You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2009.

Just how pig headed am I? Knitting the same damn neckband 7 times pigheaded. I didn’t mean to do it. I just kept insisting that I knew better than the pattern. So I tried it this way and I tired it that way, and then this other way, and…well…you get the picture. Each and every way was progressively more convoluted than the last.

It crazy but true. The pattern was right. I just didn’t trust it. When will I ever learn.

My world, when not filled with wool eating moths, is filled with a lot of love. Today it’s seeping out from under the door frames and leaking out of my pores. This wasn’t a given. My childhood was full of dark and scary places, depression and self destructive behavior. And that’s just the first 3 years. When I mention my chldhood I feel like there should be some hideous scream or scary ghost noise that comes after it. Just like the horse neigh everytime they say Frau Bluher in “Young Frankenstein”. My childhood …Ooooh… OOHHH… BOO! You get the picture. All kidding aside, this was not a given that I would find myself at this place. The Loooove Shack.

19 years ago I discovered that I was pregnant. That’s when my pilgrimage to the Love Shack began. While it hasn’t made me a saint (yet), it opened my eyes to what was out there, waiting, if we were willing to love without worrying about what came back. I fully believe that my mother loves me in what ever way it is that she has available. She’s given me some valuable insights – mostly of the what NOT to do variety. We are acquaintances, not friends. I don’t ask her about how things are done, because I don’t like the answers.

It’s different for my kids. They ask me about stuff, and tell me about stuff more than I ever expected. And we can have such good conversations, and it’s fun.

It just gets better from there. After 18 years of heads down kid raising I’m getting out again, I love the people I am meeting and the things I am doing to keep busy.

Then there is Wonder Sweetie. What do you say about someone who is such an important part of your world? I’m not sure I even have words for it.

So tomorrow I’ll go to Oregon Flock and Fiber Fesitval in Canby with people I love, and hang out with stuff that I love (wooly goodness) and smile like an idiot the whole time, because I feel like I fell face first into a pile of wonderful and I’m not inclined to back out of the pile. Excuse me while I just roll around in it.

Sideways Spencer is complete and today I should be taking pictures of me wearing it. Sadly she’s been torn from me and carted off to the dry cleaners. Another victim of the great Wool Moth wars of ’09. I feel as though I’ve lost my suitcase on a long trip. Every single one of my favorite sweaters, my socks, scarves, shawls etc. It’s not a feeling I like.

The rest of my stuff is now in the kill box being permeated by horrible chemicals as we speak. We’ve rigged up the kill box. By we, I mean me and Wonder Sweetie. He and I are two of the most chemical averse people on the planet. But the cleaning bill looms and threatens to be just a hair south of the projected US trade deficit for 2009. I’m thinking a couple billion at least.

So into the kill box, a large plastic tote with a Hot Shot No Pest strip inside, they went. Wool pants and skirts, jackets, coats, commercially prepared wool socks, scarves and the like. This was recommended by Judith McCuin McKenzie in her book “The Intentional Spinner”. She saves it as a last resort. Wonder Sweetie has been an absolute peach. I love how we just put our heads together and come up with a plan. Even when it is a plan involving toxic chemicals.

World Wide Spin in Public day was short but sweet. I really enjoyed the company and Tami has wrangled us some crazy good swag! I’m still poking through the bag (all safely packed in plastic!!) looking forward to spinning some of these fibers once I feel I’ve disinfected the house long enough to take the new stuff out.

Yeah I needed this like a hole in my head. My mother sent some lovely cashmere sweaters to the house for my daughter and I. Come to find out that they have a minor wool moth infestation.

Do you have any idea how much wool is in this house? There is a stupid amount of wool in this house. I’ve ended up taking a giant trash bag to the cleaners filled with my hand knit sweaters and socks.

I don’t even know where to start next. It’s like head lice. You see them lurking around every corner!

The family has shifted into a new mode of being in the last two weeks. Lots of upheaval and changes that make for an interesting roller coaster ride a la Parenthood (the movie). I told my college girl that the first two weeks would fly by and the third week everyone would realize they were actually in New York. At school. To stay. The youngest has realized that her sister is no longer the social director for her high school cruise and she isn’t sure how she makes friends..

I realize what I thought I knew about parenting has been blown to kingdom come. It has new dimensions and an amorphous shape.

It’s held together with tears, chocolate, sanitary napkins and Skype. And just when I think I am stretched to the maximum and cannot possibly hold anymore, the drama evaporates into laughter and tears. I think everything will be ok. Skype totally kicks ass by the way.

Heard an amazing set of shows on OPB this weekend. The first one, on the radio, talked about the perceived specialness of random events when it causes a bit of a coincidence to appear. For example a balloon with a 10 year old’s name and address blows across prevailing winds to land in the yard of neighbor, who lives next to another 10 year old girl with the same name. Our brains, when they spot a particularly spectacular bit of coincidence want to make a pattern out of it. When in reality, it’s just another random occurrence of everyday ephemera.

I have to sit down and have a talk with myself about that one. I have assigned meaning and “specialness” to many of these happenings in my life. Wishing to believe, that fate had meant this or that thing or person or course of action for me. How do I reconcile my romantic mind with the stunning possibility that it’s all just random occurrence?

I can’t.

The second was an author on OPB television, discussing the ability of the brain to make decisions without our really being involved on a conscious level. Sometimes our brains just know what to do. I’ve experienced this myself several times recently. I haven’t known the answer to what do I do next, but the act of beginning answers the question for me. My hands just know where to go.

So where am I headed with this? Well last week I read my Free Will horoscope. I don’t believe in astrology, but I do love the insistently positive message the author delivers. A little pep talk for my soul.

Last week Free Will Astrology recommended I try an impossible thing before noon each day. Challenging my notion of impossible is a scary place. I frequently can’t begin because I am paralyzed by fear that things won’t turn out right, or I won’t know what to do. Remove that fear block and you find yourself trying all sorts of things. And trusting them to go fine.

So I am trusting my hands and reptilian brain today, to take care of business, and craft. I may come up with some sort of random geniosity yet.

Well, it is different, this life with one kid at home. Not bad, not amazingly good. Just different. I’ll tell you what is amazingly good though. The new spinning wheel. And the knowledge that my skills are improving daily with each use.

So far I have spun cotton, silk, merino, yak and silk. The cotton was a revelation. Especially when not using a spindle with this wonky sort of long draw technique I pulled out of somewhere. I spun with my fast flyer out of a large chunk. Big change, technique-wise, that I learned from JMM at Sock Summit. I spun too thin once, as opposed to the eleventy hundred times when I’ve tried (and cried) with my previous wheel before.

Who knew the very thing I’d been doing – predrafting – in order to make it easier to spin, was actually making it harder.

I’ve received a couple of knitting related gifts for my birthday that allow me to choose the gift I want. My family gets it now, I think. I’ve noticed a shift there as well in what I choose. I’ve moved from strictly pattern based books that can be knit from this yarn, to books that serve as a jumping off point for inspiration.

Cat Bordhi’s new sock method at camp was the gateway drug to creating new things. Now I am knitting, I can’t say designing, a pair of socks made from ideas in my head. This may not necessarily be a good thing 😉 If the road gets too rocky, I can always rip them out. I’ve made a good start so far.

Back in one piece from New York. My daughter is alternately ecstatic and freaked beyond all reckoning with her.

I cried once, briefly when I left her, then shamefacedly had to call her to let her know I had left my scarf. There was no sign of fighting. We had a lovely time. Also got to see Billy Elliott on Broadway and relax for a few days after we dropped her off.

I wish there was someway I could put a future mirror up to her to show her the wonderful person she is becoming and has become. She’s a pretty awesome kid. I can’t though, because she’s got to go through this hard part of emerging from this world and making herself at home in the new one. It will happen, but it’s really tough going for awhile. My Mom heart doesn’t wish to see her suffer, my parent heart knows she will.

Stay tuned.