Celtic Cable

Celtic Cable

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Rose for the Spinster ...

Oops! A friend tells me I forgot about "WIPnesday." So I did. Perhaps because I was finishing up a 10 page research paper on the necessity of feminism in the 3rd world and the importance of the "other" voice ... anyway, I submitted that last night and then had a celebratory brandy-and-orange-liquor or two. And watched four hours of "Bones" on streaming video and had weird dreams.

So, "Women Writers" is finished, and I am ready for the last class I have to take for this degree ...

Literary Theory! A class so jam-packed with papers and required reading, that I saved it for last. For the record, I've already written a paper on "Heart of Darkness," and unfortunately, I can't recycle it because the topic will be different. Drat! I've never read "Waiting for Godot," but I don't really enjoy reading plays (except Shakespeare). Other works I will be examining are "Hamlet," and "A Rose for Emily," which I have always liked. The spinster in me likes the idea of poisoning a caddish suitor and keeping his decaying body in a wedding suit in an upstairs bedroom for forty years.

Maybe I should ease up on watching so much "Bones." Here's a distraction:

The go-to-meeting socks are done! I finished all but the cast-off row in our weekly staff meeting yesterday, and bound off at my desk and promptly put them on, because my socks were wet from the long walk in from the parking lot. They are too big, no surprise there, but they will work very nicely under my winter boots. I cast on a new pair of go-to-meeting socks last night:

These are intended for a friend's child. Since she has four, it will be for whomever it fits, hopefully the eldest. It looks a bit funny because I like to ktbl on my cuffs, to make it look neater. Ribbing stretches out so easily at the top.

Here is my work-in-progress, that I spend 90% of my knitting time on:

I had to stop working on it last night, because it's time to start the color chart, and I'd had a couple of the aforementioned brandy-and-orange-liquors. I was afraid I'd mess up the chart, not to mention miss some crucial aspect of "Bones," if I tried to do both. I should be done with this sweater within a couple weeks, just in time for the chilly weather.

   Here is the obligatory cute-animal picture. Georgie Girl declined to have her picture taken -- I've just given her a rather amateurish hair cut, and she's being camera-shy. So here instead is Petunia trying to figure out what a sunbeam is ....


And a couple of kitties on the windowsill, enjoying the nice day!

One final note ... another friend has started a blog. It focuses on healthy and delicious recipes. Enjoy! 

I hope to have a much-closer-to-finished sweater next time I blog!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The "Work in Progress" (WIP) part is actually the cat ... teaching her to mind when I tell her to get off the bed.

One of the bloggers I follow does a Work-in-Progress Wednesday, and I totally swiped her idea. I didn't want to outright plagiarize her, so I am calling it Wipnesday. I've been plagiarized before, in college, and it is a sucky feeling. You can find her here ... she makes much faster progress on her WIPs than I do!

Above is the half-finished Bountiful Bohus sweater from More Big Girl Knits. I have just started the first sleeve. It's to be steeked ... I am terribly nervous about that! I'd appreciate any tips/advice. Like, "Never cut a steek while drunk!" That sort of thing. I'm going to make it with full sleeves rather than 3/4, I think. I've been making great progress on it -- I started it 10 days ago. Of course, I haven't been getting much else done, and I really need to be working on my classwork and maybe clean the house up a bit, but I just have this irresistible compulsion to work on the Bohus.

Here's a big mistake. How could something so pretty be a mistake? Well, I'll tell you. Because the maroony shade is hand-wash-lay-flat-to-dry Patons wool, and the green is Vanna's Choice acrylic! ARGH! I'm not sure if it's even worth finishing the pair (the other is half done too). What will happen when the mother of the child I was going to give it to throws it in the dryer? Tragic! The maroon will felt and shrink, pulling the green into the abyss. Perhaps I should just start over. And pay better attention when groping for yarn in a dark drawer in a dark room.

And, the eternal go-to-meeting socks. We haven't had that many meetings at work lately, so progress is slow. Plus, I've just been promoted into a position with more responsibility and authority, and it might reflect poorly on me if I sit in meetings and knit.

These are socks my mother made for me probably 15 years ago. Mom always made socks for us, big fluffy comfortable warm socks that lasted forever. I remember sliding around on hardwood floors in mom-made socks when I was not even double-digits old. Her socks lasted so long. My socks barely last two winters, then they're holey and done for. I wonder what the difference is? I refuse to knit with anything other than Clover bamboo needles or Addi Turbos, and mother had a pair of inexpensive plastic dpns ... most of which had the tips broken off. She knit I don't know how many pairs of socks with those broken needles. I don't know how she did it! She used Red Heart yarn. I use Vanna's Choice for kids, and wool for grown-up socks, and I've used Red Heart, and they all just get holey. What's the deal?!

Gratuitous cute animal shots. Poor Georgie Girl can't find a place to herself anymore. Everywhere she goes, even outside, adoring kitties mob her. I like her expression in the last photo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

They're Quite Scholarly, Actually ...


Petunia likes Scrabble ...  and studying the comparison of feminism in the US vs. the Middle East...

And Edgar Allen Poe cat likes Middle Eastern novels...

Here, he helps hold down my notes. Helpful, isn't he?


Molly, however, prefers English Literature from Beowulf to the 1800s. Like Edgar, she seems to feel the notes will fly away if left unweighted. 

She particularly likes this book of essays arguing over the validity of Thomas More's "Utopia." She preferred CS Lewis' interpretation, which was that More meant for "Utopia" to be a silly fable, nothing more. I have to agree.

Like most budding writers, Molly does have a drinking problem.

Okay, enough fooling around. I have been rather immersed in schoolwork for the last few days, and I needed a fun break. I'm about to get back to work (research paper), but before I do, here is some actual knitting!

The "Bountiful Bohus" from "More Big Girl Knits." Lucky me, the yarn in the pattern is Cascade 220, which I A) like a lot, B) can readily find, and C) don't mind paying $6.60 a skein for.

This one will require steeking. I may need someone to hold my hand through it ... I've never cut up a sweater before!

Also, trying to finish up the go-to-meeting socks:

Just haven't had enough meetings, lately. The socks are languishing.

Despite the fact I have about 6 WIPs on the needles now, this is all I have to show this week! Ack!

Monday, October 4, 2010


 "Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound."

 --"The Autumn," Elizabeth Barrett Browning

     WELL, Autumn hit like a sledgehammer this year ... a week ago it was 98, now it's 58. I don't mind -- I love Autumn best. I wish I had a fireplace so that I could enjoy it more. I'm not even bothered that Autumn means the eventual end of my pretty flowers ....

The lavender gets more spectacular every year. I've trimmed it back hard twice this summer, and taken multiple clippings, and it just gets stronger. Want to see what it looked like 3 years ago?

     Amazing how much it grows. This past winter, it was completely buried under the 84 inches of snow we received here, but it thrived nonetheless. I stupidly planted a miniature rose between the two lavenders. I haven't seen it since. I think the lavender just consumed it. Along the side, I planted allysum. I plant that every year, and it spills over and looks just lovely. This year I planted purple allysum (I thought it would please the local Ravens fans), but my garden fared poorly this year, so it wasn't as spectacular as it has been in previous summers.

     But summer is gone, and now I finally can wear all the warm knitted stuff that hides in the drawer from June through September (summers are a bit short here). For example, these socks ...

 No, my feet aren't horribly swollen. I have socks on underneath these. The yarn is that Vanna White acrylic. I've knitted many items with it, and it wears nicely. The colors are vivid, which doesn't come through clearly in this photo.


     Cold weather at night means I have to devise shelter for my stray kitties. There's one that lives on the back porch, and two on the front. Those little metal-hooded lights from the bigboxhomestore and a box is all I need to keep the kitties warm. I pad an empty box with whatever I have laying around (this year, it's carpet padding), aim the light into it, and voila! Warm kitties.
      This is Coraline (big sister to Petunia). She is a bizarre orange and black coloring. Her mother is orange and white, and her father ... well, no sire has come forth, but I suspect it was a black cat.

 WIP update...

 The Arachne cowl goes to my co-worker for her birthday this week. Hope she wears it! I have one just like it, made from alpaca. I finished mine during one of the blizzards earlier this year. This one is much prettier.

    The "Meeting Socks" continue apace ... they turned out too large (because I have no concept of gauge or scale), so I am knitting the entire leg in 2x2 ribbing hoping that will keep them up. Today I was knitting them while in a class at work. Just a couple more meetings, and I'll have them done!

     And, the think-outside-of-the-sox socks. Very slow going, and I always have a pucker problem when I knit with fine yarn, with stranded knitting. Don't know why I persevere, but I do.

   And, the plans to sell-house-buy-new-house continue, but first I have to fix this one up a bit. With great sadness, I painted over my lovely, bold, unique, cozy, red living room (pictured with cats at bottom of blog page) ... now it is this yawningly boring pale yellow. YAWN.


How boring is it? Well, I give you Exhibit A.  

     In closing, I invite you to visit my friend Melissa's blog. This past weekend, Melissa -- Navy veteran, mother of four with fifth on the way, home-schooling Air Force wife -- participated in the Honor Flight project. This past Saturday, WWII vets were flown to BWI and bussed into D.C. to see their memorial. Melissa was one of the "guardians" who assisted with this. She has written two posts about it so far. 

     Oh, and by the way --- I predicted this fifth baby in an earlier post, back in August. I won't embarrass Melissa by divulging information about the Night We Knew She Was Pregnant, but it was almost as funny as the salmon-black-cherry-ice-cream-salmon incident of 2008, which heralded her pregnancy with the lovely Maid Mairwyn, pictured here with one of her goofy brothers. I'm not sure what Middle Brother was thinking -- perhaps something along the lines of "Ewww, a girl!"