That Shawl.

You know the one... I call it the F@#king Shawl. I am sort of regretting being so hostile in the beginning. It isn't the Shawl's fault that I cannot count. It isn't the Shawl's fault that in my excitement to cast on something beautiful in Mushishi, I didn't wait till I had needle of the proper length to hold all 8 million cast on stitches. It certainly isn't the pattern's fault that I decided to use yarn that knits up in a gauge that is 18 times bigger than the pattern gauge. And last but not least, it isn't the yarn's fault that I have tinked-back and frogged it so many times it is starting to felt. Although, this Mushishi is awfully prone to pilling and the shawl is already starting to look fuzzy...
Any way, after all the blood sweat and tears issues, I am about to finish the first section and I couldn't be happier with what is coming off the needles. It is really as wonderful as I imagined it. I'm tempted to string it out along several circular needles of mismatched sizes just to see how the color change looks over all, but I'm battling between 3 selves: the "oh-my-god-yes-do-it-now!" self, the calm and even tempered "well, at least wait till you finish the first color" self, and the lazy patient self that says "just wait till you're done, it'll be a beautiful surprise." I'm leaning between the first and last options... i mean really, think about all that work, spreading 715 million stitches onto who knows how many needles just to see the colors? too much.

Any how, I'd like to share this moment, when I texted my very dear knitter / lifetime BFF in a panic about "oh my god, no matter how well and how many times I count this shit out, I still getting F@#king Wrong! ggaaahhhhhh, F@#king Shawl!!!"

See how there are 3 stitches between the green marker and the end of the needle? I had a massive nervous break down where I swore the pattern said k4 before marker and that some how, despite the fact that everything in the pattern was lining up and showing right, I had still managed to be an asshat count wrong. For real. I texted her pics. I cursed at the pattern, my Huz (who, I think, might find me slightly more insane than he did yesterday), my handwritten copy of the pattern, the yarn, the needles, and the pattern (although, after reading more of her blog and looking at some more of her designs, I still think SarahBear is pretty brilliant). I was so sad, I honestly thought of giving up. 7 rows into a pattern and I was ready to quit. Till I noticed... look at those 3 stitches again, see the line of writing there? It says this "...k1p, k3, sm)"... in people terms it says ..."knit one pass, knit 3, slip marker)" see that? Knit THREE. THREE! right there, in my hand writing, in the freaking picture, it says, plain as fucking day, KNIT THREE. Turns out, that imaginary k4 I was worried about isn't till the very very end of the row, and that extra knit there is to make the edge more stable. The good news is that I was not wrong or lame and that I do have the ability to knit this bitch. The bad news is... well, maybe cussing at knitting and imaginary problems and not being able to read my own notes... well, the bad news is that I might be slightly batshit crazy.

ps- Lindsey, I'm sorry and thank you for understanding.

pps- Jodi thank you for calling it 'that "shawl"'... (yes, she attached air quotation marks to the word shawl and had the decency to tell me about them.)

I will leave you with this:

A barely discernable picture of the pattern emerging from the wooly-silky goodness that is the Mushishi. Be amazed. I'm about to destroy this shit.

ppps- come back later when I share the stories of my 2 Great Bus Adventures. It will be great fun. but now I have to stop the minions children from destroying each other.


The F@#cking Shawl Strikes Again

ok, so I recast on, I faithfully counted out sections of 25, 24, and 20. I knit back, double checking my numbers, I knit back again, I did the decrease row, 25, 22, 18. I check my math... twice. just in case. I mean the test knitters didn't have a problem, so why am I? I knit, checked my count, switched colors, knit, checked my count, took a deeeep breath and started the first row of lace. I had decided to put a marker every 2 stitch repeats, each repeat having 12 stitches. oh boy. section 1- perfect, 24 stitches between markers, till right before the section end, 11 stitches... yay! the pattern is working! section 2- all the way to the middle, YAY! I'm still on count. Section 3- what the fuck? there are supposed to be 11 stitches, p4, s2p1p, p4, slip marker. but noooooooo somehow, there are 9 stitches and I JUST DID THE PASS! wtf! so now, I'm going to tink back to the middle and start again. I probably forgot a yo, or didn't s2, but s1 instead. watch. when this is done, it'll be the most glorious triumph in knitting herstory! pray for me.

oh, also, the amazing designer of this shawl, the amazing Sarah Bear, totally commented on the last post about the F@#king Shawl. She made me feel special.... check out the Shawl's back story, and browse Sarah's blog, she's kind of amazing!


Another Evil Pattern Trying To Take Me Down.

     I swear, I'll kick this Shawl's Ass if it's the Last Thing I Do

gah! ok, so on day 1, I cast on and knit the first row, only to see that I have no grasp on the concept of counting. On day 2, I frogged this bitch and started over. I was feeling really good about my self till I switched to the new color only to realize that even with markers placed every 25 stitches, I still can't count. But because I am an asshat not very intelligent knitter, I sorta said, oh I'll figure it out, just keep going... Day 3 showed me that I am indeed an idiot and so I frogged it and recast on a 3rd time. The benefit of taking it off with so many rows done is that I got to see how big it will be... MASSIVE. I doubt i'll have enough yarn if i continue down this path. Which I probably will... I won't let this pattern beat me. I love this pattern, it is the most complicated thing I have ever knit, it is going to be gorgeous in the Mushishi... because if it isn't I might cry.

here it is in it's second incarnation... please note that i have faithfully hand copied the pattern into my notebook so i know each row's stitch repeat before i dive in and the number of stitch markers all over the place. oh great goddess of all that is woolly-blended-with-silk, please guide my needles and yarn, and keep the numbers in order in my brain. 


Carless in Vegas, Day 2

We walked to the grocery store down the street. We made sure to bring the baby pack for the ManChild, only 2 reusable bags, and our big family water bottle. We took our time, collected rocks, and got sweet treats when we got there. On the walk back, I carried both bags, which were surprisingly light considering how much we got, and the ManChild, since I knew it would be hard to hold his hand when we had to cross the street. KaBean carried my purse/bag/wallet sack and the water bottle to help lighten my load. We made it there and back, and no one died of heat stroke or dehydration. Mom of the Year, here I come.

They seem to be enjoying exploring around their new home. What little kid do you know that doesn't have an endless appreciation for rocks? The ManChild found a rather largish rack that he insisted on carrying, along with multiple matchbox cars, for approximately 3 blocks. We had to stop at each very large rock along the whole way so KaBean could climb up and see if it made her taller than me. We only found one that was tall enough for that. It was kind of a big deal. I think soon, we will be trying to find our way out to the mountains...

They're closer than they look...


Today I'm joining Taryn at WoolyMossRoots again for her beautiful, centering...

{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 

~Reasons 1, 2, and 3... but not in any order. This man, these children... they make my world go round. Waking up to this small group of people is the most amazing blessing I could know. They just came and pulled me into their wrestling game. great, i'm gonna get another black eye. love it.

~The heavy breezes of the last few days has brought the temperature wayyyy down, it's 75 in the house without the air conditioner on! 

~We haven't had a car for a few days and it looks like it'll be another few weeks before we get our faithful Camery from NorCal. Now I didn't think this would be something to grateful for but what with the weather here we've...

~Been able to walk to the grocery store 3 days in a row. It's only an Albertson's, but they have decent organic and I can manage it... see today's next post. lol.

~When I set out my Fiber Stash for the 2012 Ravelry Flash Your Stash thread, I re-fell in love with some of that fiber. It is an amazing blessing to be able to craft something both useful and beautiful in this time of instant gratification and endless consumption. When I knit or spin I feel at peace, calm... all the worry I needlessly harbor about the water usage in Las Vegas, weather or not my kids will grow up to be good people, food shortage, money shortage... everything just goes away and all I can see is the yarn and the needles. Simple knits, complicated lace... it gives me a center. a good place to be.

what are you grateful for today?


So Shoot Me

I cast on another project. The Martinmas Shawl in Mushishi, in 3 and 5... because that's what I have dammit.

The cast on edge has 418 stitches... more than I've ever cast on in one go. ever. This is my second attempt at casting on this shawl, yesterday I cast on and knit the first row only to realize that I cannot count that high. awesome. Today, I'm placing markers ever 25, and I took a break at the first pattern-called-for-place-marker... 74 stitches in... pray for me.

Here's the yarn, all balled up, with no place to go...

Trust me, that shit is beautiful.


Flash Your Stash 2012

Where it all lives, the colored fibers and finished hand spun lives on this rack so I can stare at it... The store bought gets to live above the natural rovings with the books. I've been posting about my stash a lot, yeah, I'm a little obsessed... sorry.

 Just my handspun and fibers. In the back there is all my cotton singles that I'm plying into a 3 ply... It's taking for ever, but it's fun, so there.

 There it all is, all together. yum

 A close up of just my handspun... le sigh.

My Stash Blanket. Every yarn I ever spun or worked with is in this blanket. I feel guilty when all the partial balls of yarn look at me. They're too small for their own project, but too much to throw out. Solution: Crazy Blanket.

You know you love it. You can't get enough of my stash. Be glad I didn't decide to post individual pics of all the yarn.

This Moment

Today I am joining Amanda at SouleMama for...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
i know, no words... but Lil Bean learned how to somersault continuously down the hill while her brother runs.
it's high larry us!

And check out Taryn's Moment too. Her son is fricking adorable.


Super Fine Merino...

Just looking at it makes me sweat.

really wanting to spin some wool tonight, not sure if i should... can't find the oil for my wheel and that makes me sad.


Ginny's Yarn Along: Pam's Shawl and Marie Antoinette

Today I'm joining Ginny's Yarn Along over on Small Things for the first time. I've been seeing Taryn over at Wooly Moss Roots do this for a while now and we're finally settled enough that I've been able to read. I've pulled out all my WIPs from before the move so I can get something accomplished, I enjoy having multiple projects to carry around and choose from. I have also been reading a lot. Like in school, when each class has a different text, each room, or project, or mood, has it's own text here too.

This is what my basket looks like. 4 WIPs, 3 Books (only because my new desert gardening book hasn't been cracked yet.)

But this isn't a run down of each... I'm still waiting on Huz's camera... My phone will have to work for this.

The project is Pam's Shawl and the book is Marie Antoinette, The Journey by Antonia Fraser. 

I read this book a few years ago while preparing for a trip to France. I had always heard the typical "let them eat cake" version, and this is not that. I don't remember much, which is why I'm reading again, but I remember finishing it thinking, "Why can't more history be framed in this light? Why is everything a smear campaign?" Honestly, I think in it's own way reading this lead me to question a lot of what I had been taught. Maybe not outright, but certainly in hind sight. Also, when I read it the first time, I still thought I could be a ballerina, and everyone knows France (and Marie Antionette's teachers) were responsible for it being directly awesome. Also, turns out Madame Antione (as she was called as a child) loved loved to dance. She was like a swan. lol

The pattern for the Shawl is The Mistaken Shawl (Ravelry pattern link). I'm kind of loving the pattern, it's like everything I ever did wrong when I was learning knit purl a million year ago in high school... and hating it... only organized and cute. I wish I hadn't put it away, now knitting it makes me hot and I dislike sweaty wool. It goes quickly, but the increase is fast, so at some point before this is over I'll be knitting million stitch rows. well not really, but it'll feel like it. I have my project notes here, but I haven't really updated it... but I think there are better pics of the pattern, and the yarn, and the colors... ooohhh... I really love this yarn.
The yarn is Brown Sheep Burly Spun in Blue Mountain. It's awesome. The stitch definition, the fatness and evenness of the twist... the color. It's turning my wooden needles blue, which probably should be a turn off or at least concerning, but I think it's awesome. 

Any way, you should totally go check out Ginny and Taryn's blog, because they are both pretty rad.

posted from Bloggeroid


Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are, in a word, Awesome. They are beautiful and fun and now, they even have a kid trail. Nice. These are just a few pics from our last trip there before we left. I love this place, one of my best friends parents were married there, then years later a different BFF was married there. So beautiful. You go from beautiful, manicured heather, succulent, and dahlia gardens, thru a mini-wetland, wild and hybrid rhododendrons, into a totally native (maybe, i don't know enough about plants... ) pine (again...?) forest, then out onto the headland... You can look out at the ocean and see prehistoric pelicans, the whales on their migrations... There is a nursery and vegetable garden and a kid trail. Paved trails for strollers and wheel chairs with wide, smooth bridges and enough side trails and rickety stream crossing for the mild adventurer. I could go on and on... go to their website, then go. Go to the Gardens, you wont regret it.

I've decided that instead of doing anything useful, I'm going upstairs to knit. I need to sweep the kitchen, but the closet with the broom in it is locked from the inside. I'm glad I found that out before I put the baking soda+salt+sage onto the carpet to kill the smell because the vacuum cleaner is in the locked closet as well. I also don't have keys to our mail box and I have packages coming from amazon any day now. I keep finding long black hair and mystery stickiness all over the house. This is a problem because none of us have long black hair and we hadn't been here more than a night when I found the first mystery stick in the kitchen. Then I found some in the downstairs bathroom, as well as what appears to be snot or vomit or... mystery slime inside both showers. I'm pretty sure this house hasn't been cleaned since the last tenants moved out. And even then it wasn't cleaned well. I'm glad we have a place to live, we needed a place after we were removed from the yellow house 13 days early... we couldn't have stayed in the cabin for long. I'm grateful that we get to see a new city and decide that we never have to come back. I'd never been to Vegas before we moved here for Huz's work, and I could have gone the rest of my life without coming here. But at least now I know why it sucks, I'm not just assuming (even if those assumptions turned out to be correct). I'm going now. I think I'll work on the Mistaken Shawl for Pam... or maybe some socks, I have 2 on needles now, and I need to start a 3rd... or finish the hat, oh, I can't I need size 10 DPNs... I could start Kabean's new hat... or the shawl for myself... who knows... who knits?



{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 

I think playing with my kids is the only thing that matters any more. Without these two small people here in my life, everything would be colorless. I am ultimately grateful to the universe for finding me my mate and to my mate for giving me these Littles.

I am grateful to Jump4Joy for helping our family be whole again.

I am thankful to my parents for thinking the Pacific Coast was a better place to grow up than the desert.

I am grateful to the State of Nevada for not having food tax. $100 in California = 3 bags of groceries (if you stick with organic products). $100 in Nevada gets you all of the stock in the Trader Joe's.

I am grateful that I found the most amazing used book store right next to the TJ's. I did a happy dance.

Thanks, Taryn. These posts always make me feel better.


Phone Pics From the Last Many Moons

These pictures have no real order, they aren't even all from my phone... But going thru them was fun, and I liked seeing all these memories. I have more stashed, with plans of a moving post, a new house post, several spinning an knitting posts, as well as various blog role topics. Love having all my pics on my hard drive instead of my phone... it'll make updates more efficient... maybe

On the Skunk Train, pregnant with The Man Child.

Puppy Isis, pregnant with KaBean

KaBean, fresh outta Momma. They didn't like her being in my bed, but every time the nurses left I put her back next to me. 

"Are you done yet? How 'bout now?"

They both fell asleep in the Bike trailer... they're sooooo heavy....

Dancing with Melinda. One of the most wonderful people ever in the world. She was my doula at The Birth Of The Man Child... she really made a huge difference.

She wad sending Miss Melinda a hug while she was in India... I just think it's too cute.

You can never have too many pics of your kids sleeping.

She was Up Very High. 

RAIN IN A WHEELBARROW!!!!!! oh my god, kid heaven.
Friends on the tire swing at grandma's.

Too Many Lemons.

Moss on Log Pile

Viking Village.

I have a feeling those Huckleberry bushes will be amazing this year :(

My Girl, the Tree Climber. She would climb anything she could. Logs, stumps, benches, buildings... Pretty much anything. Just today she was scaling the highest, most complicated ladder at the big kid playground. The tree she's climbing in these pics is a maple of some variety, growing in the front of my parents house. When I was a kids, it was a wimpy baby tree, with the leaves just high enough to block the view from the front room. Now it is a kid friendly climbing tree... just for my Littles...

Fruit Blossom

Isis in the Dada World Services shirt. Thanks Set.

All the spinning I could collect before I started packing.

Laundry has never been as much fun!