering why I get so bored so easily with some things. And I had a revelation, perhaps of Biblical proportions.

Anything that becomes hugely popular becomes hugely homogenized and thus becomes a bore to me.

When everyone kisses the popular thing's ass, whatever it may be, I'm outta there. Because if it appeals to that many morons, it has already lost any uniqueness and is now Boiled-Down Common Denominator crap.

Which is why I read The AntiCraft on a regular basis, as opposed to some of the more "popular" blogs, which I don't bother with. I don't always like all the designs and ideas in The AntiCraft but I like their spirit. Of course, if you're a Bible-lugging, JesusChrist-kneebending, sweetness-and-light kind of person, you'll not be amused that they are Wiccans. I have a daughter who is a Wiccan, so I can dig it.

Check out their crafty idea for using broken doll pieces bought on eBay as garden planters. I think I see a Tiny Tears in my future.

Your writer is a woman who once fell in love with a ship model shaped like a fish. What can I say? I wish I owned it.

Wired Up
So I'm sitting at my computer last night and on top of the scanner, where many things reside, is that spool of fine silver wire that I bought at Habu two weeks ago.

Now, there's no worries about doing a gauge swatch with this shit, that's for sure. But I had to noodle around with it. It would appear that three stitches would be sufficient for a small bracelet for Ms. Liz.

This was a tough item to photograph, needless to say. The little beads on the cast-on end are the ones that I bought for this project. Small but just right. I stuck them on the end to see how they would look.

It was amazingly easy to work with this stuff. I was quite surprised. I chose an old #1 dp because A) I don't use it for anything and B) I wanted a small needle so that I could control the size of the loops. Obviously you don't need to do more than just an e-loop for a cast on. But then I decided to throw, or for lack of a better word, position, the yarn with my right hand rather than attempt any Continental nonsense.

My only concern with this wire is that it is almost too flexible, which may cause a problem when being worn, in that the stitches will lack any rigidity and their definition will get distorted with wear. However, adding beads will help.

Get me my Fucking Ruby Slippers, Tinman
Emerald City continues apace, even though I have very little time other than Saturday and Sunday mornings to spin.

Let's see what's behind Bobbin #1, Don Pardo.

This is what's on top. However, what's underneath is completely different.

I want to pack as much as I can on each bobbin. I'm like Joe--the more yardage I can get onto one skein, the better I like it.

Where Dat Book At?
I've been approached by not one but two publishers. That means that neither Franklin nor I need to go the self-publishing route. I'm not at liberty to say who, what or when but I will when I can. It's looking like Spring 2008, at this point. And that's fine because both Franklin and I are up to our earballs in making a living.

The bottom line is, I'm dumping a good deal of what I have already written. In part due to Franklin's honest assessment early in May (F, hope you don't mind if I quote you from that e-mail):

I was re-reading the ms. the other day and I had one thought.

I wish there was more Marilyn in it. Your life has been unusual, and fascinating, and you write about it so well. When you first mentioned the book I remember your working title was along the lines of "My Life in Knitting."

So...I was just wondering, will you be writing about your early knitting, and your Mom, and working in the mags, and such along with the knitting tips?

Because La Harlot just did her knitting tips book, and it's nice, but one thing she does not have is your life to write about. She is Everyknitter, and you are not, and I think that's one of the things that's wonderful about you.

He's right, insofar as there's a glut of knitting tips books out on the market and what do we need with my dollah-three-eighty? This was something that had been plaguing me while I was writing. I don't know that my life is that fucking fascinating but apparently at least one publisher does, as well. And concurred with Franklin's assessment.

So I was thinking, why not? So I'll write about my knitting life, throw in some patterns that mirror what I've knitted and learned along the way--how about a scarf made in my first Red Heart yarn? What a laugh!

Even if three people buy and read the book, that's really not the point. The point would be to leave a legacy for Liz and Ian and perhaps their children. So that they would have something of Gram that would stay with them always.

And what better reason to write a book? Certainly not to make personal appearances, that's for sure. Because for those of you who have met me at Rhinebeck and Stitches, you know I'm really not a public kind of person, other than writing this blog. I'm just me doing what I do. And to leave a book for the kids--now that's a rare and handy goal.