Drapey Knit Scarf

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I thought about titling this post something profound-like “The Prodigal”.  I contemplated going into detail about why it’s been almost a year since I posted here.  I considered it, but then I thought, “You know what? Nobody really cares. If they missed me, they’ll just be glad to see me again.  If they’re new-they didn’t know to miss me.” Clarity at last.  So then I thought about the last 10 months or so – all the things I’ve done, places I’ve been.  What am I really most proud of?  Easy! I’m most proud that I finished this.  This DK yarn on small needles drapey knit scarf.  I did it.  It took me over three grindingly boring months, but I did it!  Yay me!

knit-scarf-cashmerino3I can’t tell you the origin of the pattern.  I found it in a local yarn store.  They had made copies on plain white paper with no picture.  Just a few lines of instruction and the title “Drapey Knit Scarf”.  They had an example laying next to it, and I thought  “I can do this.”  So it began. Three skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and a desire to see it through to the end.

I would go for weeks without touching it.  I finished several other projects along the way.  There were times when I thought it would probably be the last item I would ever knit.  I just don’t seem to have the attention span for something I seem to do so slowly!  Even after I finished it, it took me about three weeks to make myself block it. But you know what?  I like it.  I think it’s awesome.  Completely by accident, it’s my daughter’s school color-a delightful and unexpected bonus. Yes, I like this drapey knit scarf.  I like it very much.

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Shades of Summer

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What colors speak to you in summer tones?  I see summer in shades of the sea. I’m not sure why.  I live in a place far from the shore where humidity hangs heavy in the 100 degree heat. It seems more probable that my summer palette might be something more akin to orange and red, but it’s not.  Cool blues and greens define summer to me.

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I couldn’t pick between a scarf and a shawl.  So why not both?  Maybe calling it a “wrap” is more apt?

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I used Catania again.  Clearly, we’re in a relationship.  I just love the stitch definition that comes from mercerized cotton, and the array of colors available with Catania allow me to indulge in color play.

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I’ve struggled creatively over the last several months.  Sometimes, when you feel stretched, it’s difficult to indulge yourself in pursuits that require additional self-discipline. Luckily, this pattern and I are old friends, and we were in no hurry.

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Scrub-a-dub dub, baby!

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Mundane?  Yes.  

Plain?  Never! 

Wash-Cloth-Stack-2No two are alike.  No, it’s true.  I love the juicy enthusiasm of that orange cotton.  I love it so much that I couldn’t stop with just one- so the second one was a little different.  More knit stitch-less garter.  It jacked my stack.  The negative impact to the glorious uniformity I sought is a little painful for me to behold…but that’s life isn’t it.  Sometimes you have to let go of uniform perfection and just follow your bliss.  And if bliss takes the form of chain knitting seven different painfully  simple dish cloths because your brain is fried and you just can’t deal with any more decisions-even if that decision is simply what to make next?  Well, so be it.

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They’re pretty and I love them.  Not only are they pretty, but they really are better than your run of the mill terry dish cloth.  They do a bang up job.  I know this isn’t exactly a newsflash for  anyone, but you know how it is.  You read lots of stuff about how old school domestic products really are better, you try a few, and then you face facts that although you may feel better about them, they don’t actually work better.  You know what I mean?  If we’re honest with ourselves, we know Mr. Clean Tub and Tile really does work better than vinegar or baking soda or bleach water.  It is what it is.  But these sweet babies put our old dish cloth to shame!

Scrub-a-dub dub, baby!

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RIP Catniss…

Catniss passed away today, leaving a soul-sister, Buffy the Buff Orpington.

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Cause of death is unknown, the family speculates that her heart couldn’t take the stress of her first molt.  She always had a weak constitution and was prone to inexplicable seizures.

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Catniss the Chicken- A freakier chicken there never was…

March 2012-May 20, 2013

Rest in Peace

The Call of the Wild

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What a great book!  It reinforced some universal truths:  1)  Dogs are awesome!  2)  Men (people) possess great capacity for cruelty and  3)  You can tell a lot about a person based on the way they treat animals.

Seriously, who wouldn’t love this Dog? Look at that face!

BuckBuck-our main character (the dog) finds himself on a great (harrowing) adventure to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush.  It makes for an exciting story.  You know what else makes for a great story?  This guy…

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Jack London was an interesting guy.  I have a feeling that Buck the dog was somewhat autobiographical.  Buck was a dog’s dog.  And Jack was a man’s man. He was a man’s man with a resume that included work in a cannery, the California Fish Patrol, Oyster Pirating, his own stint in the Klondike gold rush, and gentleman rancher-all on top of a prolific literary career.

And like all the other gentlemen I’ve read during this little project, his private life was a fascinating mess!  His first marriage was to Elizabeth “Bessie” Madden.  He and Bessie were never in love, but they were great friends.  Marriage took care of that. Within 4 years, they divorced.  Apparently Bessie didn’t approve of London’s “shenanigans” and wouldn’t let him near her when her would come home after an absence.  She was scared he’d bring home VD. Jack apparently felt that was a bit unfair,  but within a year of divorcing Bessie, he married Charmian Kittredge, “his soul mate and perfect match”.  Per Wikipedia,

” In broad outline, London was restless in his marriage; sought extramarital sexual affairs; and found, in Charmian Kittredge, not only a sexually active and adventurous partner, but his future life-companion.”

Nice.

The jury seems to be out with regard to London’s death.  It’s been a popularly held belief that he committed suicide.  Most biographers now agree, however,  he died of uremia aggravated by an accidental morphine overdose.  Whatever the circumstances, London died November 22, 1916 at the age of 40.

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Jack London wrote about the harsh realities of nature.  His language was visceral and brutal, but also beautifully written.  This was a good book, and I have to say, Buck the dog is my favorite main character to-date from my New Year’s Resolution books.  I liked Buck.  I liked him very much.

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The Eternal Optimism of Spring

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Spring! Despite the fact that I live in a climate that really has only two discernible seasons, I love Spring! My love overcomes the adversity of the blizzard of pollen that coats every surface including your teeth if you open your mouth at the wrong time. How can you not love the blooms of spring?

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Spring is that golden time in the garden where nothing has really gone wrong yet. You labor, and your labor is rewarded by restored order and new life.

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I am committed-I repeat-committed (!) that this will not be a repeat of last year (or what I like to call “The Year of the Fungus”).

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We shall overcome! We shall overcome the beetles, slugs, black spot, powdery mildew, blight, fire ants, birds, squirrels, moles, and dogs! We shall overcome and we won’t spend a thousand dollars doing it. We will be thrifty and the garden will be lush and organic.

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And after we accomplish these things, we’ll actually go outside and enjoy it …instead of retreating to the realm of air conditioning and tv.

Ahhh, the eternal optimism of Spring… ;)