Things that have no name

I don’t know the name of this mountain. It’s on the northern edge of Glacier National Park. It might even be in Canada. But this is my symbol for things that I don’t know. Oh, they aren’t all this grand (or this cold!), but everything is to scale. At least I’m trying to make it so…

I plan to retire next year. Right now it’s my driving force. Exciting and scary at the same time. And it will be a constant climb up this mountain – maybe even slogging through snow, I don’t know. And, for a control freak like me the not knowing is the scariest part.

Do you know how much rents are these days? Holy crap! Now I know why old people have to chose between groceries, meds and paying the rent. I worked many years for minimum wage, or sometimes holding down 2-3 part time jobs. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I really had any money to start saving and a 401k through work. I’m 64. All I’m going to have is my SS from all those low wage jobs. It’s kinda scary, man. But I just can’t face another year of work – not at a job I’m growing to hate more and more every day. The sad part is that I know why I’ve come to dislike it so much, but there’s nothing I can do. If I could find a place I loved, like I did the original company (before all the buyouts) I’d keep going. But, unfortunately most of the stuff I love are in low-wage industries (library work, crafts, photography) if you can actually work in them gainfully to begin with.

You can’t even be a librarian without a Master’s degree (man, I should have kept going on that). Good luck trying to sell any photographs in these days of the internet and iPhones. I don’t mean wedding photography or portrait work – nope. No people, please. And crafts? I’ve watched my sister go to craft shows every single weekend for over 35 years. Most of them she comes home with less than $300. That may be okay for a supplement, but not to live on. Although, I think I may have a plan to sell stuff that might work – the key is to churn stuff out fast and, as a knitter I’m just not there. Not when it takes me months to knit a simple shawl. But a couple knitting machines might be the answer to that… and a flock of pompoms…

9Terrible color in that shot… 🙂 I still have some of that yarn left, come to think of it – it’s some of my hand spun.)

So that’s where I am. With an edgy, nameless fear of the unknown and that big mountain. Hopefully there will be a trail.

And maybe snowshoes!

And then there’s this

IMG_0842

So this happened. A brand new, shiny toy. I’ve been finding myself wanting to work on my computer, but not wanting to sit at the desk. I’m here 8+ hours every day working – I need a break from this area. Not that I want to lounge on my Lazy Boy and slurp beer while I write my blog – although that isn’t a bad idea. I just want to get away from The Desk. So, since my dislike for all things Windows is so well known I thought I’d get a MacBook Air. Isn’t it pretty? It’s like a shiny piece of jewelry. And I pimped it up, too – 16 M memory and a 1TB hard drive. This baby is fast – not just all looks and no brains.

But, that isn’t the only thing that’s been going on. There’s been a lot of this in my life…

IMG_0845.jpg

That’s shiny and pretty, too. Its a BFL-Silk fiber that I’ve been spinning. I’ve been kind of on about silk lately. I’m working on this braid and also some Polwarth Silk from Raven Ridge that I’m hoping will be a sweater. This one I don’t seem to have the best control of – I keep getting little bumpy neps (?) in. I think it could stand some additional prep, but I honestly am not sure what to do with it. The outside of the braid has lots of loose, slightly abraded fiber strands that have pulled away – so do I take those ofF?  I’m leaning that way. Or do I try to spin them in, which is what I have been doing rather clumsily. Then the neps – I pull them out when I see them, but I’m not sure that’s right. I so wish I could find someone to spin with that’s close by. Someone I could ask questions when they occur…

And then there’s this – IMG_0844.jpg

Lately, when I spin or knit he sites up there and observes. I can’t say ‘watch’ because he’s too grave for that. No – he gets that look and it’s like – Nothing to see here – I’m just observing… Snot. 🙂

I keep doing this, don’t I?

LOL!! Every year I say I’m going to write more, and every year I log in to see that another year (or more) has lapsed between posts. Well, here’s something new – how about I just write when I feel like it.

So, I was relating a kind of funny origin story the other day and I thought y’all might enjoy it.

I was born on October 11, 1955 – a birthday that I share with an absolutely incredible lady: Eleanor Roosevelt.

I have no such claim to fame. I’m just me, but I was born under rather hilarious circumstances.

I am the youngest of three children of Ruth and Harvey Dettmann. My two older siblings are boys – Terry who was born in 1947 (and who has his own funny birth story which I’ll share at some point), and Greg, born in 1950. Terry clocked in a around 7 pounds, Greg over 8  – I was 5 – barely. I was a tiny baby from all accounts, which probably explains what happened.

Late at night on October 10th Mom started having indigestion and back pain and asked Dad to take her to the hospital. The boys were staying with Gramma and Grampa, so Dad got up, put Mom and her bag in the car and drove her to Deaconess Hospital. They never even took her to a room. ‘You’re fine Mrs,. Dettmann – that baby isn’t due for another week. Go home and get some rest.’

So Dad took her home.

For an hour.

Repeat….

Repeat…

Finally on the fourth trip – right around 3 am on October 11th, just as the nurse was telling her the same story, Mom sits up and yells at her ‘You’d better take me up right now, or I’m going to have this baby right here!’

I was born in the elevator. on the way up to the delivery room. They say I almost squirted right out onto the floor but luckily the doc caught me.The time of my birth on my birth certificate is 3:44 am.

Here I am with Terry – who was 8 – so you can see I’m fairly little…

 

Untangling

tangled yarn

Neon Birdsnest

This is how I’ve been feeling lately. Tangled. All mixed up. Confused. Also torn apart and depressed and unmotivated.

Why? Lots of reasons. I’m moving – the day is coming up faster and faster – yet I feel no motivation to pack my stuff. Not sure exactly why that is. Am I excited about the new place or not? Am I worried about paying the rent? Yeah, a little, but I know I can afford it so why am I so ambivalent? Why am I finding so stinking hard to pack? Maybe because I’m doing it all alone?

Like I will be pretty much everything from here on out?

That’s the reason for the depression, I know. One of the by-products of working from home is that I’m alone. I don’t go to an office, don’t interact with people. I’m here in my house with my cats – end of story. I’m turning into my mom – I no longer know how to make friends or where to do to do it.

And my best friend is leaving. The one person that I share so many likes and loves: we like (mostly) the same movies, she loves musicals, we like the same foods and we’re both willing to experiment. We love the outdoors – although is different ways, but we can relate to each others differences. We speak the same language on many different levels.

And she’s leaving the state.

And that makes me sad.

So sad…..

Wow – that went fast!

IMG_2795

Seems like just a couple of months ago I jotted down some thoughts, now I look and BAM! It’s been months! No excuses really, except life. It was a full summer, then I moved and now I’ve finally set up my Mac – lots going on.

And I have no real thoughts or wisdom right now either. Except that its cold. Like really cold. Like COLD! And I think the tires on my car are flat because I don’t drive it more than once a week or so. And Moon keeps jumping up on my desk – he wants something, I just can’t figure out what it is.

And I’m going to be a great-aunt! Nick and Liz are having a baby boy.

And I have a LOT of yarn! 10 IKEA bins full plus 5 sweater bags… I so gotta stop buying yarn and start knitting it, ya think? I didn’t realize how much I had until I moved and put my yarn storage in the living room – wow. I thought time went fast – so does stash building! That feeds into my resolution – no more yarn until at least 3 of those 5 sweaters is done and I knock down at least 3 bins. Its going to be a challenge, yes – but I’m up for it. No more buying patterns either. I keep looking for ‘that perfect pattern’ for me, but how will I know one if I’ve only knit one sweater? I need to make a few more, so I know what looks good on me and how to alter a pattern to fit better. I joined a KAL on Ravelry – a sweater in the month of January – that should help. Plus its being run by the designer – I’ll be able to ask questions right away and get answers – that’s kind of exciting.

And I need to shut the computer down and have dinner… toodles!

Ripping back….. a-gain

photo(4)Now isn’t that pretty? It’s really nice leaf pattern from Spud and Chloe’s Folkstory Cardi pattern. I’m making one for Becky out of lovely Valley Yarns Suprewash. Oh! So soft! And really lovely colors.

Too bad it didn’t look like this all the way around.

You see – I have a confession to make: I have a problem with pattern knitting. No matter if I work from a chart or from text, I can’t seem to knit in pattern for a sustained period.

I haven’t nailed down the issue yet. I’ve never really knit in anything more complex than a rib, so I’m really a novice at this. I’ve done a few socks in patterns on the leg portion, but even those were rocky. I’d get off count and my pattern would just go awry – to be fixed again on the next repeat. I never bother much with socks if I get off pattern – nobody’s going to see it but me. But a sweater is a whole ‘nother animal. Especially a sweater for someone else – and a pattern she chose.

One thing I’m going to try – not sure if this will help, but I’m going to try an actual pattern map. This sweater has 233 stitches cast on and the pattern is a 10 stitch repeat + 3. I should be able to create some sort of map that I can use to keep track of my progress across the row. It’s only the knit rows that are a problem – opposite rows are all purl.

So research…. I must do research! You see – all those years working in libraries WILL come in handy. If I can do anything it’s research!

PomPom peds

peds

Does anybody remember these? Well Becky and I saw a pair at Cream City Yarn that just blew us away and so I decided to make a pair for her. I thought they had printed up the pattern for me, but I couldn’t find it. Turns out that it was listed on Ravelry from Purl Bee and it’s free!! Check it out: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2008/4/14/whits-knits-pom-pom-peds.html. So I proceeded to buy the yarn – Tosh Sock in a wild neon yellow-green. I love how fast these are working up. The author is right when she says you get to work on all the fun bits – the foot and heel!