Sunday, December 30, 2007

Needing Feedback

My favorite skein of yarn
Tonight as I was showing my friends from Atlanta some of my yarn work and bead work, they wanted me to begin blogging about my experiences in learning how to knit, how to mix colors and what things look right to me - well, that's my interpretation of what they were saying. They also called me an artist and said they would help "hawk" my wares and suggested I apply for a "store" on etsy.com.

Now, I get really excited about yarn and beads and silver and jewelry in general - having a lot of it helps. They pointed out that I couldn't keep replenishing my inventory if I kept giving it away. But, I have so much fun doing it. And, I love mixing colors.

Right now, I want to make myself a shawl to wear around the house when my shoulders get cold without putting on my flannel shirt (a signature piece of my wardrobe). I've tried several different yarns - mixes of soft wools and mohairs, wool and rayon worsted and bulky weights, different size needles and I'm still searching for the easy way to a beautiful shawl for me. I just don't like the look of straight knitting - can't ever remember garter from - oh whatever the other one is. So, I thought I'd go for knit one row, purl one row. Someone help me remember what that is called. Anyway, it gives you a right side and a wrong side (and I like the look of both of them). I also like the twisted stitch where you wrap the yarn around both needles once and one needle the second time. Gives an elongated twisted stitch that is elegant and easy to do. But, I'm not sure how that would work in a shawl.

I bought some gorgeous nylon short fur in a multi gray/blue/rust. I tried mixing it with a wool/rayon (Berrocco Softwist) in the cranberry color, in the navy color, and finally settled on an Encore Worsted in blue/gray. I knitted about eight inches from the tip and looked at it. The spacing of the colors in the multi gave it a blotched look as if someone had tried to daub paint on the yarn and made a big mess. So that was not the way to go.

Then I tried a size 13 needle with a good red Softwist and a beautiful mohair. ugh. Didn't like the way the thing looked in straight knit. So, now I'm taking that out - and have you ever tried undoing mohair knitted with something else. Bleah. Sticks to itself, to your sleeves, to your fingers (dry this time of year), and to the other yarn. So, I gently pull them apart and roll as I go - remembering years of embroidery thread and how badly it twists and kinks. Do a short bit at a time. Pull the mohair apart with tweezers if you can't catch it since your fingernails all break off at this time of year with the dryness.

You'd think with the humidity and the rain we've had the last few days that my skin and nails would begin to look human again. Naaah. Just peeled another nail and snagged a thumbnail down to the edge. This does not bode well for working with furry fibers. And, when I try to pull the stuff off my fingers, I end up with it in my mouth and that's yucky. Talk about a wooly mouth!!

So, now I'm looking at Reynolds Frisky, which no one online seems to have in red and we only have yellow in the shop - oh, by the way, I work one day a week in a yarn shop. Most days I spend more than I make. LOL What a good employee I am - contributing to the well being of our shop - you notice the possessive "our" there, huh? My boss would have to run me off with an ugly stick.

So, maybe some of my posts will be about yarn and beads, jewelry and such. And, no, I'm not a fancy dresser though I do like to look nice. I just love jewelry. My partner, who does woodworking, says that one can never have enough clamps. I think one can never have enough earrings (or yarn) (or beads). Currently, I have more bead than the local shop. And, the bead show is coming up nearby in January. So, I really need to get rid of some of the stuff I have in order to buy more.

Ah, the wicked web we weave when first we practice gathering and greed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Giving Meme

I will send a handmade gift to the first five people who comment to this post. You may email your snailmail address to me at dancing.through.doorways@gmail.com.

While others' lists of handmade goodies is extensive, mine consists of beaded earrings suitable for pierced ears, a fiber necklace, or a package of homemade hot chocolate mix. List your two favorite colors and silver or gold for earrings, just two colors for the necklace.

Here's the catch: If you comment to this post, you'll have to post to your own journal (wherever it is, doesn't have to be on Blogger) making the same offer. Comments are open!

Got this meme from Nina but the gifts come from me.

A Verrry Merrry to Everyone






Merry Ho Ho to all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Not-A-Scrooge Meme

This originally began as an email meme, but I just can't think who would like to read it. So, this has become a blog meme for me - thanks to Juanuchis Way



1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper

2. Real tree or Artificial? One just bought today 8 foot real, 7 miniature artificial

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the first week of December, but with house renovation - probably not until the 23rd when we have our tree trimming party

4. When do you take the tree down? when my partner gets sick of it

5. Do you like eggnog? I love it, but it doesn't love me - and no alcohol, please.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Don't remember much of my childhood, but think it was a pair of white majorette boots that I lost the first day of school because I took them off when they hurt my feet. Those were the only acceptable boots for girls then.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, two of them - one is a small multi-part set and the other is my partner's childhood cardboard with plaster figures

8. Hardest person to buy for? My partner

9. Easiest person to buy for? The ones who give me lists

10.Mail or email Christmas cards? Not doing them this year

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I'm sure it was a ruffled dress that Mom gave me - taffeta with flocked pine cones on the gathered skirt - and worn with a crinoline petticoat (not one of the big ones) that scratched. Bleah.

12.Favorite Christmas Movie? Don't know

13.When do you start shopping for Christmas? I shop all year to fill stocking for my friends - stocking are popcorn tins, but I start present shopping in December usually. If I buy it any sooner, I give it to the person then. Can't wait.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, many.

15.Favorite thing to eat/drink at Christmas? Cornbread Dressing and cranberry sauce

16.Clear lights or colored on the tree? We have old fashioned colored lights on our tree now, but I used clear lights for many years.

17.Favorite Christmas song? O Come, O Come Immanuel (I realize this is really an advent song, but, hey, who knows the difference?)

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? home this year, used to travel to Mom's

19.Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph

20.Angel on the tree top or a star? star - handmade by Lisa's mother and brother many years ago

21.Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? morning - but I always want to do it on Christmas Eve - we opened on Christmas Eve when I was a child.

22.Most annoying thing about this time of year? Alvin and the Chipmunks and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

23.Favorite ornament theme or color? Coca Cola

24.Favorite for Christmas dinner? Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green beans, sometimes rice or mashed potatoes, pecan pie or chocolate pie

25.What do you want for Christmas this year? To be back in my newly-renovated house and cook Christmas dinner in my new kitchen

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Never mind that these things look like figs!


You scored 25% intoxication, 50% hotness, 100% complexity, and 100% craziness!

You are Allspice! You are the flavour of the Caribbean. You are not, as many think, a mixture of spices; you are your own, very unique, spice. Though you may be found in the company of "jerks," you're actually quite nice and rather good at making foul things seem nice, too.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Relaxing

I've really enjoyed having an internet link again after a week without one. And, I've been watching the panda cubs in Atlanta and San Diego. Mei Lan, born a year ago September, is hardly a cub any longer, weighing in at 70 pounds. Zhen Zhen, commonly known as Zoom Zoom, at the San Diego Zoo is still - well, no, she's not small. She's a roly poly bear - and so active that she's fun to watch. Last night she was on her back trying to turn over and wriggled for about 10 minutes before she finally got all the way over on her feet. I laughed and laughed. Here's a how I frequently see Mei Lan in Atlanta - a lazy cub when I'm online - sound asleep.

Five Meme from RevGalBlogPals

Parishioners pushing for carols before you digested your turkey? Organist refusing to play Advent hymns because he/she already has them planned for Lessons & Carols? Find yourself reading Luke and thinking of a variety of ways to tell Linus where to stick it? (Lights please.) Then this quick and easy Friday Five is for you! And for those of you with a more positive attitude, have no fear. I am sure more sacred and reverent Friday Fives will follow.

Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal....
1) dessert/cookie/family food
2) beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog w/ way too much egg and not enough nog, etc...)
3) tradition (church, family, other)
4) decoration
5) gift (received or given)
BONUS: SONG/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it.

I know, I know.... pretty grumpy for November but why not get it out of our systems now so we are free to enjoy the rest of the festivities.


Stole this one from Hedwyg, but it sounds like fun:

1. My least favorite dessert is pumpkin pie or anything with cinnamon prevalent in it, especially hot things with cinnamon. I think I must have suffered olfactory overload with cinnamon at some point, and now I can hardly eat it much less go into a store with cinnamon potpourri.

2. Anything sickeningly sweet - punch usually hits this category with fruit punch as its base, but I like the tart ginger ale stuff. And, anything with alcohol is too much for me. I love egg nog, but it doesn't like me.

3.For Christmas dinner we invite friends who don't have other family with whom to celebrate. We also have a tree trimming party and everyone gets a gift bag to take home. We provide the food and they decorate the tree, putting on as many of our ornaments as they possibly can. Then we sing Christmas carols.

4. I do love the inflatable outdoor decorations - in others' yards. For myself, I cherish my miniature Christmas trees. In 1988 when we discovered I had been accepted in seminary and we were going to have a tiny apartment, I bought the first Hallmark miniature tree and a few of the ornaments for it. This has grown to a current blessing of seven trees and will grow by at least one more this year. Among the decorations are some crude wooden ornaments, lots of Hallmark miniatures, and cherished pieces of jewelry and other memorabilia from past years.

5. My Mom, God loves her, she's dead now, used to give me clothes that I would never put on my body. She loved lace and ruffles, and for years and years she gave me lace and ruffles. I'm not that kind of person. Finally she gave me a man's denim shirt and resignedly said, "Well, I think you'll probably wear this." LOL

Music - I've been having fun with iTunes, having bought the last slim 8 gig iPod nano in the world (well, maybe just in this area) before they changed its size. I've downloaded all my old favorites, my Mom's old favorites, choral Christmas, some new stuff - but I just don't even understand the hip-hop Christmas music - and some of the hard rock stuff is indecipherable even though I like hard rock....I like to sing along where possible. But, I truly object to having Christmas carols 24 hours a day from Halloween until Christmas day - then it's all over - no 12 days of Christmas - no Epiphany. Just blap Halloween to Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Back at the condo

I have spent most of the week "batching" it in the one habitable bedroom in our house. We had two usable bathrooms and the plumbing on one of them went out; so I was one bedroom, one bath - and very grateful for both. Also heat.

No pictures this week; everything looks much the same. The trimwork is finished; the painters began working Saturday; the cabinet replacements and extra parts will be here this week. Royal Flush will work on the bathroom plumbing on Tuesday. The new refrigerator will be delivered Tuesday.

Discovered that the sink now installed in the kitchen is not the one that I ordered. Mind you, I've looked at that sink a number of times before it was installed. I even called Wanda the plumbing supply wizard about the drain being in the center and not on the side as I had thought. But, I didn't notice that it wasn't a deep sink until the grid that can be used in the bottom of it wouldn't fit. So, Monday another call to Wanda the plumbing wizard.

My partner finished the deck floor today. It will eventually be battleship gray with white balusters, but the treated wood has to season for a bit. And, the weather is getting too cool to do that right now. We'll have some more warm weather in December, I'm sure.

The site supervisor says that we will be back in the house by Christmas. I just hope the moving company can cooperate with bringing the furniture from storage when we have a more definite date. Maybe I ought to call them and alert them to the possibility of a week before Christmas. Yes, I know I'm being really hopeful, but this IS a season of hope.

We may have that tree trimming party yet!!

Happy Advent to you.