Tricks, Treats, and Tributes

According to ancient Celtic traditions, Samhain, which we had yesterday, marks the time when the veil between this world and the next becomes thinnest and it is easiest to communicate with those who have gone on before us.  I think my dream about the white cat was his spirit telling me that he is OK with how it went down and that I need to stop beating myself up about it.

Sometimes wearing earbuds while knitting with circular needles can be tricky.  Oh, what a tangled web I wove — but just until the end of the row! I was doing a proof of concept piece for this shawl pattern I’m trying to work out for the Mandala “Spirit” yarn I got, but it’s fighting me.   That tells me I need to put it aside and finish some of the (many!) things ahead of it in the queue.

I tried again on the Najidama Bay  shawl pattern and I’m still not 100% happy with it.  It’s on the back burner for now, too.   Grumble.  Grumble.  One bright light in this tunnel is the fact that I did finish the semicircular shawl

I was working on that was going to be a September gift, and now is going to be a Thanksgiving gift . . .  It’s a lovely shawl, but it just doesn’t shawl the way I like to be shawled.  I have modified the pattern to have five “rays” instead of four, but it’s a WIP* that’s on the back burner with a bunch of others right now.

What I need to do ASAP is finish the three hats and four cowls that go with the above shawl and several other pieces.

I’ve been watching some knitting vlogs, and I have come to several conclusions.  One is that my yarn stash which I think is so huge is nothing compared to the walls of yarn I see in these vlogs.  They do a show and tell, and whip out these especially made fabric project bags that people make and sell and buy, and it’s OK.  Whatever floats their boat.  I prefer zip-seal freezer baggies (the kind without the little slider thing, please).  They’re dust proof, waterproof, and you can see what’s in them without having to open them up.  They natter on about yarn made from this breed of wool and that breed of wool, and all these little independent yarn company yarns that feature this alpaca blend and that cashmere blend.  And it’s fine.  I’m allergic to wool, so that cuts out about 99% of what I call “snob yarn” (i.e., anything that costs more than $10 a skein!)   Compared to some of these ladies (and gentlemen) I’m just a dabbler.  But that’s all right.  Like the man says, “different strokes for different folks.”

My Halloween treat was this sunshiny little salad made with cottage cheese and mandarin orange sections.   Snarf city!  Mandarin oranges are the same thing as Satsuma oranges, BTW.  I’m having chai tea with vanilla cream in.

As The Wheel Turns

Yesterday was full of low grey clouds that drizzled on and off all day, and it was down-right cool.  Same again today, with a predicted high of only 78 F/25.5 C.  The Wheel of the Year is finally rolling this long, hot summer into the past.  Mabon (the Autumnal Equinox, and my mom’s 94th birthday) is tomorrow.  My mom promised me steak at Outback for my birthday (four months ago) this year, but I spent that birthday in the hospital having pneumonia.  Tomorrow, dear friends are taking both of us to lunch at Outback for steaks for her birthday.  They’re buying hers and she’s buying mine.  Works for me.

Because I went to bed at 9 o’clock last night, knackered from having spent all morning at the VA  then wandering all over Wal-Mart buying groceries, etc., getting dampened, frizzled and chilled every time I went outside, and being ganged up on by the  flu shot in my left arm and the pneumonia shot in my right arm, I bobbed to the surface about 5 o’clock this morning and knew I was done sleeping for the time being.

I’m starting my third year of living in this duplex, and I’ve noticed there’s something bird-ally attractive about the part of the roof where the vent for the range hood comes out.  Even in deepest, hottest summer, if I’m puttering in the kitchen early in the morning, I’m liable to be inadvertently eavesdropping on a mourning dove having a quiet little boohoo by the vent pipe . . .

Cue the Prince reference. . .