Friday, June 24, 2016

Reading and Writing...

...and of course knitting...


I bought (on Kindle) "Reader, I married him." As you may know (and if you don't, you need to!), that was a major line in "Jane Eyre." It's somewhat buried, but it's in there. Jane says, "Reader, I married him."

This is a novel set in an age where women didn't necessarily agree with the marriages - they were property. For Jane to say this? A penniless, orphaned soul who had nobody in the world, reduced to being a governess, living on the kindness of other families and raising other women's children? This is a bold statement: "Reader, I married him."

The book, by Tracy Chevalier, is a compendium of stories that are take-offs of that iconic line. It's worth a look. Some of the stories are obvious. Some? Not. Some are totally off the wall. But they're lovely short stories. Well worth your time. 

I got my e-book refund. A whole $25. You'd think I didn't read much! I just buy cheap books, I guess. And I don't really buy a lot of them on the e-reader format. I'll have to look up some good ones. 

I usually don't buy reference books in an e-format. I won't buy cookbooks, nor will I buy knitting books. I like sticky notes. I like highlighters. I can't highlight or flip pages back and forth on my Kindle. Well, I can, but nothing beats a sticky note, a yellow highlighter and being able to whip right to the page I want. 


The magic happened again, friends! Heel turned on "watermelon" sock. I'm doing the gusset decreases again. I picked up 20 stitches on each side - it's an 18-row heel flap, so I thought 2 extra stitches on either side would prevent a hole where we join the parts. 

I didn't go all "harlot" and match the yarn so that the repeats were even all around. I didn't do it on the first sock, and I think that at some point, it's a waste of yarn to do it just to match. 

Often, I find with Opal in particular, that my stripes match anyway. Or close enough and I'm happy enough. 

I bought some beautiful self-striping yarn from Eat. Knit. Dye. called "A Starry Night." It's got the contrasting dark mini-ball for ribbing, heel and toe. As you can see by the little card, this is a take-off on Van Gogh's "Starry Night." It's just gorgeous, with a silvery shimmer to it. Can't wait to knit this one up, and I think I'll do a fairly simple sock. Let this yarn do the talking!

I'm giving the baby his stuff this weekend. He's a whole 3 months old now, and growing like the proverbial dill plant in the garden! 

So here's a problem. See that line of yarn? How in the heck did that happen? It was during the heel turn, and it was on the purl side. I noticed it, but at the time, didn't ascribe too much to it. Then I realized that it looked odd. 

I tried to put an arrow near it, or do something with it in PhotoShop, but even Hubby couldn't do it. And my old reliable Quark Xpress? Pfffffffffth. 

Anyway, I think it won't really matter, but it's annoying because the other side flows nicely with a nice smooth line from the heel flap to the turn. I know - nobody will see it. It'll be on my foot. In a shoe. 

But it still makes me wonder...

Inspiration Point...

So I belong to a FB group of writers, and they were asking for "your view" -- "What does the view from your writing area look like?"

This is mine... I usually have some knitting handy. There's a book or magazine (or three). There's a cup of tea ready, and I'm able to glance out the front window to the yard and flower garden. I can see the hummingbirds from my knitting chair. The dogs have their chairs on either side of the window, so they can also look out. 

Nine times out of ten, my Quinn has her head under my chair, so I rarely recline it. And usually, if I'm not writing for elephant journal (yes, all small letters), I'm contemplating what to write to you all. 

We got Tippi back from the vet. She has some health issues, and we're not sure what's what just yet. We know something is up, but the lab results are coming back as "not to worry yet"... They're waiting on one more blood test. Hopefully, it's just a nasty UTI, but the vet says some indicators are pointing toward an "eventual" thyroid problem.

It was so sweet that they brought her into the room and she raced at me! They thought they might have had to use a little knock-out medicine on her for the x-rays. But it turns out that she just needed a little skritch under her chin. She rolled over and stayed there. 

We don't call her "Tippi" for nothing! 

The Vet's Office...

So I saw this at the vet's office today. I'm so glad. We love our vet, but sadly, we had a VERY bad experience when we took one of our elkhounds across the Rainbow Bridge. 

One part of that was solved when the vet who was "in charge" of this left the practice. Thankfully. She had about as much empathy as a dead carp. In August. In Chicago. On the street. For four days. 

But another part had to do with having to walk back through the waiting room after doing this. Knowing we did the right thing didn't necessarily mean it was easy to walk back out there with all the other patients and owners. 

From what I see on social media, this is becoming a "thing" in many vet's offices and I like it. 

We who own (or are owned) dogs or cats -- or any companion animal -- we often tell people that they're our furry (or scaly or feathered) children. These are our girls. Anyone who knows us will realize that our human children are male. Our canine children are female. 

When it's time to take that final visit to the vet's office, even when your logical mind is telling you that it's the right moment; when you know your companion is no longer living a quality life; when the pain is too still find a giant hole in your heart. It hurts to think that "the world is going on" while this momentous thing is happening to you and your family. 

To have the vet's office and staff acknowledge this - and to have other pet parents know what's going on - is a comfort. 


So this is the latest one. I have this hanging in the studio. I've found several sites where I can download them. And of course there's Pinterest. 

I'm looking into adding to my stash of colored pencils; I want to get some new metallics and some neons. 

No, I haven't discarded the watercolors. I'm just experimenting with color in different formats. 

What are you doing to unearth, unleash, reclaim your creative side? 

Think about it. What do you do all day? What would you like to do to help you open up a part of your brain that may be a little quiet? 

Paint? Draw? Knit? Write? 

Go find a journal and a nice pen. Or if you're not the "handwriting" type, make a blog on the web. Jot your thoughts. You don't have to make it public - you can have a journal that's a Word document that you keep all to yourself. 

But do something. Create something. Then sit back and enjoy it. It's worth it. 

And so are you. 

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