Thursday, September 1, 2011


Bruce and I have been having a vacation from our lives lately. Two of our dear friends, Kay and Gregory, have been letting us stay with them this week. Part of their family is on vacation for a week, so Bruce and I were invited to take advantage of sleeping under a real roof for a while. Ironically, I've come to find that I sleep better in out in our tent; in the tent sometimes we are woken up by the sound of traffic and local construction (we're unfortunately positioned in a spot where sounds from the road can echo down into our trees), but here in a house there are all sort of electronics and appliances creating ambient noise, and two contemptuous beasts called German Shepherds that Enjoy far too well Barking at an Ungodly Hour of the Morning. I'm starting to prefer the sounds of bulldozers to dogs barking. It's a testament of what a person can adapt to.

That's not to say it isn't very nice to have access to a shower and conventional toilet whenever I like, a fridge to keep our perishable food, friends to eat and drink and relax with every night, and access to electricity to do things like write and post this. So far, the couple of days Bruce and I have spent here have been a very nice little vacation. Two days in a row, we did nothing but putter around the house and watch TV. Bruce and I never watch TV. Well, I used to in my parents house on nights I couldn't sleep, or when I was sick, but after I moved in with Bruce, I stopped watching TV almost entirely. But in a move very unlike either of us, we spent one day watching a Eureka marathon (one of the shows Bruce actually did used to watch on occasion, but I had never seen it - and am now as rabid a fan as any, I'd rank it on par with Dr. Who and Torchwood) and the next day we watched documentaries about marijuana, the Masons, Pablo Escobar, and the history of cocaine. Yesterday was the first time we left the house in three days.

We're going to be here in the house for a few more days yet, and we're probably not going to spend that time lazing around in front of the television, but both Bruce and I feel rather refreshed from our vacation time. We'd been talking about how we're always running around like crazy people and it was getting tiring. Shutting off the phone and shutting ourselves away from the world at large was definitely a needed "reset". We've been talking about ways to keep on doing everything we want to do with ourselves, but in a less frenetic sort of way.

And knitting has been happening! I finished my Blue Breeze Shawl - the one I posted the simple pattern for last time - and it is so warm and cozy. Nearly two whole skeins of Lion Brand Homespun went into it and it's perfect for what I wanted - a big wearable blanket. Because I knit it on big needles, it won't stop the breeze from getting in, but it's a nice layer to add when I'm chilly in the evening. And I knit my friend a little iPod cozy, ironically the first I've made in my 5 years of knitting, despite their popularity among knitters of my general age. Probably wouldn't have made one anyway had I not felt a small sense of obligation.

See, the iPod itself came from this sketchy dude who owed Bruce and me $20. He'd given us his wife's iPod (which she apparently didn't want anymore, maybe she got a fancier one) as collateral. Then he decides to flake out on the $20 and told us to keep the iPod. Well, we've already got one iPod we rarely use, we didn't want another. Our dear friend Jacques had been wanting an iPod so he could listen to music at his job without killing his phone's battery every day, and he thought $20 was a fair price. The problem was the iPod was a very unmanly shade of magenta, so as a condition of the sale, I promised to knit a manly looking pouch for it.

It was an interesting project because I knit the majority of the pouch using double knitting. It resulted in a very fitted little pouch that snuggles the iPod perfectly. Finishing it was tricky because in order to knit a flap to close the pouch, I had to bind off every other stitch on my needles, sliding the others onto a holder as I went along. Then I took those stitches and knitted a little flap with a button hole that folds over and closes the pouch. I just need to weave in ends and attach a good button, and then it'll be ready for Jacques.

My next project I have planned for the immediate future is going to be another shawl. I don't know what pattern yet, I've got some ideas bouncing around though. I'm still planning to work on learning socks, but I'm still saving my pennies to be able to afford the smaller needles that my collection currently lacks. I might splurge on some cotton and begin making sock poi again, although I've been waiting for Michaels to put up good sales on their yarn. They do it every now and again, and if I'm patient, eventually Sugar and Cream will go on sale for a dollar each. Hence my plans for another shawl; I've been kicking around ideas that will use yarn and needles I already have giving me a project to work on now while I save my change and wait for sales on things I don't have.

The other thing I have been up too, besides vacationing from tent life and knitting my ever shrinking stash, is writing and lots of it. Oddly, I don't write as consistently as I used to (I'm still working on my resolution to write everyday, even if it's only one line in my journal) but I have twice now found myself indulging in epic writing sessions of 10-14 hours which has resulted in not as much product as you might expect, but stuff that I really love and feel awesome about. For about 2 years now I've been pulling seemingly random stuff together hoping to eventually create a finished manuscript, and these marathon sessions have resulted in a lot of my more disparate and abstract ideas being finally captured in written language. I finally was able to coherently write about a mushroom trip I took ages ago that changed my life - and explain in clear language how it changed my life. I kind of wish I could begin sharing this work here on my blog, but it still needs so much work; I'm waiting until I have a more complete and cohesive work before I share it at large.

And I've also been indulging in using the internet while I have it. As fun as it can be, I'm glad that I don't plug in on a daily basis the way I used to. I just read an article about how two adult children are suing their mother for "bad mothering" because she dared to make them wear seat-belts, didn't empty the bank account for the sake of party dresses, and set curfews. Oh the horror. If that is "bad mothering" and worthy of a suit, then I should be rolling in it now based on the things my mother made me do - including a mandate to practice piano daily. Oh how I suffered. So yeah, while I'm having fun catching up on a few elements of the internet I have missed (like Ravelry and my blog), the rest of the internet reminds me just how much I prefer my meaningful life of actually doing things - like knitting, and going to the library for books, and writing my manuscript, and smoking with my friends, and taking walks just because I feel like it. Maybe if the two plaintiffs in that fucktarded suit did some of the things I like to do, they wouldn't feel so slighted because they didn't get the toys they wanted 15 years ago.

It's been a couple hours since I started working on this post (true to my classic blogging methods), so I'll wrap it up here, but with any luck I'll be back soon with more to say on living, and knitting, in tents.

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