Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hobby Fury

The sweater I'm knitting is back under control. (Got my whip and chair handy.) I found Lily Chin's Knitting Tips book at the library and it introduced me to many exciting ways to cast on besides the half hitch loopies I was using. My moebius joining continued and would not be defeated that easily. Next I tried another hint from her book to knit two pieces straight across for six rows before joining. Success! I thought I could leave the splits at the bottom as vents but they ended up so small that I will probably sew them up. I still like the yarn (heathered raspberry wool/acrylic) and I like the ribbing (K4 P2). Now that I've conquered the rackinfratzin join I'm in the doldrums of knitknitknit for the torso. I am trying to do at least a couple of rows a day so I can see progress toward the 11 inches goal. I wonder what size this sucker will be when I'm done. Instead of the cotton blend that I couldn't find I am using a slightly bigger yarn with slightly bigger needles. So I compensated by making one size down from my own. If it doesn't fit me I'll make more changes and give it to Mom.

I'm experimenting with extremely light reading. The zombies book (Married With Zombies) has a consistent energy to it. The divorce story (And One Last Thing) has charm if not a lot of substance. They'll do for the moment. I feel like I'm getting into the Halloween mood right on time with the zombies. Katy is going to want to do the Zombie Walk again this year on Oct 4. I've just emailed Nod to tell him that he is the zombie chaperone this year. Not my favorite deal even though I applaud the dressing up and acting weird in public spirit. It is just another parade in this parade-mad town.

The next parade I *want* to attend is KU Homecoming at the end of October. It's at 6pm on a Friday night this year. It moves around depending on the game time. The 9am parades are over and done pretty damn quick. This one may actually be thronged!

There is a banjo staring at me in the living room. I jumped and now I need to make the call to the banjo teacher. Shiver. I stayed up late and watched the first Mumford and Sons song on Saturday Night Live last weekend. They continue to deliver. They achieve such life-or-death intensity in their playing. I love that they all sing. I read a small article in which their banjo player says he took up banjo figuring that in England he could shine even as a crummy banjo player rather than be one of a million crummy guitarists. There's my inspiration! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clooties to you

Lawksadaisy! Courtesy of Katyboo, here's a description of a dessert called "clooties"(!) from The Great British Bake Off series:
"a kind of dark brown fruit dumpling that should be boiled in a bag until it has a skin on it"

Hard to get too excited about tasting the outcome of that. I don't think I've ever boiled anything in a bag. Mrs. Boo has written up extensive commentary on this episode.

My video watching has been a revisit of Season 5 of Project Runway with my children who can't get enough of that stuff. I saw most of these episodes when they were fresh so I am not exactly on tenterhooks. Some of those challenges are just mean.

I have started a sweater and ripped it all back to yarn four times now. I am working on circular needles and the pattern starts at the bottom hem of the sweater. Each time while joining the cast-on stitches for the first row of knitting I have twisted the work and ended up with a mobius strip. The tragic part is that I can't see the twist until the work is about an inch wide, five or six rows in. So frustrating! I need giant double ended needles maybe. There must be some way to be sure I am not twisting the stitches when I join but I don't know what. Time to consult the knitting experts.

I have been wrassling with our limited vacation dates in December and the very high cost of plane tickets for those very days. Finally I threw up my hands and told Nod that we should get the Mazda tuned up and drive it. My MIL is now asking us to fly and offering some financial help. But it's SO expensive on Southwest for those particular days. I suppose I will have to look at those other airlines now.

To get the taste of clooties out of your mouth, how about some blondies? My mother has a way with both brownies and blondies. I was a lucky child. This recipe is appealingly plain and then of course you can throw in all sorts of extras, you hedonist! I prefer mine with neither fake butterscotch chips nor choc chips nor nuts. Just sweet and buttery.

Via the trusty LanguageHat, here's a discussion of the word feck which I thought was only one letter shy of fuck but according to this it's a relatively family friendly euphemism. It includes the following which is quite delightful to know:
Feck also functions as a noun, dating from at least the 15th century. Apparently it comes from a Scottish variant of effect, so it’s a good example of aphesis (also aphaeresis): the loss of an initial sound in a word. Here are the three senses included in the OED:

1. The greater or better part; a great quantity [Robert Burns: "I hae been a devil the feck o' my life"; Robert Louis Stevenson: "He had a feck o' books wi' him"].

2. The purpose, the intended result; the point (of a statement, etc.).

3. Efficacy, efficiency, value. Feckful: efficient

(Feckless derives from the last of these.)

I love 'feckless' and am glad to come across 'feckful'.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Feast and Famine

Feast...Delight...Flourish...   that's the header for a blog I read from time to time. It's written by a stylish young woman (late 20s I think) who writes about food and fashion and finding moments of inspiration in her life. She is inclined to be hard on herself and I think overly concerned with the hard work of being blissful. To the good she seems grounded and inclined to start again rather than wallow in self pity if things are disappointing.

If I had those words at the top of my blog I'd have to have another three shortly thereafter:  Make Do...Whinge...Flounder...  I am grateful for my life and I reach for pleasure and delight. Then I feel weak and aim for adequate rather than excellent. All that seems okay to me. I have always felt a waxing and waning of energy that I cannot control. I can strap myself in and make things happen if I need to. But it's so effortless if the demands coincide with an upswing. I think this means that it's 1974 and I'm really into Biorhythms.

Finished the Tawny Man trilogy by Robin Hobb (Fool's Errand, Golden Fool, Fool's Fate). After hating the second book I loved the third book. It's amazing to me that she could have written such a waste of space as that second one. The third book was indeed too long at 600 and some pages. But she used them to tie up every loose end that ever even thought about being loose and hammer home the mostly happy ending. It was quite satisfying. I'm still hoping to find some Fitz/Fool fanfic which is funny because while making a very desultory search for such (ooh I like that phrase) I found a discussion of R Hobb's condemnation of fanfic and people using her characters/settings. It's a good post but the comments seem to perpetuate some ongoing feuds, I didn't read them all.

Rowing. I'm going to a 4 hour rowing clinic with the KU rowing club next Saturday. I am getting leery as it approaches. But I suppose they won't let me drown.

Nod had a crap week at work last week. He is slowly getting over a cold and I hope that helps everything. He's looking at other job possibilities. This makes me nervous. I would like him to get another year at this place in his resume before he moves on. I need to tell him that. He is trying to cook up something in town which would be a wonderful think -- no commute and he'd get time in the evenings back. But it would be a lower salary and less certain. Shiver.

We took the girls to The Avengers on campus on Friday. Now Lexi doesn't have to feel like she's the last person in Kansas to see that movie. It was not nearly as entrancing as the first time but it was fun to stay out late and do something different.