Monday, February 05, 2007

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Sorrow is one of the vibrations that proves the fact of living--Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Every year for the past five years, on January 31 I take time to remember and celebrate my late husband's life. Each year, it becomes more of a celebratory occasion and less of a mournful one. This year, it was not mournful at all.

Landmarks in one's life can be a help or a hindrance. I choose to make the date of the worst day of my life a time for reassessment. And as Bette Davis said, "You know what I'm going to have on my gravestone? 'She did it the hard way.' " Five years, three moves, three jobs. Jesus. However, I think it was to be expected that without the one person in my life who was truly the stabilizer, I would be a bit storm-tossed.

Nevertheless, each January 31, I do an Ed Koch "How'm I doin'?" to the ethereal Jimmy and I can hear his voice in my head saying, "Not bad, babe. Hang in there. I'm with ya." This year, I didn't have much time to meditate--I was involved in a series of telephone interviews for yet another new job as a tech writer. (Which I got, incidentally. The telecommuting job.)

But this year Jimmy sez, "The worst is over. So get yer ass in gear and keep on keepin' on." Thanks, J. I will. Life is good.

Gansey Fancy

I'm a knittin' fool this week. Got the first gansey sock finished and the second is almost done.

It was a bugger to photograph properly. I think I need to call in brother Rich, the once and perhaps future photographer, to give me some advice on lighting. Getting the patterns to stand out is tough. You want shadows to delineate the raised stitches but not too much.

Here's a detail of the leg:

A bit better. I made yet more minor adjustments to the pattern, in particular the wave design above the heel, which now goes in one direction rather than mirroring itself. So the charts are done, the sizing is done (women's 7-8 and 9-10), and all I need to do is put those elements together as a package, along with a decent photo. Sheesh, you guys, it's a lot of work.

The key to sizing was to keep the two large motifs on the leg and use smaller ones on the instep. The larger motifs could not be properly centered on the instep, given that size 7-8 has 28 stitches on the instep and the motifs are 8-stitch repeats. So the smaller ones, although also 8-stitch repeats, can be stopped after 4 stitches and still look finished, rather than cut off. Capisce?

My brain hurts.

Mid-winter Catalogs
Glad to know that the rash of catalogs has started up again. It may be fucking frigidly cold here in the Northeast but as far as retailers are concerned, it's spring. I live for the trash that I get in my mailbox. Most of it placed in the circular file.

This week, I got Patternworks's Spring catalog, which I found totally uninteresting, and Woodland Woolworks's Spinning and Weaving catalog, which I found completely absorbing. (For some reason this morning, WW's website is inaccessible. So Google it because I don't want to give you a link that doesn't work.)

Woodland Woolworks not only carries virtually everything--wheels, tools, books, fibers--that a spinner could want, including a lot of Chasing Rainbows, but it's packed with very good information for spinners. If you're a novice spinner, you'll appreciate these, not to mention the fun of looking at all the different wheels.

Twice-A-Week Dosage
It's my plan to rev up the blog entries from once a week to twice a week. This means shorter entries but WTF. I didn't post yesterday because I was busy doing my income tax return and filling out paperwork for the new job. And then I get an e-mail from Ted asking if I'm OK because I didn't post. Heh. Yeah, I'm fine but I needed to know how much I was getting back. Plenty. Enough to do some damage with, I suppose.

So look for an entry around Thursday. Wednesday I must make a lunchtime trek to see Mammy, with the Queen of Chaos, the one and only Ms. Karen Roth, Sissy Extraordinaire, coming along for maximum fun. Three crabapples, so rare and handy. But Ma trumps us all.

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