12 June 2008

Got My Mojo Working

For months now - and I mean months - I haven't been doing any knitting at all. At all. Meir Cats, et al asked me what I was working on and I was ashamed that I had no response to give, nothing to tell her or to show for nearly three years' worth of knitting experience and drawers full of yarn - bamboo, alpaca, laceweight, dk, sock club exclusives, limited edition colorways of artisan yarns, handspun, hand-dyed... it's all there, upstairs, tucked neatly away in the white, 6-drawer Swedish haven in which I store my myriad skeins of coveted fiber.

But there those skeins have remained, unwound and (seemingly) unloved. For months. Months.

I had projects stacked up in my own mental queue, but just couldn't find the motivation to work on or finish any of them.

Something changed.

I don't know if it was the weather (spring-y and bright, lifting some of my winter depression) or the new Stitch 'n Bitch I've been going to in Preston. Maybe the stars are aligned in more favorable positions or maybe I drank a magic potion when I thought I was drinking mere instant coffee. I don't know. And I'm not really certain that I care.

All I know is that in the past few weeks, rather than continuing to suffer through my creative drought, I've finished this:

This is my version of the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun scarf. I didn't have any handspun yarn, so I used Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Bobby Blue. This scarf was languishing in a pile, forlornly waiting for fringe before I rescued it, cut the fringe at S 'n B and added it that very night.
I am delighted with it. It's cozy and warm and long enough to wrap, but not so long that it gets in my way when I move around. I've worn it around the house a few times, just because I can. As pleased as I am to see the sun, I can already see myself smiling my way through a cold winter day wearing the color of a bright May sky wrapped deliciously around my neck.

Then I finished this:

A slightly smaller version of Leigh Radford's felted clutch from One Skein. This lovely bag had been sitting, sadly, gaped open at the bottom of a bag of knitting projects, waiting for seams and button embellishment.

It got this

I think it's prefect.

The brooch is made by a group called Projekt, a skill development and job reaction program in an informal settlement (township) in Capetown, South Africa. The brooches are made with 1 mm and smaller crochet hooks and fine cotton. I bought it at Fibre + Clay in Knutsford. As you walk in the door, these are displayed on a dressmaker's dummy in a glorious array of color. This one instantly caught my eye and I could see it on the bag before I'd even purchased it.


10 June 2008

He Doesn't Even Know She's Gone

Today, Milo and I had our last session with our trainer, whom we've been seeing for the past seven months.

She taught us everything we know about sit, wait, lie down, "hi daddy" and not chasing sheep.

She never scolded when Milo wee'd on the training room floor, occasionally let him play with her dog and she gave us the ball Milo likes best and the squeaker toy that gets his attention when he's wandered off too far.

It was her idea to castrate him and, still, he loved her to bits.

Every Tuesday morning, we would turn into the drive and Milo would go completely nuts in the back of the car. Between the sounds of the sheep, the crunch of the gravel and (what I'm guessing was) a decidedly doggy smell, he knew exactly where we were and he couldn't wait to get out.

When I finally released him from his captivity, he would run directly to her and launch himself in the air, knowing (instinctively, I'd like to think) that she would catch him.

From the very first day, he did exactly what she told him to do. Any work we did with her holding on to his lead never went quite as well as it could have (he was so comfortable with her that he wasn't all that fussed about me walking away). We would always resort to tying him to something else if we wanted to make progress.

Me? I thought she was brilliant. I liked her from the very first day that I spoke to her on the phone. After our session, I always came home more confident than when I left. She made me feel that I could have the well-behaved pup that I longed to have and showed me how to achieve that goal.

Milo is a naturally sweet dog, but he is a better behaved dog because of her.

I appreciated our talks and I appreciated the laughter. I'll miss that.

Today was our last day and I don't know what we're going to do without her.

Thank you - for your time and your patience, for your wisdom and your encouragement. Thank you for showing me the potential in my little doggy... and in myself.

Enjoy the wine and enjoy Spain.


06 June 2008

Tear-Shaped Happiness

I went to bed last night with the a sore tummy and the tell-tale beginnings of what I knew would prove to be a few days of... let's call it "discomfort."

I awoke this morning feeling much the same way and thought, "Hrumph, what an inauspicious start to my weekend." Okay, what I really thought was, "Feh!"

I was prepared to feel sorry for myself for at least 72 hours.

It's evening now and I'm feeling much, much better.

Is it because of the Paramol and Nurofen cocktail I've been using all day to nurse my pain? Nope.

Is it the fact that my Amy Butler Nolita knitting bag arrived by Parcel Force (at a ridiculously early hour) this morning? Uh-uh.

It's because of these:
(a lá Carrie Bradshaw) Ooh... Hello, Lover!

These lovely little darlings are my very own custom-made, one-of-a-kind earrings from the immensely talented and beautifully-natured Jennifer Morris.

Here's another view:
Aren't they gorgeous? I mean really, really gorgeous?!

I've been wearing them all day.

I am wearing them now.

They swing and sway gently as I move and, despite the size of the beads, are surprisingly light. I can hardly tell I'm wearing them.

They make me smile every time I catch my reflection.

Thank you, Jennifer, for making me so happy that I almost don't need the tablets.

You know, almost...