Still wit ya….

Where the heck, you may wonder, have I been? Not blogging for 10 days! Geez louise! Sorry ’bout that – for a time life did intervene and then for a time the computer from which I usually blog decided to get colicky on me and required a little burping from the computer folks in Bawlmer. So… I had to borrow one of my kids’ laptops to get pics up and then onto this (family desktop) computer. Snorrrrrrr – oh sorry, let me wake you up now…
I cannot believe it’s the 4th of July weekend here in Merlin, USA. Normally Global Warming hath reared its ugly head to give us the usual weekend of hellish roasting, but today was just an amazingly beautiful day – with warm balmy breezes, shineshine and birds tweeting and dear running about in the back yard. Ahhhhh. This evening John and I sat outside on the back deck, sipping our respective glasses of wine and enjoying the scenery. I think there is just such a deck in heaven – I raised a toast in salute to those who have passed before us.
Speaking of those who have gone before us – for those of you in the U.S. who read this, Happy Independence Day:)! And for those of you in countries where you cannot enjoy the freedoms that many of us here in the US, Canada, Europe and elsewhere enjoy, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you – especially for you in Iran who are struggling for your freedoms! Please don’t anybody think this doesn’t mean we in America don’t have a long way to go in making sure all of our citizens have the freedoms originally only granted to straight land-owning white men! I’m grateful that for the most part we can fight that fight here with far less worry of bloodshed than in many other places. I’m still holding out for socialized medicine and legal services (only fair since I am an attorney!).
I have been doing a LOT of knitting lately – and I am about to start yet another project after having added approximately three more to my list. On Ravelry, it looks as though I have 72 (soon to be 73) projects. But really, I don’t. I have actually finished 37 of them, so I only have 35 (soon to be 36) on the needles. And at least three of them are fairly close to completion – those three being the Daily Sweater from Mason-Dixon Knitting’s latest book, February Lady Sweater, and well, I’m about 1/2 way done with Sandrine (well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
I have a confession to make: spinning really scares me. It looks too easy, and something inside tells me it’s really really hard and just pretends to be easy to suck you into its clutches. You may remember that a while back, I got a drop spindle to practice on. I bought a book – Knitting in the Old Way. I even tried spinning some pencil roving to dip my proverbial big toe into the cold teaming water, and got the equivalent of the big kindergarten jumbo crayons in fiber out of it. Then I thought I’d try to spin a bit of regular roving.
Cloverhill Yarn Shop in Catonsville, Merlin has a lovely selection of roving – and it was majorly on sale as my daughters would say – $2/oz – precarded, cleaned and dyed – not bad! So, I thought, why not give it a shot. I still have trouble with the pre-drafting thing. I think you’re supposed to do that with a drop spindle. So I drafted a bunch of it (at least I think I did – I copied what some people were doing on YouTube, LOL) and actually didn’t do too badly. The one thing I have a lot of trouble with is making the dang thing spin, so it tends to go slowly. Rolling it up the leg does not work for one who is thunderous of thigh…. Now I have to
finish spinning this stuff and safe up my toilet paper rolls for plying. Why, I don’t know – does one’s bowels and/or bladder need to be emptied before plying? Probably not, but I think that’s the way we non-wheelers do it. So now spinning is going to be my new adventure:)!
I’ve also begun three new lace projects (you know, just in case I find myself with time on my hands and nothing to do – RIGHT!) First, I am doing the Taurus Birthday Shawl from the KAL started by the Wollklabauter herself, Monika Eckert. Links for this can be found on Ravelry here. I’m knitting it on size 5 (US)/3.75 needles with Pakucho lace cotton in deep green (more of an olive green). So far it’s going pretty well – of course each hint adds more and more stitches until I think we will be at well over 500 stitches per row -but I’m doing the triangle version, so by the time I get to the really really high numbers I’ll be heading toward the end.
I have finally found a use for this lovely cotton yarn I bought at the 2007 Merlin Sheep and Wool Festival – it’s cotton yarn, handspun, by a lady from Silver Spring, Merlin, named Janet Stollwitz. The yarn at first is hard to work with, the colors are fantastic, but it feels like it’s about to break in your hands. But it hasn’t and so far, it’s working well with this pattern. I chose to do Gnarled Oakwoods by Anne Hanson of fame. This pattern was featured in the premier issue (Fall, 2008) of The Twist Collective and I liked it right away, got the pattern and then filed it away for another day. I’m looking forward to finishing this sometime in the next year:) (Hey folks, I didn’t say I was a particularly swift knitter!)
Here’s the third new project on the needles:
Who can resist a bit of Jojoland Melody – and in my favorite colors to use together (other than a variety of blues)? Purple and green really complement my new Black’s Law Dictionary. And boy do I feel old – this is the 9th edition. I started law school with the 5th edition (but then a fifth was something I needed many of in law school, LOL). The original edition was published in 1891 – so now you know how truly old I am!
I’ve been moving right along on the Sandrine-probably because it’s such a beautiful red and the pattern just fascinates the heck out of me – plus if I really really pay attention and finish this well, I may have something nice to wear to work occasionally – or if not, it will be a terrific spring weather sweater. If I work on it tonight, I’ll be close to the point of dividing off the sleeve stitches – instant relief from the 439 stitches that will be on the circular! (Thank God for circular needles!)
If I don’t work on the Sandrine tonight, I’m going to be starting on this:

This is the lovely and versatile Aestlight Shawl by Gudrun Johnston. This is it as pictured on the Ravelry site and on her blog.

A simple and elegant triangular shaped shawl, I think I will enjoy making this most of all – and I think this one will be for me (why not?). It’s supposed to be in fingering weight yarn (the pictured finished shawl uses Malabrigo, which I imagine is lovely), but I think I’m going to use two strands of laceweight yarn togther from my stash – probably one of the many beauties from Knitpicks (I have probably enough of their Shadow) or some of the beautiful Fiddlesticks lace yarns I have picked up over the past year at All About Yarn in Columbia . It’s fun to go stash diving! None of the guilt and twice the fun!

Day to day life has gone on. I still struggle with weight and exercise, and I will need to give the doc a call so I can start this time to document (not that this hasn’t been done already, LOL!!!) six months of weight loss under the care of a doc. I must do this for my insurance to allow the bypass surgery. That’s OK. I’ve waited this long, I can wait six more months. One good thing: John and I have joined the local Y so that we will have a place for regular exercise (and swimming, which I love). I have not started there yet – holiday weekend and summer time is fairly busy and I’d like to go at an odd hour as I am getting started. Hearing of Colin’s faithful routine despite a crippling illness has inspired me to get going. He looks MAHVELOUS after a weight loss of over 100 pounds. The clothes he wears are stunning! As I say, he is an inspiration to me in more ways than one!

In the meantime, I have been working, knitting, and living life. We have had the grandgirls over to help with summer daycare. Luckily John and my schedules have allowed it without us having to take off time from work. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of singing with a small group from the choir Thomas Tallis’ If Ye Love Me and this time I sang the BASS part with Dave B, since Nancy had the soprano part covered, Susan F and Peggy B (Dave’s wife) had alto, and Drew C has a very strong tenor voice. This was a first. Luckily the range (tessitura) of the piece is relatively small. I was surprised to find that I was able to reach (on occasion) the C below middle C! And I haven’t had a cigarette in years! I’m afraid one day my vocal chords will just pop and that will be the end of any sound out of me for the rest of my days. My kids would like that!

Yesterday, after giving the housework a lick and a promise (yeah right!), I went over to the music office at St. Johns to give Nancy a small amount of help with the bell choir music. It’s always fascinating to peer inside the work of someone like her – in a job I could never do if I tried for the rest of my life. We did a lot of talking and laughing – about family, politics, music, friends – that it was almost 7 when I got home. Oops! Oh well, I usually don’t go out too much…well not lately anyway!

Next week I have a lot to get done in a short amount of time since I hope to be leaving for NYC on Thursday. Maureen is going to her sister’s wedding in Canada and that will be too much travel for Dad, so John and I are going to stay with him to keep him company and hopefully not bore him too much! Definitely bringing knitting along!

Well, not much more to say today. I will return, good Lord willing, etc., until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!


Published by fuguestateknits

Wife of one, mother of six, Grammy to eight (so far) and lawyer for many young persons, I love to sing, read, knit and walk. My politics are somewhat left of Marx and I want to hear what you think, too!

One thought on “Still wit ya….

  1. Word on the swimming…it’s great exercise, but being in the cold water can increase your post exercise appetite. Just want to you be prepared. I love swimming too.

    Word on the spinning…it’s just wool woman! No right, no wrong, just stuff you like and stuff you don’t. How much time do you spend practicing your music? Probably as much time as I spent learning ballet. You just gotta work with the fiber…kick its crimpy booty.

    Sorry this is 1) late and 2) bossy. My feed reader doesn’t like your url and I’m just bossy.

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