Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Turkey Mantra: Bite Me, Eat Me.

Best Quote I Heard All Day
The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.—Calvin Trillin

Not to denigrate my mother’s cooking skills but my brother and I often played games with “Leftovers Delight”, a gruesome dish that my mother created using leftover mystery meat, canned LeSeur peas, and canned potatoes. The gravy was a watery mishmash of bouillon and whatever juice the meat retained after a day’s refrigeration.

I remember Rich and I flinging peas at each other. Assassination via overcooked vegetables.

Aren’t you glad I wrote the above after the holiday? Jerry and I went to Scrappy’s for a fabulous dinner and then to his sister Pat’s for dessert, entertainment provided by his wonderful nieces Michelle aka Sheldon and Kelly. Michelle and I share the same birthday. She's studying at the Berkeley School of Music in Boston. The Sisty Uglers went their own ways, with Corinne, Liz, and Mike to his parents in Williamsburg, VA., and Jenn, Ian, and Norm staying home and cooking their own bird. Ma and BrĂ¼der Richard we at Scrappy’s too. Mammy’s doing quite well., although a bit washed out from her cancer treatments.

I’m spending this holiday weekend moving crap from PA to NJ, shoving in some knitting time, and getting the draft book outline pulled together. I found a reputable literary agent, one who will also serve well for non-knitting writing. Once I’ve finished “Knitting in Public”, I will move on to other writing. There’s only so far you can take writing about knitting, in my opinion. I’d rather reach a larger audience at some point. It would make for a good retirement job.

I’ve been toying about publishing a chapter here, to get feedback and hopefully constructive criticism. Authors should never evaluate their work. Depending upon how it goes with the book proposal submittal, I may do this.

Loopy’s Socks
One of my shove-it-down-my-throat projects is making these socks for Jerry’s nieces. I can complete one sock in about 6 hours or so. The glory of working with heavier yarn. These make terrific boot socks and I’ve been doing the sizing, so I expect to have a freebie pattern uploaded very soon for your knitting entertainment. The sizes will include children’s as well as women’s and men’s. Plain vanilla, nothing to them. So hardly a "design." One of the things I have in my head is to use the Raggi self-patterning for a hat design. I saw one done at Stix ‘n’ Stitches when I was there recently and have my own ideas for a funky but chic hat.

Where I’m going to find the fucking time to do all this shit is beyond me. I manage to shove 10 pounds of shit into a 5-pound bag quite well but there are days when I’d like to lie in the bathtub and read for an hour, thinking about nothing. Oh yeah, I forgot. I've done some spindling too, when I get bored knitting these socks.

I bought this Corriedale at the Garden State Sheep & Wool show, from a local producer. It spins like buttah. Of course, my wonderful Golding spindle helps a lot. This is one of my Russian hand-painted spindles.

More on Da Mags
Interesting discussion in the comments for the last post. I truly don’t have a problem with magazines recycling old material as long as it’s clear that there’s nothing new in the issue, which IK did in their editor's note. For one thing, the designers get a small fee for reprint if they sold their designs as First North American Serial Rights or First Rights. If they sold all rights, the magazine owns their design. The other advantage to these recycled issues is that many people like to have popular patterns gathered into one issue, particularly if they didn’t buy the original issue or book where the design appeared.

On the other hand, new is always the best, although in IK’s case, I would say that they may be better off recycling old stuff.

Step mentioned the Brit magazine The Knitter, which I had bought and forgot to mention. As close as I’ve been able to tell, it’s been around for more than a year. The magazine features top designers like Martin Storey, Louisa Harding, Erica Knight. I bought mine at Barnes & Noble, if I recall correctly.

That’s the word I use for my world. I don’t live in reality, I live in fiberality. Despite the hectic work schedule, I’ve managed to get some spinning done. One of the projects I set forth for myself was to spin a heavier single. It may seem to novice spinners that spinning thin is difficult. It’s not. What’s difficult is to be able to flip between thin and thick. Brain retraining is required. Or perhaps brain regression.

I’ve always followed Mabel Ross’s advice: Measure and count. This is key. The rotation of the wheel matched with the draft makes for consistent spinning. So when spinning thicker, I had to readjust my rotation count and align it with drafting more fibers into the twist. It took me several minutes but here’s the result.

Here's some laceweight silk I've been spinning, the Chasing Rainbows I bought at Rhinebeck.

I am now confident that I can spin whatever I want. I spin what I like to knit, as a rule. But with weaving as another option, I’d like to spin some heavier, more interesting weft yarns.

I’m hoping to talk Sheila into moving towards selling spinning fibers and spindles in her shop. I’ve offered to teach a beginner’s class to get her going. Haven’t taught in a while but I do love to teach. Even working as a software trainer was fun. I make sure I leave ‘em laughin’. And knowing WTF they’re doing.

So, mes petite choux (that’s French for “my little cabbages”), time to get back to Jerry, who’s watching TV. Five days off, albeit moving crap most of the time. And then this coming Friday, Jerry’s having same-day surgery on his shoulder. Old war injury, so to speak. Well, actually an old touch football injury. So I will be playing Nancy Nurse. Now I ask you, is that not the most rare and handy role I could possibly play? Or perhaps it will be more like Nurse Ratchet.

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