Rhymes With Fuchsia

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Color Me Late

So what else is new? I'm a little behind schedule posting my answers for the Favorite Color Swap. Without further ado, patient pal, here we go.

  1. What are your top three favorite colors?

    Purple, blue, blue-green, in that order. I also like reds, especially purplish ones. I like deep and bright colors. My least favorite color is mustard yellow.

  2. What crafts do you really enjoy?

    Knitting and spinning. I've done some dyeing but am by no means an expert yet.

  3. What products do you really covet?

    Qiviut, of course. Getting closer to financial sanity, I also crave Mountain Colors Bearfoot and alpaca laceweight.

  4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things?

    Reading, walking in the woods, word games.

  5. Is there anything you collect?

    Cat hair. Oh, you mean on purpose? Yarn and fiber, but you knew that. Apart from stash enhancement, I'm not really big on collecting things.

  6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol?

    Sun sign: Pisces. Chinese zodiac symbol: boar.

  7. What are your favorite…

    • scents/smells?
      Vanilla, lavender, orange. Please note: I am allergic to scented candles.
    • types of music and/or bands?
      Mozart, Beethoven, Dire Straits, Jewel.
    • authors?
      Vikram Seth, Dorothy Sayers, Simone de Beauvoir.
    • animals?
      Cats, llamas, alpacas, dragons.
    • places to shop?
      Fiber festivals, funky used-clothing stores.
    • season?
      Late spring/early summer.
    • yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies?
      See 3 above. Also any yarn with merino and/or alpaca content, especially hand-dyed in my colors. I like lightweight yarn, DK or lighter.
    • candies or goodies?
      Dark chocolate. Don't send it through the mail, though, lest it melt.

  8. Do you have any wish lists?

    I think I already covered everything.

  9. Are you allergic to anything?

    Strong perfumes such as those in scented candles.

  10. Do you have any pets? What are they?

    Five cats.

  11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you — anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy.

    Don't stress out about this! I'm pretty easy to please.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Thanks, everyone, for your words of sympathy, encouragement and pants-kicking. Despair is the lazy way out -- you are so right, Roxie! Back to the garden I go. And I owe you all a couple of sky pictures. Shortly after I finished the previous post I went outside and discovered that things were improving.

We ate dinner on the deck as the clouds flew away.

That's what I get for whining! I'm done for now, I promise.

Yesterday brought a lowering sky that kept dripping all day, but it also brought a box full of goodies...

and more goodies.

There were actually even more goodies, but I'd hate to be responsible for mass sensory overload. In one respect, the box's timing was bad: you all may remember that Ruth was kind enough to share her spoils with me when the box visited her, and I promised to do the same in return. At the moment, however, Ruth is off on vacation and not scheduled to return for another three weeks. So, Ruth, what should we fight over?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lesser-Known Dwarves

I am not merely Grumpy today, I am Whiny, Crabby and downright Bitchy. I've been reading about climate change and one analyst's conclusion that we have ten years to get our act together to keep the planet from changing beyond recognition. No more driving 15 miles to work, no more winter lettuce, no chance of ever seeing Paris again, maybe no more blogging, even. Israel and its neighbors are once again bent on killing each other. The Iraq war is one huge atrocity. I have encountered people who actually think all of this is good, because it means Jesus will be back any minute now. Sometimes I almost wish they were right, even though I'd be extra crispy. The sky is overcast and not worth photographing.

If I bought myself a bike I could at least cut down on driving for the short trips. Would that be enough? I thought not. I hate even thinking about changing my evil ways, but I'm thinking, I'm thinking. While I'm thinking I'll knit a baby hat for Dulaan or breastfeeding or something. It may or may not help my mood, but it couldn't hurt.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sock About Town

Having experienced the delights of skunk cabbage and Thoughtful Spot, the sock pronounced itself ready for a night on the town. When we arrived at the Javaroom last Wednesday we found a bigger group than we had yet seen there.

That lovely pink thing is Liz's Malabrigo sweater — oh, and the happy woman wearing it is Liz. Hi, Liz! She did take it off at one point, but, sadly, at no time did she turn her back while I was holding it. I think she knows me too well.

The sock and I made ourselves right at home. Hi, Lynne! Hi, Jena! Hi, Julie! Hi, Nicole, Marianne, and everybody!

The sock got to meet some cousins being knitted by the lovely Amber (hi, Amber!). I had forgotten that Trekking made self-striping yarn; not surprising, really, as I've forgotten more than I ever knew. Since Amber and I were working with the very same needles (Addi size 0, magic-loop technique), I confirmed what I always suspected: I'm an extremely tight knitter. I kinda wondered if 11 sts to the inch might be a lot, and now I know it's true. Between that and the ribbing pattern I chose, the sock and I will be spending a lot of time together. Life is good.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Thoughtful Sock

My Trekalong sock was a long time getting started due to needle issues. Having determined that anything bigger than a 0 was Too Big, I first tried Skacel bamboo circs, to which I'm addicted thanks to Liz's having once given me one. (Hi, Liz!) Only trouble is, on the 0 the join is too big for the stitches to slide over easily. With deep sighs, I resigned myself to an Addi, my problem with Addis being that their tips are much too blunt. It's not quite as bad with the 0, since the whole needle is so much skinnier, but still annoying any time I have to do anything other than knit or purl. Still, I cast on bravely, and a sock was born. True to the Trekalong spirit, the sock immediately set out for the nearby conservation land, accompanied by me and Miss B. The sock enjoyed feeling the grass under its feet — er, foot.

No, the leaves in the picture are not poison ivy. You will be pleased to know, though, Roxie, that from this vantage point the sock has an excellent view of the skunk cabbage.

The sock and I shared a contemplative moment in my Thoughtful Spot.

I love this place: the water's constant roar or murmur or something in between, depending on the rainfall and the season, the rock beneath me, the trees and sky arching overhead. Since the beavers completed their latest engineering project, the brook's single channel has become three or more, and my Thoughtful Spot is on a tiny island. I've fallen in a few times, but the water on what used to be the path is no more than ankle deep.

I know someone will ask: what is that red stuff? It's Gems, and it matches just a tiny flash of crimson in the Trekking. The sock and I are pleased.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dog Day Afternoon

(with apologies to Al Pacino)

Last year we had a dog for a while, acquired from a coworker of Grant's. We had to give him away due to his intractable philosophical differences with the cats, who, after all, were here first, but Miss B was very sad to see him go. Ever since she came home from Rhinebeck and found him gone, she's been agitating for a visit, and today she finally got her wish.

I can't decide who looks happier.

We finished off a great day with dinner on the back deck under another beautiful Saturday sky.

A Different Perspective

OK, I misspoke (miswrote?). I should have said I thought the ceiling was trying to send me messages, but the letters I saw kept dancing about and recombining so much that I couldn't make sense of them, although I kept at it for the abovementioned six hours. Maybe this is why people become acid freaks: they are determined to figure out what the ceiling is trying to say. Luckily, I have a short attention span.

Also, nowadays I have Miss B to give me a new angle on the world. Last week I took my first Trekalong trek with her down to the nearby conservation land to show the sock (there is a sock now, really) my Thoughtful Spot. The sock was suitably pensive over the whole experience, but more on that later. Thanks to Miss B, I saw this.

Beauty in a skunk cabbage. I never noticed before how many roots it has, the better to get all the water it needs.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Is it done yet?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Day Late and a Dull Story

First, a day late but well-intentioned:

My Saturday sky, as seen from our back deck. I love our back deck, especially in the summer, when I can pick up the camera every few minutes as I am watching the barbecue.

I should have known, I suppose, that my passing reference to youthful drug use in the last post would provoke a reaction of "What??? You can't just leave that there!" I would have elaborated, except that it's not a very interesting story, really. My freshman year in college, 30 years ago, my boyfriend (not my husband, we didn't get together until my sophomore year) and his housemates decided to have an acid party and invited me. I spent about six hours sitting on the couch looking up, convinced that the ceiling was sending me messages. (So strong was the illusion that the next day, back to approximately normal, I climbed up on the couch to examine said ceiling, sure that I would find letters stamped in it. It was an ordinary waffle-textured ceiling.) The faded colors of the furniture became vivid and rippled, like an animated Yes poster. That was pretty much it: we didn't go out in public as I was a novice. For about a week afterward I felt queasy as though just getting over a stomach virus. Someone told me much later that acid is typically cut with strychnine, not enough to be dangerous or even noticeable, except once in a while. So I decided, nice, kind of cool, but not worth repeating. And, of course, I was lucky not to suffer worse consequences. Kids, do not try this at home, or anywhere else, for that matter.

See, I told you. Aren't you sorry you asked?