A jumble of thoughts brought to you in bullet point form, mostly waxing poetic about my hatred of blue:

  • Why are all the dyers obsessed with blue (and gray, for that matter)? No shade to them, really. People can like what they want to like and that’s fine. But MAN. Cruising through dyers’ websites is a hobby of mine, and page after page, I see the same theme. A LOT of blue, and not as much of the colors I want to see, like red or green or yellow or orange. I’m talking seventeen different shades of blue, some of them only infinitesimally different from one another, and only three shades of orange. Two of red. More of purple.
  • Actually, on this website (I won’t name names, because really, I’m not complaining, and also these are truths universally acknowledged), there are a shocking twelve shades of green. This is a much better variation of green availability than I usually see. Green is my favorite color and I hunt for it eagerly among the color cards of yarn companies.
  • Another website has twelve shades of true blue, four shades of green/blue blends, and three shades of true green. Why?
  • I hate blue, and I hate gray.
  • I hate blue because it’s everywhere. It’s a color a lot of people tend to favor. I’ve recently realized that I don’t like it and the more I realize I don’t like it, the more I notice it EVERYWHERE. It’s sickening. I don’t want blue goggles. I don’t want blue running pants. I don’t want blue sheets or curtains or plates or shirts or even blue jeans. For the love of god, I want things that are not blue.
  • Or gray.
  • Though I do feel more strongly about blue than I do gray. I can’t say no to a lovely shade of charcoal.
  • I can also make exceptions for certain shades of royal blue.
  • I haven’t been doing much knitting lately because a certain lovely sister is visiting me, and she is a grand total of 7 years old. We’ve been doing fun things like baking pie, going to children’s museums, and swimming every day.
  • The sweater is feeling neglected.

Do you ever feel like Picasso? Going through periods? The blue period, the rose period… well for me, I’m having a bit of a red period right now. Everything I’ve got on the needles or want on the needles is RED! Beautiful, deep, lovely, luscious garnet red. 

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I usually find myself going through these phases. Does this happen to anyone else? You just get fixated on a color, thinking about how lovely it is… and then all of sudden, everything on your needles has magically transformed into that color. It always starts with a fancy, for me. I think, “Oh, wouldn’t that shawl be lovely in ruby?”

And then poof.

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Red socks appear.

Now, some people – quite a lot of people, actually, knitters in my Instagram feed and otherwise – have recently been waxing poetic about gray. Gray seems to be a color people like. It looks good on just about everyone. It’s neutral and has a lot of shade variations. Slate gray, stormy gray, graphite… ugh… dove… But honestly, I think gray is so blah! Boooooring! It’s the absence of color! It’s the shade of a gloomy March sky! It’s what you see in February when you look out your window and everything looks like winter in the Eastern bloc.

You know what’s not gray?

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A new red shawl!!!

I am Team Anti-Gray forever.

Sometime towards the end of last week, I cast on what seemed like an innocuous sweater. I cast on Flax! Simple, easy, cute, wonderful Flax. I like the pattern, and I know I’ll love the end result, but I’m not sure if I prepared myself adequately for the demands of an almost entirely stockinette marathon. The sweater knows it. The sweater feels I have slighted it. It resents everything that is not a sweater.

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A sweater is not a lovely night with my husband and his brother, playing Risk and summarily being dominated by said brother. The sweater spent the next morning languishing on the piano, wishing it could play a few doleful melodies to express its sorrow and neglect.

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A sweater is not a university commencement. Though the sweater should take comfort in the fact that the commencement was boring as all get out. It was knit on almost constantly during the ceremony, because who wants to listen to 800-odd names being called out one by one? Not this girl, and not this sweater. Thank goodness for knitting. Here, the sweater felt a little loved.

A sweater is not a night with my husband’s (and I guess mine, now, as well) family, drinking some wine, and listening to the banter and chatter of a family that’s not quite yours yet. You know? This was my first time hanging out with them as “one of them,” Andy’s wife, here to stay. A lot of boundaries were broken down that evening! The poor sweater didn’t even get a picture taken of it, because it was left in the car. My hands were fed up with it. I imagine the sweater spent the evening quietly sobbing and racked with jealousy, because that’s just the kind of sweater it is.

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A sweater is not an afternoon session of Dungeons and Dragons (technically Pathfinder). The sweater should again take comfort in stolen moments between my character’s turn in rounds. D&D for us moves rather slowly, so I always pack knitting! Here the sweater is pictured pondering what kind of character it would roll, given the chance. (Alert! Serious nerd talk ahead – ) I am playing a Jadwiga winter witch with aspirations to be one of the witch queens of Irrisen. The sweater is jealous. The sweater knows it would be useful in the land of eternal winter that is Irrisen. The sweater thinks it would be a bard.

And you know what? Surely, the last thing that a sweater is not… is a sock. This one, I think, hurts most of all.

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But – what does the sweater love?

The sweater loves The X-Files. As do we all. The sweater has a serious crush on Scully… as do we all. The sweater thinks Mulder is so freaking loony and out of touch AND VERY IN LOVE WITH SCULLY, AS ARE THE REST OF US. Here the sweater is seen ardently adoring Scully and all her ass-kicking, knowledge-having, Mulder-babysitting self.

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We shan’t speak of the fact that the sock also loves The X-Files.

My foster dog just doesn’t want me to knit, it seems.

… I actually run into this problem a lot. Animals sabotage my knitting. But maybe it’s not the animals’ fault at all. It’s probably mine, for being so careless and feckless that I would actually leave precious fiber unguarded in the presence of not-so-innocent household pets.

I can, though, 100%, without a doubt, honest to Bob, cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, say…

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THIS ONE’S NOT MY FAULT.

A few nights ago I thought I might start Omelet, a very pretty shawl. The stars seemed to align as I remembered some laceweight I had stashed that was perfect for this occasion, since apparently all I’m knitting from now until infinity is red things. Fate has deemed that if it can’t be red, I can’t knit it. Lucky for us, the yarn I had in mind is Jaggerspun Zephyr in “ruby.” So, blessed by the powers that be, I dug it out and proceeded to unpack my swift and ball winder. And as I was winching my swift onto my table, I heard a weird cracking sound.

This weird cracking sound did not, as one may suspect, result in the unspeakable damage to my swift portrayed in the above photo. There used to be a round bit surrounding the wooden screw that fit into the hole in the left of the picture. I think what happened is that the wood glue holding it in there gave out, and that’s what I heard. After that, I couldn’t secure my swift on my table.

I summarily pouted. 1000 yards of laceweight isn’t going to wind itself, now, is it? My friends decided to cheer me up by proposing a foray to the nearest ice cream shop. I carefully secured the wooden screw and its surrounding round thing on the table and left.

When I returned… that’s when I saw it. It. My poor wooden screw and its surrounding round thing… lying on the floor… CHEWED BY A DOG.

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Look at that. The face of innocence. But I know better.

So now I’m stumped. Can I make a new surrounding round thing for my wooden swift screw? I can’t imagine this small bit of damage necessitating the purchase of an entirely new swift. This is actually the second time a dog has chewed up my swift. Last year when we moved, Freckle found my old swift in a laundry basket while we were gone and chewed it to splinters by the time we got back. A couple years ago, a client’s dog ended up destroying a skein of yarn and scarf in progress while I was out on an errand and no one was looking. When I lived with my cousin, her dog was in heat and BLED on a scarf that was blocking on my bed. On and on and on…

Are they doing this on purpose? Just what are their motives? What is the canine world plotting against me? Whatever it is, UNCLE! I give in! I’ll give you what you want! Just leave the knitting alone!

What’s the worst (best?) story you’ve got about a pet and your knitting?

In my frolics and frivolities around the blogs of many esteemed knitters and designers, I’ve often heard the same sentiment expressed. “I dream of cold temperatures all year round, so I can knit and wear my woolies all the time!” I think I’ve actually read someone joke about how they secretly yearn for a nuclear winter to beset Earth, making them and their skills with fiber indispensable. Some kind of weird frosty parallel to the Mad Max unierse, maybe.

Well knitters, OUR DAY WILL COME. According to some researchers in Britain, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, we might be headed for a little ice age in about fifteen years. This sounds like my idea of paradise, actually.

We could do things like frost fairs again! Doesn’t that look quanit? Think about it… a world where the colder temps really make us and our knits appreciated. A world where the demand for knits never ceases. A world made for beautiful, wonderful, functional knits.

You could justify knitting just about anything in that. Bulky sweaters? You bet. Long johns? yes please! And willy warmers? WIthout a doubt. (As an aside… did you know that on the Faroe Islands, girls used to make and present their lovers with willy warmers to see how serious they were about marriage? If the willy warmer was rejected, wedding bells were not in that girl’s near future. Could you imagine? “I just don’t know, Solveig. I spun the finest squirrel fur and made a willy warmer for Jarle… and he wouldn’t take it!”)

I’ve decided to celebrate this announcement in a way only fitting.

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Never mind that today’s forecast was 88 and humid as a sweat lodge. I, for one, welcome our new ice overlords.

Howdy ho, folks.

Yesterday was the perfect day. I turned this

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into that.

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With a little bit of help from this:

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And some sunshine.

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No, we didn’t get a new dog. The little white pup in the photo is a foster resident of ours. He’ll be leaving on 8/2. Then, we’ll just have this:

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and that.

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This past week has been a tough one for us. We made the heartbreaking decision to rehome our dog, Freckle the Wonder Pup. I miss her terribly… but we believe there’s a family out there that can meet her special needs and make her happier than we ever could. Freckle needs a lot more than we, a little family strapped for time living in a small apartment, could give an extremely high energy dog. We really tried our best for over a year to do what we could, but in the end, I think we did the right thing.

There’s a big honking hole in my heart now where a rocket dog used to be. It feels like getting broken up with, really. I keep wandering around thinking, “This is where we used to walk her, this is where we went running last week… who’s going to take her spot on the couch?” There’s some blankets laying around that still smell like Freckle. Wah.

I’ve promised myself that when Andy and I get a big farmhouse with a big yard, with lots of space for a dog to run around, we’ll balance the karmic scales and adopt again. But now… it just wasn’t the right time.

I haven’t really been knitting much (though there has been a little knitting – hang tight). My go-to solution to take my mind off things when the going gets tough is to lose myself in a good book.

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I Am Malala and Cooked are down the hatch, and I’m plowing my way through Water Witches before starting The Waste Lands. All good reads. Water Witches is probably the weakest of the bunch. It’s that light summer reading you don’t have to think too much about, but honestly, that’s exactly what I need right now!

Sometimes while I read, I’ll knit a little bit. Do any of you read while you knit? It’s a little trickier with an actual book than it is with a Kindle. But I’ve been managing. Some days it’s this…

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… the socks I’m fondly calling my “autumn madness” socks. I’ve just now started the second sock to this set. I’m very determined not to fall victim to second sock syndrome from now on! I think my days of mismatched socks are at an end. They just don’t appeal to me anymore.

However, in a moment of weakness, I was blinded when a wild Zauberball appeared.

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I couldn’t resist! I love these unpredictable balls of sheer madness! Even though the yarn quality isn’t very good and they pill like crazy when you wear them, I don’t care. I’ll buy as many Zauberballs as I can. I am devoted. I refuse to disclose exactly how many of these are in my stash…

So until next time, I’ll be plugging away on these socks and these books, trying to remember what life was like before a crazy, loveable dog came crashing into my life.