Sunday, November 30, 2008

Beret-ing myself

Ya know menopause can last a long time, up to 10 yrs my doc tells me (OMG). You're not done with menopause until you've been free from having a period for a full year.

I wish I could shut this thing down by having a hysterectomy. Drastic I know but I HATE hormones.

Today I was crabby and felt all weepy all day long. Had no idea why. Duh. Freaking hormones.

Which is probably why I was also hell bent on making that beret. I just wanted to sit and do nothing because my belly hurt, my skin hurt, my psyche hurt.

I've been eyeing this beret by Crazy Aunt Perl (read her blog, hysterical and not just about knitting). She says it's super simple (and it is because I can actually understand the instructions). Her instructions are written out instead of using knit code (which I am too dense to learn).

My biggest problem is not having the same size needles she has (and no budget to buy new ones). So I punted. And I only had 1 skein of yarn.

My beret is more like a tam. I had more stitches than she did (because I had smaller needles) and as I began to really get into the decreases I realized I was going to run out if I kept adding a row of knit without decreases. So I decreased every row after about 4 rows of decrease/knit. So it's kind of poofy.

It could be worn as a tam or as a snood! I wonder if blocking acrylic (I know, but it was pretty) would help? I don't think acrylic stays blocked, not like a natural material.

I wonder if I'll wear it or if I'll just look at it and say, "Lookit, I made my first hat without dropping a ton of stitches". psssst, I did drop a stitch and had to "fix" it. I wish I were taller so nobody could see it but unless I grow 6 inches everyone is taller than me.

Yay for knitting a hat.

I'm a rectangle kind of girl

Well, that 4 day weekend went fast. I'm jealous that the family had 9 days off. I'm just now getting to the point where I feel like I've gotten over having to be at work and now I have to go back again. I think I need 5 days just to get the gumption up to do anything.

Last night the hub went to play music, the daughter was housesitting, the won and I stayed home, til he left at 10 p.m. I attempted to knit a hat. Twice.

I knit rectangles. All sorts of length rectangles but when its all said and done, they are just plain rectangles.

A hat is not a rectangle. I mean it could be but then I'd have to wear the hat with little ears up on top. Fine if you are 5 but not fine if you are 50.

The hat is a beret shape (my favorite hat in the world). The first one (yes, I completed one yesterday) was worked in the round (OMG) and it's full of dropped stitches. And it's like a skullcap not like a beret. Since it's wool I could wash it, felt it and probably tighten up those holes but I'd never wear a scullcap.

So I attempted a second hat. That one is worse because while I can easily *make one* when I am not trying, trying to make one is a different story. I don't understand knitting in the front, not dropping and then knitting in the back of a stitch. Sounds easy eh? I'm a visual learner so I think I'm going to have to go to youtube and find a tut.

OMG, it's so easy, see this link here. hahaha, not like anyone who reads my blog is going to watch a knitting video.

I guess I'd say knit a stitch, with the loop still on the right needle go into the back of the same stitch and insert it into the stitch, wrap and bring it up to the right stide and then slide the stitch off the left needle as normal.

Yet even that isn't really clear is it? Bwhahahaha.

My second hat is begun on straight needles. To do the ribbed band and I'll transfer it over to circulars once I finish that up. I just can't start on circulars, there is some trick that I cannot figure out. I've looked at Magic Loop and while I can do it, my tension is all over the place (which makes me very tense) and the join looks like a stretched out earlobe from giant grommets.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gray hair

Today I was reading about women who've gone gray. I have a lot of gray in the midst of dark brown hair. Most of it is right in front of my ears and the bulk of that is hidden underneath the longer hairs from the top of my head.

With this bob it's harder to see that mass of gray. I sort of liked it when my hair was cut shorter and you could see it.

I've never seriously colored my hair, nor do I want to. Too much upkeep and way too much money. I guess I can understand my friends (the ones who are over 50) who feel the need to color their hair but I think it's kind of weird what woman say about why they color their hair.

"It makes me look younger". Look, we aren't fooling anyone that we're "younger". After 50 or about 50 our bodies do not look the same as when we are 40 (40 you CAN pretend you're younger). Skin starts to be less elastic, parts start to droop, skin thins and unless you're heavy - starts to look crepe-like. I mean really, how young do you think you look if you have a turkey wattle?

So who are we trying to look younger for? Younger men? To lure them into thinking our wombs are still available? That does seem to be the essence of the attempt to "look younger".

I suppose our intrinsic value is as viable reproducing sexual beings - the womb is open for business. We somehow buy into the idea that we have less intrinsic value if the womb is closed for business. It doesn't help that the opposite sex no longer takes a long glance at you, the eyes skim over the person and lands on the much younger woman who's womb really is still available.

But once you get over the need to have someone glance at you with the long slow stare (unless you are wearing a knitted tin foil hat which is an altogher different thing) you find there is a freedom in being your age. Being what you are.

You can glide thru a crowd and watch everything around you and nobody really notices that you're seeing the double image of what is there and what is being presented. Who tries too hard, who is just who they are and how self-concious they are or not.

Now men (I think) are different animals. They often think no matter how old or fat they are they have intrinsic value for reproduction (probably because they don't have the equal to menopause). How often do you see an old, fat, gray-haired guy giving the long stare at some woman who is womb ready? Either they have some kind of body dysmorphia or they think younger women are raring to have a chance at an old fat, gray-haired guy.

As I look at my hair, I can't wait for more gray to shoot thru the brunette hairs. I'm good with being anonymous and observant and those who are observant will see what is really there in all it's wisdom and knowledge.

How's that for a Saturday morning post? LOL.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Smearing pap

I have this quandry. It's not really a quandry because I know what I'm going to do but I feel badly about doing it.

A girl at work knows I'm a reader and she was all excited to lend me a book that she totally enjoyed. She was tickled that she'd been able to read and love this book so much (she has a young child and doesn't have a lot of time to read).

She brought it in to work. It's a historical romance. Being nice I told her I'd read it on breaks or lunchtimes when I was sans lunch partners.

It's hard to read, not because it's difficult material but because it's so romance. Not my kind of book at all. Most of the books I read have war craft, battle strategy, political intrigue and very little romance. And it's well known I read mostly sci-fi/fantasy which does have romance and love interests but that is not usually the entire focus.

The entire focus of this book is bodice-ripping/man/woman/desire/sex/marriage. And the writing is just plain simplistic.

I am going to finish this book and I am going to discuss it with my friend at work. I'm going to have to break it to her that while the story is nice (and I am being very generous here) I'm not really a romantic so it wasn't really all that enjoyable.

I will refrain from using the words: pap, idiotic, simplistic, crap, laughable, mundane and worthless.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system (until I have to pick up the book again) I can think about nice ways to have a conversation with her about her choice of reading material (vs my own). It's funny how people get all attached to what they read as if they themselves wrote it. I don't want to make her feel stupid for liking something I so dislike so I have to be careful. I'm just happy she's reading again.

FYI: I am knitting in between reading the book. I'm almost thru my skein and I can see I'm going to have to get another one to finish the scarf. Bummer.

The best read in a long time!

So I didn't go to bed, instead I read. For the last 4 or 5 hours. I read Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.

Brilliant book. If you love complex story lines, complex characters and toggling back and forth between time lines - this is the book for you. And it's a chunky read at 1168 pages.

I found it in the sci-fi section of the local Borders but I wouldn't categorize it as sci-fi. It's technically challenging as well. I don't pretend to understand all the mathematics in it but one has to read each word because there are passages inside the mathematics that further the story or the character.

Some portions that will stick in my mind forever: Capt. Crunch cereal, sheer nylon hose and furniture, giant lizards, graphing out masturbation vs having sex, and engineering the division of family heirlooms by a scientific method. Not to mention some of the best war scenes and strategy ever. In both current and past story lines.

I have less than 100 pages to read and even tho it's teeny font I think I'll probably stay up and finish it. It's that good.

It's a mix of Vonnegut's wit, Heinlien's characters and in some timeframes, Rand.

I have a feeling I'll be tearing through all of Stephenson's books.

Oh and if you want to read an excerpt go here click. It starts right after the short interview portion.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving rant

I'm thankful we're going out for dinner.

Otherwise someone would have had to clean the house, buy food, make food, get the MIL up the 3 steps (and back down again) and then wash all the freaking dishes.

We had NO plans for dinner as of yesterday morning. The hub decided to do the go out to dinner thing because we looked around and realized nobody was gonna get up and clean up nor did we have the energy (and I've been at work all week) to entertain and cook.

6:30 P.M.

We're back and it was a tense dinner. The MIL tried to keep the conversation going but nobody was really wanting to talk and then every time someone would start a conversation she wouldn't be able to hear and would introduce something else, effectively stopping the conversation. She wasn't really aware of doing this so it's not like you can blame her...but the end result is nobody can have a conversation.

Not that there was much going on anyway. Everyone in my family was on edge and my stomach gets tied up in knots when there are pissy voices and people bickering.

I think I'll just go to bed. I'm tired and I don't want to think anymore tonight.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Last nights idea

So I did this last night and finished it up tonight. I think I want to change to this webpage instead of the asian themed one. Gotta look at it for a few days.

Hmmmm, I might change it so the Y in slowly is pierced by the branch. Also, click it to see it full size. The small size does not do it justice. Or, hahah, in a few days I'll probably use it as my template.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Playing with vectors

Today I played with Photoimpact, my favorite vector graphics program. That is also what I used to do my template (which is kind of gaudy now that I look at it today as compared to late last night.)

In any case today I drew this and applied all kinds of material to the parts. I love the Amy Butler material I used for 2 of the birds. The middle bird has perfect eye placement (ok, I admit it was accidental but kismet works for me).

Other than playing with PI-10 I napped, read some of my book, went with SKH to get some yarn, taught her how to bind off her scarf project and that was pretty much the whole shebang for the day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The new blog, same as it ever was...sorta

I decided to make the old blog private. Too much personal information is available on that one and I just prefer to be mostly anon, just don't type my real first or last name.

I'll use nicknames for people (that I get to choose!). If you're reading about yourself and you don't like the nick I give you, let me know what you'd prefer. I might change it (if it's not too long to type!)

I don't think my cranky style of posting will change much, nor with the length of my posts. It'll be the same old minutia, brilliant as it is. Bwhahahahaha.

Today I created my template: pain in the ass that's what it is. I hate the white space on the sides and need to change the image to be wider. But maybe another day. This computer is too slow and I can't run my browser and the graphics program at the same time. So any change that I test I have to shut down the graphics program and then restart it to tweak it more. Not to mention I have to keep on uploading the image to photobucket. Like I said, pain in the ass to try and figure out all the width stuff.