I guess all I had to do was start typing and there it is
Wednesday July 31st 2019, 10:17 pm
Filed under: Life

The story. I’m not sure I’m ready to tell it. The ending part, maybe.

Even when someone messes up and thinks you messed up when you know you didn’t and you know they (collectively) did and you know you have a brain like that but you know that other guy put it in that box but they’re so sure and eventually you shrug it off and walk away.

…When they call you two years later and they tell you they found what they’d accused you of losing and ask you to come get them and then call again and tell you they’ll return them to the manufacturer if you don’t show up in so many days to get them and they make no offer of refunding your rather large sum of money if they in fact do that (edit: it may be that that just didn’t occur to him) nor do they apologize. For anything. And when you show up the look on their face is anything but glad to see you. More, wary.

Being glad to see them anyway and laughing off our human foibles and trying on the long-lost new glasses (not mentioning that the prescription has since been replaced because that could be just so many more layers of awkward) was not what they were expecting but man, did it feel like a weight was lifted off both our shoulders.

I had once been glad to see him. He had once been glad to see me. We reclaimed that, and it was a huge relief. (What’s his name again?)

I will never again, however, order more than one pair and then send one back to be redone.

He didn’t put the paperwork quite in reach and in fact ditched it at the end rather than giving it to me where (edit: this is a guess and an assumption, to be fair) I might read the various notes on it.

I didn’t care. I’d long since ceased caring about the dumb stuff on this one. What I’d wanted to know was, the man had always seemed like actually quite a decent, caring human being, and this had been all kinds of bad for him I’m sure; there was zero point in making it worse. Why not approach it as a chance to come back to the best in ourselves, for both of us. Hail fellow well met.

The glasses I’d actually worn all this time? I’d tripped over them and had been wearing them crooked for months. Costco didn’t have the equipment to repair that style, I knew the original seller would, but I really hadn’t wanted to go back there.

And then he had had to call me to ask me to.

There’s usually a backup guy if not two in the place but at that particular moment everybody else was at lunch as the door opened again and again. Suddenly the place was hopping with customers.

And by golly he put me first even over my objections that I in no way wanted to cut in line, saying, they were still choosing, and then he fixed my regular glasses, too, after I asked if he was sure? I could come back at a better time.

It took him awhile to do. They needed what he could offer.

And he was honestly glad to get a chance to help.

Pinewood derby
Tuesday July 30th 2019, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

After a few days’ interruption, the race is on again! The moose is hiding just beyond that stand of trees, finished, and we’re 25 or 30 rows before the eagle flies in.

Every line of pines going up the mountainside is slightly different from the ones before. Slightly shorter. As they are.

Monday July 29th 2019, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Life,Politics

The first thing I did today was to check up on them.

My friends talked a little about the festival and marked themselves as Safe.

Would that it had been so for all, like it was supposed to be. Like it should be. Like it once was and could be again, if we so choose as a society.

Vote, my friends. Vote. We deserve so much better than this.

Unexpected comfort
Sunday July 28th 2019, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Family,Garden

I called my folks and standing there phone in hand was looking out the window when there it was.

I hadn’t seen so much as a bud much less a stalk when I’d watered the amaryllises a few days ago nor did I ever spot it through the window. It was hiding behind quite a few leaves.

I brought it out to where we could all get a better look at it.

On a side note: going to Andy’s Orchard yesterday, my daughter and I were in a long heavy traffic jam and went oh right, it’s the Garlic Festival in Gilroy this weekend. Cool. I can say that yes, I have tasted garlic ice cream, thank you Gilroy! Those people were going to have a good time, but we were quite happy to cut out of that part of the freeway early.

The news tonight is absolutely beyond comprehension.

A good set
Saturday July 27th 2019, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Knit

The conching was to the point where you could stop any time now.

This has always been a two-person project. It’s one of the things we like about it.

He had a migraine and I was avoiding the chocolate: usually it’s one watching and stirring as it cools and eventually adding the cocoa butter at the right temp while the other cleans up the equipment, and then one pouring, one smoothing the bars over, but none of that is something you can do in the dark holding still holding your head.

Which is how the big cherry tree that’s needed pruning got pruned. Avoidance is a productive thing.

And then I came inside, washed up, dried my hands exactingly–no water near chocolate–and with a few check-ins with him to make sure I was remembering the right temps for each stage, I did it.

I didn’t get the cookie sheets under the molds shaken to help get air bubbles out, the amounts aren’t perfectly even from mold to mold, and the tempering? Yeah well. I did my best. But I did it, and now I know I can.

Not just a plain beanie
Friday July 26th 2019, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Knit

Run the ends in, tighten up that little open circle at the top, call it done.

Ed. to add so I’ll be able to reference it later when I can’t remember which variety is which: Guatamalan-Cahabon cacao nibs, roasted 12 minutes at 350, in the melanger now. It had been awhile and we’d been missing the homemade stuff so after writing the earlier part of this post I got a batch going.

Chocolate gets smoother in scent as well as texture the longer it conches. A few kind of smack you in the nose with CHOCOLATE!!! almost burning your nostrils at this stage. Not this one. It smells great but high acidity it is not.

We’ll see just how mellow it actually turns out to be tomorrow when it’s done.

The worsted thing that could happen
Thursday July 25th 2019, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Knit

The plan was to work on the afghan.

But that brown Malabrigo insisted I go get it, insisted I wind it, and then when I said okay did that and picked up the afghan, I found myself putting it back down and giving myself over to the urge to not just cast on a hat but actually make that hat.

It felt important.

I guess I’ll find out why soon enough.

If you give a moose a stitch count
Wednesday July 24th 2019, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Knit

The bottom half of a gansey moose (if I can get the picture into the post–the update really scrambled things.) To my eyes it looks more like one of those Star Wars mechanical Trojan horses but we’ll see how it turns out.

How big?
Tuesday July 23rd 2019, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Knit

We played a bit of a game tonight: trying to guess the size and type of the critter just outside by the sounds it was making.

Big sounds.

I turned on the porch light. No sign, but a moment or two later, more sounds, light or no light–to use an old expression from back home, it didn’t pay it no never mind.

I opened the door so as to hear better and the tiny skittery sound off to the right was probably the target of the I don’t care that you know that I’m here sound off to the left.

“Close the door, you don’t want to get sprayed.”

Well that’s a better thought than a mountain lion. Did I hear that awning bounce a minute ago? Skunks don’t climb nor do they jump down.

I closed the door.

testing testing 1 2 3
Monday July 22nd 2019, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Knit

Trying to see if the blog is fixed.

Edit: It is! Yay for the resident computer scientist!

Well actually yes it was
Sunday July 21st 2019, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Friends

The doorbell rang. I saw the back of the head through the window as I approached, told my husband it wasn’t anybody we knew, and opened the door to–Holly!!┬áHI!

Turns out she’d been in my town for something else and thought she’d drop by and oh by the way she’d embroidered these hand towels for me just for fun.

She used the facilities before she left and only afterwards did it smack me upside the head that I had just the perfect new towels to hang in there–if only I’d pushed her out of the way and run down the hallway ahead of her with them.

Totally buffaloed
Saturday July 20th 2019, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit

Buffalo Wool Co is moving to a new mill and dyer and cleaning out old stock. They held a mystery offer: for $20 you would get…yarn. What color or blend or how big a skein would be random and unrefundable, but given the warmth and rarity (not to mention natural machine-washability) of bison fiber that $20 was going to be well spent no matter what you got.

My husband has some of their socks and admitted that he didn’t want to wear any other kind anymore, only theirs, preferably their bison/silk ones.

I splurged and he has six new pair of the bison/silks, despite my knowing that “Mom got me socks for Father’s Day” was a line that could live in infamy–except that he really did want them. And he really did appreciate them.

So here I am, I’m seeing that mystery yarn thing, I passed on the chance so that other people could have what few skeins those might be at this point because hey, I have more than my share of good things.

And then, closer to moving time, my friends Ron and Theresa from Stitches and whom I adore ran that offer again.

This time my greed got the better of me before the day was over.

The package came.

It seemed…dense.

You guys!!!!!

It’s the bison silk. Nearly two thirds of a pound in laceweight.

I feel like I just won the yarn lottery.

And Shaun jammies too
Friday July 19th 2019, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

A lot of companies won’t ship to Alaska. But they’ll ship to me. If I ship it in my own box it’ll cost a small fortune, but if I go to the post office and use one of their all-you-can-fit-in Priority boxes it’s the same cost as to anywhere else.

We have a two year old devotee of all things Shaun the Sheep, the show spun off from the Wallace and Gromit movies.

Guess what he got today.

Thursday July 18th 2019, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

Sherry found on Etsy what I didn’t on Ravelry, and thank you, Sherry!

It’s not lace but it’s definitely a moose.┬áDone from the vantage point of looking not quite straight on, and I want a side view, so, another three stitches’ worth separating the front legs from the back stretching that belly out, and likewise on another stitch’s worth lengthening the muzzle.

So far, that’s what I’m going with but I’m not up to there yet.

It is amazing how much faster it is to knit a 182 stitch per row afghan than a 279-stitch one.

Unless you know of one?
Wednesday July 17th 2019, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Knit

Does yarn ever leap out at you and jump on your needles and ignore you telling it no?

Yarn is secretly cats.

Yes the baby needs something soft and small enough to drag around behind her.

I was afraid the single-ply baby alpaca might shed a few fibers.

I was wrong. It sheds like a Maine Coon in summer . The silk percentage does not anchor it in there.

But oh mannnnn. That stuff is SO soft. And SO pretty.

So since everything there goes through the laundry the fibers will just felt in place, and, bonus, it’ll even cover over the yarnover holes to keep the baby warmer. Knitting this is fine to do because it claims that it is as it races ahead. It’ll be great.

Right? Right?

Now I just need a pattern of a moose. There are lots of patterns of moose.

Just not in lace.