A relative was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Immediately upon hearing the news, I knew I had to make the Boobie Scarf for her. My last knitty SP, faerynuff, sent me skeins of Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed in two gorgeous pinks - the exact yarn that's called for in the pattern! Knitting this has given me immense pleasure and sporadic fits of the giggles:
Thoughts on project: I loved that this was knit in the round. I love the shaping. I love the yarn. I hate my crocheting around the neck and armhole edges. I wasn't too sure about the fit until I blocked the hell out of it. I am short-waisted. So for me not to look like I have legs up to my neck (and a protruding tummy), I wear my tops long for balance. I knew this about myself going into the project and knew I should add an inch or two to the length - and didn't. I followed the pattern to the 'T'. So I gave blocking the benefit of the doubt and I think the length is good now. The pants in the pic are considerably low waisted and the top still works. (Sorry for the headless photo - I just got home from work and had horrid hair. I was only thinking of getting the pic done for this post. :D )
Brenda Dayne’s Cast On is my favorite of all knitting podcasts.I listened to her latest edition (Episode 31) yesterday while unpacking dishes in my grandmother’s new kitchen.(G-ma sold her San Diego home four months ago and moved north, 10 minutes away from me.)I was a little disappointed not to hear a “Today’s Sweater” and so I started thinking about how many sweaters I have actually completed.Which then led to the first sweater I did complete.
I married a man, now known as “Jackass,” in 2003.Brand new to the knitting world, I had heard of the Boyfriend Curse and even researched it to confirm that it really did exist.I figured The Curse didn’t apply to me anymore since I had a ring on my finger and a wedding certificate.I haughtily thumbed my nose at The Curse and picked out a sweater pattern for my husband.After weeks of hunting on Ebay, watching and waiting, I collected the requisite twenty-three balls of charcoal gray Debbie Bliss wool.
Knitting him a sweater beyond my current skills was a loving gesture on my part.That’s how I show my love for people.I may not gush with platitudes, hearts and flowers but I’ll make you bread from scratch – knit you socks – or write you snail mail on a notecard I created.Making things with my own hands is something I believe to be one of my better (quieter) attributes.Gifting people with something I make is how I say I love you.
So knitting my first cable turtleneck sweater for my newly betrothed was quite ambitious in terms of loving gestures.I did a swatch (I think) and cast on.And I knit and knit and knit for days on end. And I enjoyed every minute of it.Even the miles of stockinette.Each stitch was so sweetly formed. I nailed the cables after a few attempts, attached the sleeves, picked up stitches for the turtleneck and commenced blocking.I thought it was perfect.
Until he tried it on.And the dark gray knitted sweater came to his knees.I laughed and decided I would take it apart and redo it (redo the months of knitting – painful? Yes).Since warm weather was upon us when I finished it, I stuffed the sweater into a bag and told myself I would frog it later.
Winter came, then went and spring was almost here when I finally discovered devastating written proof of his infidelity.Faster than you can say “Moving van”, I was packed up and out of the house.My needles and yarn were the first things in the truck.Including the gray behemoth.
Now in my quiet house, the warm summer months arrived in my new grief. As if a zombie took over my body, I dug out the canvas bag that contained the one project I had completed for someone else.Carefully, I undid my seams, wrapped the kinky yarn around the back of kitchen chair and tied the hanks off.In my guest bathroom, I soaked the hanks individually in water, stretched gently to unhinge the kinks and laid each one on old towels to dry.Twenty-three balls of pricey yarn became no name merino and my soul felt less heavy.
The warmth of the season helped speed the drying of the wool.I wound each hank with my swift and ball winder ( a letsgetyourmindoffthings gift from my mother, also a knitter) and tucked each cake of wool into plastic bags with a proper label on the outside of each bag.The plastic bags currently sit on the closet shelf of my guest bedroom, staring at me, invisibly tagged “Jackass Yarn.” Even though undoing the sweater helped me take one more step forward and frogging a sweater appears to be less painful than frogging a marriage, it’s really not.I’ll never forget what that yarn was purchased for.
And about The Curse?It’s only true if you believe it.
First, I must thank my Summer Fling! SP, Golden121, for sending me all of this:
Two Rowan tank patterns (already searching for stash yarn to make at least one right now), so much delicious chocolate, chocolate biscotti and CHOCOLATE COFFEE!! The most beautiful stitch markers and flip flop charms. A stunning Indian silk journal (which I had contemplated buying a similar one months and months back but thought no, it's too nice for me.) Fun catnip toys for the kitties! A great CD of French songs, postage stamps with gorgeous black and white stationary cards that are so oui! oui! Love the Kermie pin and the handwritten note. I love it all. Best of all, is a row counter on a key with bright green jingle bells attached to it! So I can't possibly lose my row counter any more.
Oops! Just realized the delicious CHOCOLATE COFFEE is missing from the pic. Oh that's right, it's in my cup! And kitty crack pillows are also missing because they are currently in use:
Thank you so much, Golden 121!!
In other news, I haven't been blogging much lately, in case you hadn't noticed. It's been unbelievably hot and my office, well... I closed all the vents to save energy and the result of that is an office that's too hot to sit and blog in.
But it's actually cooler this morning so I'm able to sit here and post a bunch of pics for you all.
The top of the pic is a mill end hank of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock... 1100+ yards of it! The Lorna's Laces hank is just for scale. I think I hear Clapotis calling. One of my favorite ebay storespushes sells the mill ends.
Also, I'm currently knitting up a Sizzle in black Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere. I've done my first ever modifications to a project and I'm really excited about how this will turn out. No pics yet. I'm hoping to wear it to ArtHop Thursday.
I have new glasses! It's been about 3 1/2 years since I bought new glasses and I finally found a pair that fit me:
Not the best pic and it's hard to see past my Big Shiny Forehead (good grief!). They're a dark tortoise with somewhat clear rose detailing. I just really like the shape. I feel better now.
At only 8 am in the morning, the temperature gauge is bustin' to break the mercury... ninety four degrees. That means another unbearably hot day here in the most central part of this most glorious state I live in. One hundred thirteen degrees is the expected high. With forty percent humidity. Dry heat my ass.
Of all the seasons, summer is the one I detest the most living here. Fall, winter, spring... I love the other three seasons. But summertime here makes it so that wearing clothes is wretched and activity of any sort is a drag. Any movement creates stickiness creates friction and uncomfortableness. Swimming is not even considered "refreshing" any longer, the water having warmed up to feel like nothing on your skin instead of that crisp bite we all expect in our chlorinated ponds.
All the air conditioner units in the county are on overload, causing unexpected outtages at any time (like last night, in the middle of the DVD version of Trivial Pursuit). Sitting in blackness by the flicker of a candle, I can only think "Don't move, the air conditioner is also out and there's no way to keep cool now." The county issued water mandates and recommended settings for your own air conditioner... seventy eight degrees is lowest setting thankyouverymuch. Most vegetation wilts, due to oppressive heat, not lack of water.
My dogs stay inside now, during the day. I'd rather break out the carpet cleaner and/or sweep up something that got chewed up than come home to no-longer-with-us pets. The heat knows no boundaries.
Yah I know there are parts of the southwest that expect one hundred thirteen degree days. Those parts are the ones that have seventy degree winters. We don't. We have an actual winter. One that I'm actually looking forward to.
The Food Network likes to run ice cream inspired show during this time of the year. I've been inspired by one of their ice cream competitions to make my own concoction. A banana/toasted coconut/walnut mixture. I'm off to buy ingredients. Maybe this will keep me cool in our one hundred thirteen degree day today.
1983 was the year my family pulled up their southern California stakes and moved north, to a tiny town in the Yosemite foothills. I was 5 years old and painfully shy. Pale, freckled and a social klutz. I showed up to my first day of school only to find out I was one of three Kimberly's. (Thank you, I'll just blend into the wallpaper now.)
Jeremy was my very first friend in 1st grade. His outgoing enigmatic personality drew me in and hooked me for life. He was funny and took risks I couldn't dream of. I was in awe.
During our formative years, I remained on the outside of what could be called the popular crowd, the crowd Jeremy belonged to. But he didn't care. No matter who he was with or where he was going, Jeremy would throw one of his famous smiles my way and maybe a wave. I never got the chance to tell him how much that meant to me.
On July 4, 2006, Jeremy passed away in a tragic accidental drowning at a local lake.
As I sit here, writing this to you, I'm in tears. For the life that is lost, the pain his wife and son must be enduring and my own sadness. Jeremy lived every minute of his life with the glass half full. No matter how corny that sounds, it's true. I don't believe he wasted a minute because his heart was in everything he did. Jeremy went on to huge big things, a career he loved and was recognized for. And he stayed humble. And he stayed in his hometown, close to his roots. Jeremy did more amazing things and experienced more in his 29 years than most people ever do in 75.
Jeremy's memorial service was yesterday in the church that I grew up in, in the community I'm still not comfortable with. Over 1000 people attended to pay their respects. During the service, after a few people spoke through their own tears with stories that made us laugh, after the pastor finished with words of comfort, a slide show was played. And there was this picture that popped up on the screen, a picture that I had spent a good portion of Monday night looking for at my house. The picture was of Jeremy, his best friend, me and my best friend at the time. Just us grinning at the camera. I think we were all 20ish and hanging out. What shocked me the most about seeing this picture on the screen was the fact that Jeremy had a copy of that photo all these years.
The reason I share all this with you... well, because Jeremy's death seems to be my breaking point. Life is too short to be miserable. Live every minute of every day and go out without regret. His death hit me in a way I didn't think existed. Growing up in a small town, where everyone knows everyone's business and accepts it, where we share in everyone's successes and failures... it's the largest extended family I've ever known.
Losing Jeremy hurts... and I'm on the outside. I can't even pretend to understand how his best friends feel that knew him longer than I did. My heart aches for them though.
And for his love of 13 years, wife for the last two, my heart aches for her. I remember when their story began. Their little boy, Jayden, who's only three... his father will be relived through the memories of those that loved Jeremy for all of Jayden's life.
To Jeremy, may you ride the hills of heaven for all eternity.
A benefit concert will be held this Saturday. All proceeds go to his wife and son.
In the past few months, I’ve done more soul searching than all of the great blues singers of our time put together.Priority reorganization, lists of pros and cons, hemming and hawing….In the vein of Alanis, I realized there are a few people I forgot to thank for getting me to the place where I am today, right now, sitting here typing away.
Let’s start 12 years ago:
K:Thank you for being you.For being more of a prima donna throughout our relationship than I could ever aspire to.For pouting so often my own lip hurt.For choosing to dismantle “us” by taking up with anyone that catered to your whims.Oh, and thank you for crying when I broke up with you in your car… that was priceless.
R: Thank you for consuming mass quantities of steroids while we dated.At least I know it wasn’t me that forced you back into the pants of your ex-girlfriend.I appreciated calling you on the carpet for cheating on me – I learned a little bit about trusting my instincts.Thank you for being the biggest stereotype of a jerky athlete in love with his own persona.
C: Thank you for forcing your ideals on me so that my own true colors could emerge.Thank you for all the times I had to say no to you and you made me feel guilty about it.Thank you for giving me an ultimatum and then marrying the very next girl that you found after me… who also happened to share my first name and contradicted the very ideology you rejected me for.I especially enjoyed the phone call from you after your divorce.
C: Thank you for allowing me to endure your narcissistic cowardice for two years.I did not realize how much of the spotlight I took up until you came along to remind me and shoved me out of the way.Thank you for being much less than the greatness in your own mind.I am sorry that your dreams never flourished and that you had to settle for much much less (in more ways than one) – that’s what happens when your shield of invincibility suddenly disappears and you don’t use a condom.
E: Thank you for taking narcissism to the next level.If ever was there a Napoleon complex, it rises and sets in you.Thank you for your condescending nature toward everyone you ever came into contact with.Humility did not exist in your vocabulary and I am so glad to have it back in my life.Your zeal for projecting perfection on to the world, however, I do not miss.
C: Thank you for encapsulating the very essence of vanity.You are a caricature of yourself and referring to you as “Jackass” gives me nothing but pleasure.Your carnal existence is fruitless and I’m thankful to have escaped when I did.Your deceptive nature will rot your insides, as it did mine for that brief period.You are the culmination of so many awful things and I thank you, because I learned the most in the aftermath of what was our sad marriage.
Now, if you've been reading closely you will see a disturbing pattern in the littered path of my love life. Narcissism. Habitual cheating (all but one cheated). Scary, isn't it? To nail a pattern like that. I just wish I'd figured that out much earlier in the game.
But then I wouldn't be where I am today, right? ;) Figuring all this out, how my life needs to be in order for me to be happy. Well, I'm sure it'll be a while before I'm "happy." What really would make me happy are those sandwich boards. Or at the very least, a sticker that says "Hello, I am (Insert 'Vain', 'Insecure', 'Vile' Here). The screening process would be so much easier.