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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
August 2022
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quick hit

On Tuesday, I had this:

handspun baby yarn

Then on Wednesday, I had this:

beginning pea pod hat

Then last night around 11pm:

finished pea pod hat

It was quick and satisfying. I screwed up centering the leaf panel between the decreases, but I adore the pink and blue strips the yarn makes. I’m not sure how well you can see them since on my monitor the pink looks… lost, but in person the hat has definite soft pink and blue stripes. Wednesday night was cool and the merino and silk was calling to me.  Then last night the weather stayed nice and I managed to finish the hat. The yarn was soft and sweet despite the sections where I over spun and over and under plied it. I’ve come a long way though.

Here’s hoping the weather continues.

Wanna see some more pretty stripes?

pretty stripes

And I am still working on the socks, but do you realize how hard it is to photograph detail on red, solid true red, socks? Apparently, it’s a bitch.

Family

So I’m going through two things right now. One is that the search for spark for knitting has kinda… stopped. And actually, the weird thing is that I remember this happening last summer. But last night, I sat and watched the Closer and I did not knit. I did not spin. I sat. And then I watched some older episodes of Medium. I had laundry going. Bear was sleeping. I didn’t even have the urge to knit. I have the second of the red socks going. I have a lace swatch/scarf thing going. (I’m using the pattern for the center panel of the Wedding Ring Shawl. I’m getting familiar with the patterns so the Shawl isn’t too much of a shock.) But I haven’t touched either in about 24 hours. Weird huh? I’m thinking it’ll pass. It did last summer. I remember Bear thinking that finally the knitting phase had passed, and then autumn came and wham, I had a spinning wheel and I was working like crazy on his scarf again and he groaned.  But I’m not too worried about the whole thing. It’s just kinda odd. Maybe I’ll always be like this.

The other thing is that suddenly I’m not very content with my life. Which is fine, but becoming content again would mean drastic changes. I miss my family. I grew up in a house full of family. There were many different personalities and beliefs and hobbies and we were all so involved with each other. When I went looking at colleges and universities I felt an enormous urge to get away. To not have my whole family stuck up in my life and to not be stuck up in everyone else’s life. And now I’ve spent more than five years having everyone stuck up in my life and being stuck up in everyone else’s life over email and phone instead of in person and honestly, I like the in person version better. I think I just needed to move out of the family home. I think if I had moved across town it would have worked out. Or maybe I needed to move 3,000 miles to realize that in person works better. Whichever. I’m just ready for family again. This doesn’t mean I want to have kids. Bear and I aren’t ready. I think we will be one day, but not today. So Bear and I have been discussing. And I’ve been homesick.

Maybe that’s why I’m not knitting? I don’t know.

Oh, and for anyone who hasn’t known me for years and years and heard the stories, I really and truly do mean that my family is extremely tight knit. Sometimes we’ll invite someone for Christmas or Thanksgiving and there’s always this sense of awe. Sometimes the awe is accompanied by revulsion and sometimes by admiration, but I don’t think I’ve seen someone who hasn’t been amazed at how the members of my family find nothing too personal and nothing too trivial to not be important to other members of our family.

The raising of the children: eating habits, potty training, homework chasing, summer vacation coordination, constant clothes shopping and swapping, carseats, etc. (we have… 8? under 10 yrs. I think there’s 8.). The nuttiness of my mom’s brother and sisters (I don’t even bother to count. My mom has 9 brothers and sisters. In various states of existence.). Retirement funds, senility, health, stress, mortgages, etc. And then there’s the older grandchildren (five of us between 20 and 25). We are still being raised and we yet we are finding jobs, dealing with school, debt, housing, marriage, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.  We fight and bicker and argue about each other’s problems and we talk about others choices and obvious lack of mental abilities (and while we may criticize and chastise and and punish, we never, ever, abandon). We pull together at deaths and losses. We present united fronts at problems. We are a network of expertise and experiences and contacts. We celebrate marriages and births and triumphs. We stifle and comfort and lean and support all at the same time. When my great grandmother became old (I know she was very old, but I don’t know how very old), there was no talk of nursing homes or assisted living or nurses, there were regular visits to and from doctors and round the clock sittings and later there were oxygen tanks and wheelchairs. The children who were too young to be expected to live quietly were shuffled in and out of the house to different adventures by whomever had the time and energy and wasn’t sitting with our abuela. We dealt with the grief in our own ways, but always together. It didn’t matter if you needed to hide in a corner, we were all there. When the grandchildren were born, everyone who could be there was, and if they couldn’t they were as soon as they could and we stayed. Hospital nurses must have hated us. We mobbed every single birth. Even those I’m too young to remember, I know we did. And when I say we were there for births, I mean, I was in the delivery room for one and I’m one of the grandchildren. We were THERE.

I have a million stories. Embarrassing stories. Happy stories. Sad stories. Mostly funny stories because my family loves humor. Old stories, new stories. We aren’t a dancing family; we aren’t a singing family; we are a story-telling, bullshit shooting family. We play dominoes and canasta and monopoly. We go to Mass together and the movies together (ohmygod, when I was a kid, either all of us went to the same movie or none of us went, and even when you got older and could drive and go with friends, if you left and went and saw a movie or went to the mall or did just about anything and didn’t tell the family you were going and where you were going, you heard about it when you got home. all of my friends knew my cousins and sib. because my cousins and sib. went to movies and dances and everything with me. thankfully for them, I’m one of the oldest, and it was much easier on them when they got to my age).

And I’m going to stop now, because really, this isn’t helping the homesickness. But it does make me grateful. I have one hell of a family.

finding a happy place

I am at home today, which is having an amazing effect on my ability to breathe easily. The house is silent, the windows are open and cool breezes are blowing through the house. We are supposed to get a storm later, but right now, everything is very peaceful. I have plans to read the research paper of the week, and write up some stuff that needs to get written up so I get paid next year. (I find it weird that we have to get funding approval now for next year, but it seems thats the way things work.) No worries about people. No worries about the fact that the jeans I’m wearing are a bit smelly (ho boy I really need to do laundry).

So while I’m in this very good place, I’m going to show you what I got on Saturday. I’m very very pleased with the things I bought. I don’t really wish I had bought anything else. I just wish I had gotten to spend more time there, or seen some people (I don’t know that I would have had the courage to say hi if I had seen them, but I didn’t, so I just get to pretend I would have), or looked at some wheels, or spindles, or seen the sheep shearing. But it’s over and done with, so lemme show you the stuff I’m excited about.

haul

First up is the book. I’d heard about it and I’d thought about buying it for a while. But when I saw Jacqueline Fee (didn’t know who she was at first, but when I saw the book and the posters she had, I figured it out), I had to have the book then.

autograph

And then she signed it! (The name on my birth certificate is not Emmy, but Mary Ellen -> M. E. -> Emmy. I like Mary Ellen, but it’s too long.)

fiber in sun

The cream colored fiber is alpaca. I’d hoped to find a darker color like off this poor guy:

skittish

(He was very skittish of me and my camera. Yes the flash was off. I didn’t want to traumatize him more than he already seemed.) But I had no such luck when I went to buy. I do think this color is very pretty though. I’m thinking to spin maybe lace weight? Not that I don’t do enough of that, but I can just see it as a really gorgeous scarf/shawl.

chocolate merino

My favorite is the merino. It has “w/ silk” handwritten on there, but there isn’t any more information. It has yet to say anything to me except “I’m so very very pretty and you are so very very happy you bought me.” I do agree with it, but I wish I could get an idea of what to do with 9.9 oz of “chocolate” merino w/ silk. I didn’t call it chocolate. The lady at the Wool n Ewe booth did, so I will do so as well since I rather think it defies easy description.

And finally the treat. The Dragon. I walked back and forth and around the Grafton Fibers booth trying to decide whether to spend the money on a kit to make a needle felted dragon when I’ve never needle felted before in my life. What if I ended up with a stupid looking dragon? But this guy:

finished dragon

He kept tormenting me. Saying you want one just like me at home. Come spend the money. I’ll fit in with the other dragons. (I have a thing for dragons. We have many at the house mingled in the clutter so that they aren’t really noticeable to the casual guest.) So finally, after consulting Bear, who said another dragon would be most welcome, I bought it. But I’m seriously not going to be able to make it. As Bear so often says, I have no spatial awareness. I’ll end up with a deformed dragon! Maybe I’ll be able to convince him to do it…