One lane my foot


I grew up in NH and stayed in New England until Leo and I moved to California about 5.5 years ago. Some people are forever nostalgic for where they grew up, I am not. For all the natural and not so natural (smog, shootings and Anna Nicole) disasters we face in California, I wouldn't go back to the harsh winters and constant cloud of biting bugs in the summer, for all the tea in China.

I do, however, have some loved ones in the area, such as my parents, some aunts and cousins, and my dear friends Janet and Bill. Janet and Bill live in the boonies of a rather boonie-ful state. Their roads are paved with dirt and postal delivery to their area is only reliable in its unreliability.

They find humor in every nook and cranny of life and even the recent storms of the area have had no ill effect on their sense of irony. Case in point, a picture Bill took with the caption "Promises Promises"

You gotta love it.

Pleading Patients Overlooked


I can't quite decide what my the PPO portion of my medical insurance is referring to. I thought it was shorthand for "the world is your medical oyster" but I'm finding myself a tad frustrated today. The short story is that I need to get some inoculations so I can take a business trip to India in July, which is a very cool opportunity but is involving a lot of effort I hadn't originally considered. I think I've sorted most of the confusion out in what appears to be the first instance of my insurance company being more helpful than the doctor's office. Who knew? Anyway, I have two sore upper arms and a yellow card detailing my immunities to some rather icky viruses. There was also a bit of time to knit on Leo's sleeves.

I will still need some boosters and a tetanus shot, as well as a few prescriptions, but I've got the stuff that needed a lot of lead time out of the way.

Working on Leo's sweater, I've given myself little leeway to do much else. Obviously, I knit Gir but there really hasn't been much else. I occasionally pick up my spindle which has some lovely alpaca on it.

It's not that I'm not enjoying spinning it, it's just that I really want to crank through Leo's sweater and I cannot spin and knit at the same time. But, imagine if I could...oh my own vision of Valhalla.

Knitting miles of ribbing does give me ample time to consider what comes next. I'll definitely be working on the clown hat, but what should I do in India. July = monsoon season in the area. Temperatures, apparently, can average around 120 degrees though I'm told it's quite a bit cooler where we'll be. Even so, I'm thinking small, portable, and able to be worked on mindlessly. All signs point to socks. I'm not a huge sock knitter, but I am feeling that 2 socks on 2 circs will prevent second sock syndrome AND be more likely to survive a trip through security and customs without a lot of explanation. I like working on DPNs, but having a preference for metal to wood means that's probably a bad idea.

So last night I ripped out a partially knit, now abandoned project that was started with some Socks that Rock in colorway, Carbon. It needed a bath and hanging to get the kinky bits out but now looks as good as new.

I also have some solid shades of koigu around and plenty of self patterning sock yarn, all of which will only take up a small amount of space in my luggage but which should easily entertain me for my 24 hour long commutes to and from India as well as the small amount of down time I'll have during the trip.

Passed down pattern


My mother and my paternal grandmother both knit. My grandmother has since passed away, but I'm still able to share my love of knitting with my mom. Recently, she dug out a little relic of my childhood, a hat she had knit when Matt and I were kids.

It is based on a pattern my grandmother had knitted for one of my older cousins whose origins are now lost.

I'd love to adapt this pattern, myself, and offer it up for all of you out there, but I'm a bit concerned that it may be based on a copyright protected design. My mom isn't sure whether this is an original design of my grandmother's or something she worked from a pattern.

It's a fool's errand to try to prove a negative, (i.e. how would I prove that there was never a pattern like this before?) and I suspect that more than one person has ever designed a hat with a clown face theme, but if anyone recalls a pattern from the 70s or earlier, that looked strikingly like this, I'd love to know. If not, I'd like to adapt this into a free a pattern, with some minor modifications.

Modifications? Yes, I know, I can never leave well enough alone, but I think I could design this so the ears are knit along with the hat, and I think it'd be good to make it in a lighter gauge since most of my friends of baby making age, live in warmer climates.

My mom also brought me a big bag of cashmere roving (oh la la) in a gorgeous dusty grey brown shade, but I haven't been able to get a good picture of it. All this on Mother's Day weekend, no less.

Le Ann commented in my last post, that she felt my credentials as a woman, exceeded hers, ostensibly because I was working on a sweater for Leo that contains miles of ribbing. Well, this story will either solidify her assertion or, more likely, make her wish to retract her comment.

The evening was like any other; Leo sat at the computer, while I sat 10 feet away, knitting and watching tv. There was a crinkle of a potato chip bag, then several satisfying munches. The conversation was light between us; events of the day and whatnot, so there was no need for constant eye contact. And then I saw it. Panda, tail a wagging, was heading towards a prize. Leo had dropped the largest chip he could find in the bag. Seeing that I had caught him in the act, he prodded Panda on. "Go on, Panda, get the chip." I countered, "Leave it! Don't you eat that chip." The challenge began.

She licked it, but backed away. I swooped in to pick up the offending chip and toss it. With a self-righteous tone I said, "I'll give her a proper doggy cookie." I pull out the bag of Tiny Tots

They smell a little bit like beef jerky and they are fairly soft, almost malleable. Panda finds them delightful. Leo scoffs "Those suck!"
"Oh do they?" I reply, "How would you know, have you ever tried one."
If this were a wild west showdown movie, music would have started playing. Our eyes locked and two very stubborn people sized up the situation. Still holding the bag of treats, Panda placated, I pulled one of the treats out and placed it in front of Leo.

There was a fleeting moment in which his gaze wavered and a look of doubt crossed his face. Then, like a cobra striking, his hand darted out, snatched the treat, and he bit off half, all the while, his eyes never leaving mine. His face was smug while he chewed once, twice, three times and then there was realization. Slowly, his eyes widened and panic set in. Half a cookie still clutched in his hands and most of the other half sloshing between his teeth, he gasp and let out a meek "It's awful!"

He leaped up from his chair and ran to the nearby kitchen sink, spitting and splashing water into his mouth at the same time, I tried to hold back laughter but cannot. He cries "It's stuck in my teeth!" He runs to the bathroom and brushes his teeth for what feels like minutes. I'm laughing so hard, I'm having a bit of trouble holding myself steady, Panda just looks on bemused. I hear a pained “It’s like puke mixed in play-doh!” and it’s all I can do to keep from keeling over from asphyxiation.

This is a moment, not unlike many between Leo and me. We are two very stubborn people and the result is usually that one person eats crow, or in this case, something far worse.

Not two nights later, I was enjoying dinner with my brother and mother. I had an experience that would make any Freudian psychologist dance with glee. Some of you may remember this post from December 2004. Well, my little brother has exceeded his previous goal, and/or, sunk to even deeper depths.

click image for Quicktime movie

Does it bother me that my brother and boyfriend are both willing to put themselves through undue suffering to prove, who knows what? No more so than it bothers me that, politically, they are so similar they could live in the same bomb shelter together, nor that they have the same sardonic sense of humor. I’m sure it should trouble me that their personalities are so similar but I’m resigned to it. Hey, look how much amusement I get out of life. Why change a thing?

You know, I'm not completely burned out on knitting navy blue ribbing, but I'm pretty sure that having to start another sleeve from scratch would be a challenging endeavor. I think that knitting them both at once is a good choice. It's a bit of a bummer knitting all those stitches in a row and knowing I have many increases ahead of me, but in the few minutes I'm finding to knit each day, I can usually zone out and enjoy myself. My mind definitely starts wandering, yearning for future projects, but there's also that side of the project that's all about doing something special for Leo. I know, so sappy.

So those are the two sleeves, almost a third of the way to the sleeve cap. They are perched upon the blocked back piece, for scale.

Having folks take my quiz has been really fun, by the way. It's interesting to see how folks imagine my life to be. For those who didn't score so high, don't feel bad, it's not like most of that stuff comes up in day to day blogging.

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