7

Perspective

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Remember this?

 

Sunday, in our workout room, while timing R. Darling’s upper body sets, I happened to glance over at our bookshelf and something caught my eye. Yes, we have books in our workout room. Yes, I know that’s weird (both the workout room and the fact that there are books in it). But truthfully it’s one of the only rooms in the house that has space for a couple bookshelves. If it were solely up to me, there would be books on every surface and bookshelves on every available wall. But it’s not and that’s probably a good thing since I’ve got enough dust as it is to start my own turnip farm under the couch (who eats turnips anyway?). I don’t need a pumpkin patch too.

But this book. Vogue Knitting: American Collection. I bought it on clearance at Barnes & Noble a few years ago when I first started knitting. Liked a few of the patterns but shelved it and didn’t look back. Staring at its bright blue spine daily for the last couple weeks I felt compelled to look inside it once again, wondering what drew me to it in the first place. Was there something fantastic in it that I should be knitting right this moment? Idly I flipped through the pages. Much to my amazement, the very sweater that I have been eyeing hungrily on Ravelry swam up from the pages at me. Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Best Baby Sweater, a.k.a. The February Baby Sweater. How could I have missed this the first time around? Had it really been there, waiting, this whole time?  Some lingering Fairy Godmother action must have woken me up from my apathetic slumber because I suddenly snapped awake to the thought that the Judy’s Grandmother’s Baby Sweater (from Greetings From Knit Cafe) had gone sour on my needles.  Oh, so that’s why I left it in an unfinished wrinkled pile, only about 5 months late…….  The bitter taste of regret still lingers on my lips when I think about the wasted effort.

But this new baby sweater!  A glorious discovery!  Baby Kimono will get frogged and refashioned into something much more lovely.

 

And all it took was a new perspective.

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12

Oh Yeah. Did I Mention That We’re Nuts?

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Yep!  It’s snowing and I’m kayaking!

 

I am just now starting to warm up enough to show you some pics of what we did a couple Saturdays ago (January 19th to be exact).  R. Darling and I went with the local chapter of WAKE on an eagle watching trip down the Skagit River.  To be completely honest, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to paddling my sea kayak down a frosty river.  But in some ways I am still a newlywed, and I just can’t help myself from being game for most of the things that R. Darling cooks up even though I quite often end up cold, wet, muddy, or all of the above.  But (almost) always with a smile!  I’m just not ready to quit perpetuating  the myth that I’m a good sport ;)

After R. Darling packed up our gear that morning, we piled into the truck and headed for Marblemount (I’ll skip the specifics here; if you’re even vaguely interested, you can find them on R. Darling’s bloggy).  A light sleet hit our windshield on the way out of town issuing an ominous you-will-freeze-your-ass-off-today sort of warning in my head.  Driving further southeast we were greeted with a countryside growing more steadily white as each mile drifted away.  By the time we reached the meeting point and started the complicated shuttle of cars from put-in to take-out it had begun to snow lightly, then ever increasingly, making me nervous for my fingers and toes (I rather wanted to keep them!).  While waiting for the rest of the group to reappear after the final shuttle, I snapped a few photos for posterity while trying to keep my rapidly numbing appendages warmed up as much as possible.

 

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Beautiful surroundings

 

It was peaceful at first, being on the river with the snow falling on us.   I had never thought of using a sea kayak on a river before, but the Skagit is a wide, deep river with very gentle rapids (at least where we paddled) well suited to coasting along in a sea kayak.  We did hit a few rough-ish sort of rapids that scared me a bit as I was already feeling worried that I wouldn’t be accomplished enough to hang with this crowd, but I managed them o.k.   There was one unfortunate gal who didn’t navigate them quite as successfully and, poor thing, went for a swim twice in the frigid waters wearing only a wet suit.  I was cold enough as it was without having been dunked and I felt awfully sorry for her but selfishly glad it wasn’t me.

 

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R. Darling enjoying himself immensely

 

About 6 miles into the trip, or maybe an hour and a half on the water, the novelty of the falling snow and peacefulness of coasting along on the river lost a bit of its charm.  My fingers and toes, though bundled tightly against the weather, began to complain about the punishing temperature.  And we were only halfway there.  R. Darling and I both agreed that this was a fun trip – once – and that we didn’t really need to experience it again any time soon.  In all, I counted about 50 eagles (occasionally losing count when thinking about how damn cold I was) and it was thoroughly amazing to see the sheer numbers of them feeding, nesting, and perching near the banks of the river.  They are truly breathtaking to see up close.  Majestic, regal, every word you’ve ever heard to describe them is absolutely true.  And, I’ll add, they’re downright huge.  Unfortunately, most of the pictures that day turned out dark and blurry due to the weather conditions, but we did get a few decent ones.

 

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This juvenile seemed completely unruffled as we drifted slowly past him only feet away

 

So, despite the fact that I’m in no hurry to rush back out into the frigid weather in my kayak, a cozy house, a warm husband, and lots of hot tea have conspired to give our little trip a more rosy glow than I perhaps felt that day.  I’d say it was a great adventure after all and I’m glad I was game enough to go!

 

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I may look like I’m smiling but my face is actually frozen that way!

5

Announcing Treatful Tuesday’s Winner!

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Somebunny needs a treat!

 

All the names of commenters from last Tuesday’s post were put into my cute little easter dish…….

The bowl was handed to R. Darling (for an unbiased picking of names!)……..

 

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Pick one sweetie!

 

And our winner is………

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Jenny! Hooray for Jenny!

 

So sorry that I couldn’t give one to each of you, but I hope to be having another contest in February so check back soon!  Have a happy Monday :)

4

The Bumper Sticker And The Curious

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(Image courtesy of Spincycle Yarns)

 

I spend my days in a tiny scientific oasis, floating amidst a lagoon of industry that teems with construction offices, a cement producer, the transit authority, UPS, and an assorted variety of specialized blue-collar odds and ends. My view out the window consists of a sprawling lot filled with white and black PVC pipes stacked in tidy pyramids flanked by scarlet pipe fittings and a variety of other water system necessities whose intended use I will never discover. Every once in a while a man with a forklift goes out and retrieves something, presumably for a customer, and in the summer when the windows are open I can hear a woman’s voice over the PA in the lot, scratchy and demanding. Several times a day large semis with trailers and UPS trucks roar by sending swirls of rock and gravel dust up into the air.

So imagine my surprise last Wednesday night when I pulled into the main road from the lab behind a black Nissan Pathfinder sporting a bumper sticker with the Spincycle (my newly discovered local treasure) logo on it. Immediately I began to wonder: Was this a knitter in front of me? Or just the boyfriend (or girlfriend) of one? Or maybe they just bought the car like that from someone else who knits? I imagined the driver would most likely be an ordinary UPS guy. They always park in the lot next to our building and it would make sense since he came from that direction. I saw him driving to his buddy’s house in his new/old vehicle and drinking a frosty brew in the driveway as he showed off his newly purchased wheels. His friend would dig him in the ribs and make granny jokes about the Spincycle sticker or maybe even the Bjork one that had the place of honor in the center of the rear window. He’d grin sheepishly, shuffle his feet and mention how he planned to scrape those off, then take a deep swig of his beer and change the subject. And here he is, 2 years later, driving in front of me and sporting that sticker that I will always wonder about. All I can say is, next time I see him I’m gonna throw up a rock sign and mouth out the window, “Knit or Die dude!” and wait for a reaction.

10

Treatful Tuesday!

This weekend R. Darling and I made a major trip to Goodwill and while sorting through some of my crafty things (no, I was not able to part with any of my fabric, beads, yarn, or other crafty bits; that’s just crazy talk!) I came across a needle case that I made a couple years ago in a fit of eBay activity.  This was before I had heard of etsy and I had hoped to make some needle cases to sell, but after little luck with my first crochet hook roll, I sorta tucked the idea away nice and cozy until some sunny day when it felt like coming out to play.  I’d like to change it up a little and give it a try on etsy sometime, but that won’t be until after I’m off this crazy hectic workout schedule which leaves me with little to no free time anymore.

Anyhoo, back to the needle case.  I’ve got several already and I was thinking that if any of you lovely readers might be in need of a needle case for your straight needles, I’d love to be able to give you my extra one!  It’s a Knittymuggins original and the first and only one of its kind ;)  It’s made of 100% cotton fabrics with a grosgrain ribbon tie and is approximately 16 inches wide x 15.5 inches in height (when unrolled).  There are 7 pockets ranging from small to larger and some of the larger pockets could accomodate more than 1 set of needles if desired.

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I do want to find this little cutie a good home so if you are interested, leave me a comment on this post.  I’ll take comments until midnight (PST) on Saturday January 26, 2008.  Sunday I’ll put all the names in a hat and Monday I’ll announce the winner!  Have fun!

6

10 Things Meme

Robin tagged me for a meme!  The game is to list 10 things I have done that others might not have.  Cool :)  This will be tough (I’m quite uninteresting) but fun.  Once I finish my list, I’ll tag 5 other people and leave comments on their blogs to let them know they’re tagged so they can play too.

So check it.  Here’s the 411:

1.  I went to elementary school in what used to be a one-room schoolhouse.  The main portion of the school grew out of the old schoolhouse and they added a few mobile units for extra grades as the number of kids attending increased.  There was a gigantic silver bell at the top of the stairs of the main building and we would beg the recess aide to let us ring it to signal the end of recess and time to go back to class.  It would take two of us to push it back and forth enough to get the bell to clang.  It’s one of my favorite childhood memories.

2.  I rode close to 1000 miles on the back of a Harley to attend Sturgis in 2002.  I would say I earned that “I rode mine” patch I got at the rally!

3.  Related to #2, I also earned my Mardi Gras beads in Sturgis!  I won’t tell you just how many beads I ended up with ;)

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4.  I have won a spelling bee.  Nothing like the national stuff they do now, but I did win a pizza party for my whole 6th grade class by spelling the winning word in a competition amongst all the other 6th grade classes in our middle school.  The winning word was “procedure”.

5.  I have ridden in a helicopter and swum in a waterfall only accessible by air.  On our honeymoon in 2004 R. Darling and I took a helicopter tour of Kauai and had lunch and a swim at a remote waterfall.  So romantic and so amazingly cold!  But we’re used to that living in the Pacific Northwest.  As we were waiting to board the helicopter, another one landed and one of the passengers came out blowing chunks hard.  The pilot told us that if any of us had trouble with motion sickness we should tell him right now.  I get horribly seasick but I didn’t want to miss out or be the one to spoil the trip so I didn’t say anything.  I spent a lot of the trip worried I’d get sick but I never actually had a moment where I thought I would be.

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6.  I have eaten off of the same dishes as the Queen of England.  My mom’s grandfather was honored for some of his wartime achievements during World War I by the British Royal Court and included in his gifts was a set of china for his wife bestowed on him by The Queen Mother.  No one in my mom’s family cared about the china except for her and she was given the set by her mother who “hated the stuff”.  A family friend of ours who spent some time traveling in England was astonished to visit Windsor Castle and see the table set with china that looked remarkably like my mom’s.  The set is now mine and it makes me feel like a queen whenever we use it (which isn’t often since I’m scared as hell I’ll break something)! 

7.  I rowed crew for 3 years in college despite the fact that I am the exact opposite of a perfectly built oarsman (oarswoman).  I’m really more appropriately coxswain sized but I didn’t know any better when I tried out.  And since it was a club sport at the university I went to, they had to keep me as long as I could hang with the workouts.  The cool thing was, our women’s 4 won the New York State Championships our freshman year.  Go UR Crew!!

8.  I have co-authored 2 papers (under my maiden name) which have been published in respected scientific journals and have done research that contributed to at least 2 more.  The ultimate goal for a lab rat!

9.  I have been invited to, and attended a very sacred Native American religious ceremony.  Very few non-tribal members are ever allowed to see something like this and it was a great honor to be invited.

10.  I have swum with turtles in Hawaii.  One of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had!

 

So that’s my quite boring list!  And now I tag: Knitsabella, Fond of Snape, iKnit.iPurl, p3knitter (The Yarn Closet), & Lisa.  Have fun!  I can’t wait to hear your answers :)

    5

    It’s A Major Award!*

    The talented and lovely Ms. Fond Of Snape has presented me with an award! OMG! Thank you so much! You totally made my day :) Again, in the space of just one week, I am speechless with undeservingness.

     

    makemydayaward

     

    Here’s how it works:

    Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about Blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!

    And now (in no particular order), it’s my turn to share the love……….

    (this is really tough to keep to 10 by the way!  I’m inspired by and grateful to all my bloggy e-friends)

    1. R. Darling – My one and only who makes my day every day! (I know, so sticky sweet you’re getting a cavity, but so true :)
    2. Ms. Fond of Snape – So talented and wonderful, her blog always gives me something to think about and such beautiful pictures too!
    3. Robin of Yarn Crawl – It’s hard not to be inspired by a woman this productive and creative!
    4. Kasia – Her charming view on life and imaginative projects always keep me entertained!  Plus, she’s a lovely pen pal ;)
    5. Jenny – Her genuine sweetness, lovely colorwork, & adorable kitty photos (I have to live vicariously through them since kitties are not allowed in Chez Funkytown) always make me smile!
    6. Knitsabella – She’s so enthusiastic and sweet and it’s infectious :)
    7. Ms. Pursuit of Fiber – This girl knits a lot and seeing what she comes up with is always an inspiration!  I could learn a lot from her!
    8. Ms. Knittlesticks (also of Hazel Knits fame) – Though she hasn’t blogged much lately, she’s spunky, fun and talented and I love hearing what she’s up to!
    9. Ms. Rubys & Purls – Such a sweet gal and such lovely knits to share too!
    10. Laura –  Because she did something incredibly thoughtful and sweet for me last week and I never would have met her if it weren’t for Blogland!

    * Cheap quote from one of my all-time favorite movies “A Christmas Story”; plus, it feels like a major award to me!