Sunday, March 30, 2008


Enough about Henry (for the time being). He's doing fine. Let's talk about socks today.

I've finished another pair of socks in KnitPicks Essential, using Ann Budd's toe-up pattern plus a seed stitch rib from More Sensational Socks. It took me longer than previous pairs since I've started production knitting for StellaPop again, which does cut into my sock-knitting time. Also, socks are my carry along project on my day out when I'm teaching at ASB (lunch time knitting) but because of the garden work going on, I missed a couple of lunchtimes.

Joan has become interested in sock knitting, so we made a trip to loop to get her sock yarn (and of course I had to pick some up, too, yarn whore that I am). Armed with Ann Budd's toe-up article, complete with step-by-step instructions and charts, Joan got started. The other day, she asked for help with the short-row heel, never having worked short-rows before and not quite knowing what they are or why she'd be using them. When I sat down with her, I realized that I hadn't really paid attention to the instructions, scanning instead of reading and retaining. So we did the short-row heel together, and now I know what I'm doing. And my heel does look better.

So now I can start another pair of socks since my obsession with them hasn't gone away. This pair will be with the Koigu that I got at loop--not sure of the pattern yet, but that shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

Yesterday, we went shopping for chairs for our new patio, and ended up getting some very comfortable ones at Ikea. I guess this means that I can sit out there under the tree with some iced tea and knit. What luxury!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Henry (again)

In the past week, we've brought Henry home from the vet to get rested and ready for his bladder surgery. Yesterday I took him back, he had his surgery (which went well), and this morning I picked him up.

I have to take him back in two weeks to have his sutures removed.
I think I'm going to look around and see if there are pet carriers with wheels.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


This is Henry. He is one of my cats. He followed Allie home five years ago, and is the biggest, sweetest, dumbest cat I've ever had. He now weighs 23 pounds and can, when he stands on his hind legs, put his front paws on the kitchen counter. We love him very much.

Henry is sick. Like so many other neutered male cats, he has urinary tract problems. Two years ago, he had his first blockage. Today, he developed his second. He is at the vet's right now, having been sedated, x-rayed and catheterized. It turns out he has, as the vet put it, "a sack of gravel" in his bladder. So next week, they will do surgery to remove the gravel, unless he re-blocks before that, in which case the surgery will happen sooner.

I love Henry. I want him to be better.

The Book Marches On

On Monday, my preview copy of my book arrived from lulu. I was very nervous about opening the package because I was so afraid of how disappointed I'd be when I saw how bad it all looked. But it looks very good. There are only two issues: the first will be easy for Michael to fix as it involves getting a full bleed on the covers and also on those interior pages that aren't white. The other issue is a bit more complicated: all the photos, interior and cover, printed very much darker than what I sent in. For instance, Siena's face is completely obscured by how dark the photo is. I have questions in to the tech people at lulu to see how this can be corrected. I am, of course, hoping that there is something that can be done at their end rather than my end. Work at my end will probably mean copying and brightening each photo. However, I've done so much work at this point, what's a little more?

I am now on Ravelry. This is Facebook for knitters. It is potentially so addictive it frightens me. I allow myself to visit Ravelry for only 5-10 minutes at a time (the trick is to keep the number of times a day that I visit down to only one or two).

What I'm finding interesting about Ravelry is that, in my notebook section, I can organize my stash. This is actually a good thing, because if I do actually organize my stash there, it means that I have to look at my bins of yarn and categorize them and think about them rather than just shutting my yarn in the closet and pretending that I really don't have that much. When of course I do have that much. Bins and bins of that much.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Blog To Read

What makes a blog one that gets read? Is it humor, dark or not? Is it the immediacy of life and death? Is it one that is filled with great information that teaches the reader? I'm curious, simply because I tend to read blogs that draw me like a gaper to an accident scene, the ones that are like watching train-wrecks happen. Yet I'm keeping one that either no one reads or no one cares to comment on. I guess I'm neither making poignant observations about (my) life or turning other knitters on to great techniques, yarns, shops, whatever. Who knows.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Progress on all fronts

I just re-read my last post, and I'd like to apologize for overusing the fbomb. Yes, it's a regular part of my speech, but I do tend to keep it more private.

So where do we stand almost a week later? The yard is progessing--much slate has been laid, and about half of the plumbing repairs have been done.

As for the book: we (Michael and I) spent the weekend putting together a new format that will be available through I've ordered a sample copy, and if it's all ok, then that's the avenue that I'll take. So I am, once again, in a hold pattern.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Brain Dead

I am exhausted, physically and mentally. Yesterday, I had a most unhappy conversation with my rep from the do-it-for-yourself publishing company: even though I sent in a very complete, comprehensive book dummy along with a letter spelling out what I wanted the book to look like, it was all pretty much disregarded. So now that I'm on round two of the galley corrections and I let them know that I want the font size to be the original size that I specified, they want $349.00 to change it. I don't fucking think so. I never asked them to enlarge the font size (which of course makes for a longer book which of course makes more money for them, so they think), and I also didn't okay weird spacings in the text.

So I've gone from being upset because I've worked so hard on the book, etc., etc., only to be ignored to being determined that I will find an outlet for this. And while I've been exploring online self publishing options and figuring out how to reconfigure my book, we're having extensive work done in our front and back gardens.

Keep in mind that living in downtown Philadelphia it is extremely unusual to have both a front garden and essentially a large back yard. Every 7-10 years we spring for having professional work done to bring things back to life and make our non-gardening lives more enjoyable. So all this has coincided--the book (which is major mental disruption) and the garden overhaul (which is major physical disruption). What it all means is that I am housebound while the workers are here--nice as they are, I'm not leaving my house open to people I don't know (and who all wants to wander in). Plus I have to catch and lock two of the cats in our bedroom with their food and litter and I get to listen to them pound on the door and scream all day. It is very wearing.

And then I have to answer questions from the contractor when that's the last thing I want to deal with. And the fact that our outdoor water pipe is broken. But the contractor can get it fixed. Just pile on the money. What the fuck.

So it is 8:15 at night and I am wrung out and have to get up early to deal with tomorrow's go-round of gardening. I know that when this is all over it will be great, but while it is happening, I am so fucking sorry I ever said let's do this.

But let's throw a little bit of knitting in here: I did finish the second hat for the Tops & Toes book so I'll be able to get those out to the publisher next week (if it should rain one day!).

Ah, life: if it isn't this, you're dead.