Yet another knitting blog, with elements of suspense and mystery thrown in ...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Every Letter Capital

Today was the Pit -- with every letter capital!

As if that makes it worse...

Well the Wheel of Fate, that medieval concept which never quite goes out of style, has once again sent this family flying over the top of freedom and happiness and is crushing us into the miry depths. We hope it is just a temporary thing.

The hoped-for offer, which we were speculating on with great glee, failed to materialize. What _did_ materialize was a phone call on Sunday afternoon from the very nice interested buyers saying that they were unable to pull together financing in a way that did not leave them with unacceptable risk. Sitting in a morass of unacceptable risk ourselves, we considered that it was only fair that they should take their turn, and let us get out of the full force of the stream, but they were wiser than we were in our turn. Sigh. There were two families who were miserably sad that evening. I almost called the other wife to commiserate. I still may.

Then our situation got worse.

How, you ask? Sprinkler pipes freezing, spraying by the south side of our house at gallons per hour, causing water to build up and seep into our basement, that is how. I did descend to the point of crying at one point when I couldn't get a plumber to come out for the gushing, squishy emergency. Then I picked up the little Graham and rushed to our next-door-neighbor who has a rental duplex (and a side job as a superher0) and is familiar with many household things that go wrong. Miraculously, he was home. He and I dug through the snow to find the sprinkler turn-off, and he wrenched that thing into proper submission, and the crisis was over. How does one reward such significant kindness? Please leave your suggestions in the comments to this post. My Aunt Pat can make a heckuva Raisin Pie -- I may have to ask for the recipe for the neighbor.

My knitting you ask? What knitting? I am currently stalled on the third tam, apparently the wool I am using is ancient (ahem -- vintage) rug wool from England, and it is uncooperative, but will be warm when I get the pattern to settle down into a rhythm (? - it looks weird spelt that way). I did get some balls of snarled yarn rolled into smooth balls-with-center-pulls today, and it was very therapeutic, thank you. I have a few days to get re-oriented and into a knitting frame of mind before I blow the closing ceremonies. The TV room was in the basement and it is currently out of commission, and the TV is too heavy to lug up the stairs to a more convenient location. Drat.

Let me leave with a Scripture: Psalm 13 --

"How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

until verse 5 --

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me."

Stay tuned for the second half of that Scripture to be made manifest, since,

"All His promises are "Yes" in Christ Jesus, and so through him we say "Amen" to the glory of God."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hmmmm. How strahnge.

That's very strahnge. - This is a useful comment, it makes people notice you and interrupts the smooth running of their mental trains. A shakeup does everybody good.

"Mind the gap." All two of my constant readers may have noticed that I have not posted for a little while. Thanks for caring. I had a small person with a big bout of tummy troubles, and it kept me up and anxious until at last his fever went away.

Short story you must hear: When Graham's older brother Simon was only 2+a few months, he got pretty feverish for a few days. I kept putting my hand on his head and asking, "Do you have a fever?" I did this nearly constantly for almost a week, and when he was better, we went for a short walk around the block to see an equally small friend of Simon's. On the journey, we had to pass an ill-kempt rental property which had bushes strung out all across the sidewalk. I pushed my way through with Simon in my arms, and he got scraped a little on his forehead by some yew branches. He turned to me and said, "Mama, I got poked in my fever." I managed not to drop him while I laughed.

BIG NEWS: Three significant items to share. 1: I won my roving!!! That lovely photograph below this post is mine, mine, mine. (I will have to atone for my avarice by spinning it into a present.) 2. A dear friend of mine sent me an early birthday present (since the ebay auction was ending) of a Royal Ball Winder!!!! It arrived very suddenly, and after my six year old son assembled it perfectly (one would assume he could read, but he merely guesses preternaturally accurately), we wound many, many balls of heretofore annoying snarls of yarn into plump, attractive, project-inspiring units. It is much like spinning 101, with no slubs or mistakes; all the tension is taken out of the process. For a quick fix of "success" in an otherwise unprofitable day, I recommend a ball winder -- it will delude your ambitions for a short while, at least.

Thirdly - we are getting an offer on the house (!!!! A lovely family with six (that is, 6) children have found it ideal, and we are calling all pray-ers to submit applications to the Lord of Lords to push this deal through to the satisfaction of all parties. After 8 months, this looks like the promised land!!
(It makes me happier than the ball winder, even... how strahnge.)

My Olympic tams are shaping up nicely. I discovered to my amazement that my project for these 16 days was too easy for my moderate skill level. They consist of sock-like patterning with no need to make a second boring duplicate. I will have to haul out all of my unfinished items and dig through to the end of them, which will be an Olympian feat in itself, though not a fun one. (If I had wanted _that_ to be my Knitting Olympics project, I would have made it so.) My stash of unfinished objects consists of a second pomatomus sock, and a very thick vermilion bolero which I began at one knitting tension and discovered to my dismay that I am completing at a second, much different tension. Does this mean a total re-knit? I certainly hope not.

It is 9 chilly degrees here today, up from -12.4 this morning when I went to work. I hope all of your days are merry and warmer than ours. (Lord, I hope there is no one caught shelterless in the snow this weekend...)

I will post the results of God's mercy (and photos of the Olympic tams) on Monday when we get the house offer!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Today I am full of Whim and Vinegar - I could conquer the world!

Well, not exactly, but I remember when my mother said that after a great night's sleep.

I did find a moment to bid on some pastel roving which has made my day. (Yay, it posted!) Even if I lose the auction, I have possessed it for a little while. I used to be a better spinner than I now am, since I used to have more splurge time when I had fewer children, but I must admit, that my darling children do have the sense not to touch Mama's knitting needles, yarn or spinning wheel. That alone raises their I.Q.s about 75 points above the average, and that is saying something.

I must brag on my 6 year old son - yesterday he was trapped in the bathroom with an empty toilet paper roll. He called out for assistance, and then yelled, "Never mind!" That last communication got me running in fear of what he had done, faster than his first cry for assistance got me going. When I arrived on the scene, all was sweetness and light. Simon said, "I found a new roll on the sink counter." I asked "Where is it now?" He replied, "I put it on the toilet paper hanger." And he had. I was gratified and astonished. He now qualifies for sainthood.

I finished a pomatomus sock yesterday, made of Knitpick's alpaca and silk shimmer (2 balls, knit with a doubled yarn). It is drying on the cutting board, and I am not sure what I think of the outcome. I enjoyed the pattern, but I did get confused at two critical junctures, and I had to frog more often than usual. Finding all the stitches in a lace pattern which continually changes is deserving of a medal. Where is mine? (I will settle for the Knitting Olympics button.) My tension changed as I got used to the pattern, and now the top is very loose and the foot is snug. Know anyone with fat calves?

We had a good showing of the house yesterday, so the agent says. The buyers were not sure they wanted to move, but after they saw our house, ( they wanted to move. Good vibes. This afternoon we have three agents coming to see the house with clients almost simultaneously (with "simultaneity, " as my dad would like to say. It is hard to get to use that word.) I hope they all bump into each other and scare each other into competitive bids.

I also hope all your days are filled with "Whim and Vinegar."

Monday, February 06, 2006

When Life Is A Series of One-Way Tickets

"Your brother. His life is a series of one-way tickets." - Momy

What does that mean? I am not certain what it means, but I do know what it feels like.

Today was a series of one-way tickets, never getting back to the original plan for my day. I did get a couple of rows done on a fun fur/chunky knit combo muff for my daughter. The muff for her little friend's birthday magically turned into a coif hat with strings that I could finish in an evening. No picture, because I gave it away. No other knitting, but a lot of care-taking.

Tonight is Bible Study, which means "clean up the house so it is presentable." We once had an agreement NOT to clean up specially for the Bible study group, but that went too far against the grain of hospitality in the hostess' make-up, so we merely promised to stop when the stress interfered with imitating Christ.

As some know, we have a house dangling away on the market. Once it sells, I think I will be mute for months, since I am so out of practice in any other topic of conversation. I have decided to expect good news from the telephone's ring, and not merely another mortgage person trying to gain our business or our prospective buyer's (what is that?) business. You can find the details of our lovely house (never lovelier in its existence) at Please post any comments for our hope or encouragement - you will be rewarded in Heaven, to be sure.

I have a line-up of daunting tasks, and hope to identify tomorrow why procrastination is so attractive. Right now I am going to get after the tasks with a sharpened goad, and dream of knitting tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Regaining Your "Spank"

"That elastic is not so good anymore. It has lost its spank." - Flore-Marie, known as "Momy"

I will attempt to begin most of these posts with epigrams from the family history - My mother is Belgian, and her English is metaphorically gifted, with insights into language and its use that no born speaker of English could come up with. I hope these phrases find their way into your common experience. It is a way to do battle with ennui, which can really drag us into slow unemotional motion.

Two days ago I found a beaded necklace and bracelet made by my 8 year old daughter, whose bead-string had "lost its spank" (see how useful that is?). I loitered in my jammies, steadfastly ignoring the mounting household pressures and focused all my attention on re-stringing (and in one case improving) the beads onto better clasps with better wire. They were so pretty originally that they were worth doing badly, and so pretty that it was even better to re-do them well. By noon, I had two wearable beaded baubles, and no appreciable dent in the housework. Still, if I had been called to Heaven that afternoon, the day would have been a success.

That afternoon my God-sent friend Roberta (who sometimes also has trouble getting started) came over on a mission to clear up the children's playroom, which was a Herculean Labor. She motivated me so much that I finished up the laundry, even.

Then yesterday I shoveled through the rest of the house to my children's discomfiture, but to my immense satisfaction. Much of my angst concerning the non-sale of our other (and better, but for location) house dissipated as I scrubbed and "eewed!" my way through acres of ingrained clutter. (Don't get glad, get mad!!) It helped motivate me that today was trash pick-up day, my CH (clever husband)'s favorite holiday. I believe the house raised up on its foundations once I filled all the outgoing trash bins.

At the end of the day, I felt calm and secure enough to begin reading "Great Expectations" with my children huddled together in the Big Bed. My 6 year old son Simon fell asleep immediately, my 2.5 year old Graham sang a song to himself in a low monotone, and my daughter and I laughed until we cried, recognizing ME in the description of Pip's sister, "Mrs. Joe" and her RAM-pages. Sanctification continues.

Today I joined the Christian Knitters ring (Yay!) and hope to post pictures of the WIPs (works in progress), FOs (Finished Objects) and PIPs(Projects in Planning) soon. I am knitting for charity (hospitals mostly), and also on commission for babies on the way. I try to limit myself to two current projects, but allow more in gift-giving emergencies. Current projects: lavender baby dress, birthday girl's blue/pink muff, and pomatomus socks, which keep separating from their instructions.