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Coyote's Moon

EDIT -- Several people mentioned to me that they were unsure if I wrote the following story, since I posted it with no introductory statement. So here ya go: I did write the story, about 2 years ago. I held delusions of authorship at the time, thought I might pursue publishing it as a children's book, but ya know? I have no time for that now. So I'm giving the story to you, the masses, the reading public. And it will probably be read more on my blog than it ever would have been if it had gotten published. :) Beth


Once there was a coyote who loved to howl at the moon. He loved the way his voice sounded, and he thought the moon shone a little more brightly when he howled at it.

Mother Coyote tried to get him to do more useful things. “Stop howling at the moon!” she said. “It may be fun, but it will get you nowhere. You need to spend your time hunting for food, getting a mate, and teaching your young coyotes how to hunt. That's what coyotes should do!”

Mother Coyote was usually right about all things, so Coyote stopped howling at the moon as much. He got food, he found a mate, and he taught his young coyotes to hunt. Soon he never howled at the moon anymore, and eventually he forgot all about it.

One night, Coyote couldn't sleep. The moon was shining so brightly that it kept him awake. A strange feeling stirred within him, and he decided to go look more closely at the moon. To get a better view, he climbed to the top of a high hill, and settled down on the rocks where there were no trees or bushes to get in the way. He lifted his eyes higher and higher, until the moon was all he could see. He tilted his head to the side a bit, and gazed as hard as he could. It seemed there was something he wanted to do very badly, but he couldn't remember what. There was a very puzzled expression on his face.

“Hello. Have you come to howl at the moon with me?” a voice said, from the shadows.

Coyote whirled and bared his teeth, but it was only an aged female coyote sitting not far from him, in the shadow of some pines.

“Why aren't you howling?” Old Coyote asked.

“I….used to howl. I haven't done it for a long time. I can't remember how!” Coyote replied. “It seems like a silly, pointless thing to do. It doesn't help me to hunt or to teach the young coyotes,” he added.

Old Coyote just smiled at him. Then she pointed her nose upward, opened her mouth, and howled a long, beautiful howl. She did it again and again. Before he knew it, Coyote had joined in. He remembered his beautiful voice, and he remembered how good it felt to make a lovely noise and send it to the moon. He felt that with every howl he howled, a little of himself flew up to the moon and made it shine a bit more brightly. It felt so good to howl at the moon!

“Will you come and howl with me again?” Old Coyote asked, and Coyote promised that he would.

Night after night, whenever the skies were clear and the moon rose high in the sky, spilling its silvery light, Coyote raced to the top of the hill, and Old Coyote met him there. Old Coyote lived in a small den in the rocks near the hill top, so she could always be near the howling place. Often Coyote brought food to Old Coyote, and she was very grateful. Together the two of them howled at the moon, and the sound of their voices was very beautiful.

“Why do we love to howl at the moon?” Coyote once asked, as they waited for the moon to rise.

“The moon needs us to howl,” Old Coyote responded.

“The moon needs our howls?” Coyote asked. “Why?”

“Haven't you noticed,” she patiently replied, “that the moon shines more brightly when we howl? We make it shine like that. It needs us.”

Coyote thought for a while. It seemed like a great responsibility for just two coyotes, to keep the moon shining for the whole world.

“The moon needs just us two?” he asked. “What would happen if we stopped howling?”

Old Coyote smiled. “Don't worry. The moon needs more than our howls alone, although coyote howls are very important. What do you think the moon is made of, Coyote? Just imagine: the moon is made of all the beautiful sounds in the world. Every lovely sound in the whole world flies right up to the moon, and becomes a part of it. All the sounds join together there and shine with a beautiful, silvery light. So, the moon is made of bird songs, and the tinkling of a pretty little waterfall; it is made of the sound of frog croaks and bees buzzing and rabbit ears twitching; and it is even made of the songs of Man.”

Coyote looked up at the newly-risen moon with a new sense of wonder. He tilted his head and howled as he had never howled before. It was the most beautiful noise he had ever made. He wanted the best part of him to fly through the air and join with the moon.

One night Coyote raced to the top of the hill, and waited for the moon to rise, but Old Coyote never came to join him. He waited a long time, and he howled and howled, but Old Coyote never came. For four nights in a row, Old Coyote did not join him, and he knew she would not join him anymore.

This made Coyote very sad, but he kept coming to the hilltop to howl on moonlit nights. When he looked up at the moon, he knew that its silvery light contained all of Old Coyote's howls. He knew he had a job to do. Coyote howled and howled, to keep the moon shining brightly, and to send a little of himself to the moon to join his old friend.

Many moons went by, and Coyote kept his nightly routine. He grew older, and as time passed Coyote found it harder to run to the top of the hill. His pace slowed to a trot, and then a walk, and finally it was just too difficult to climb up the hill every night. He remembered how, long ago, Old Coyote had always been waiting for him there at the top of the hill when he was young. That night he did not leave the hill, but searched out the den in the rocks where Old Coyote had lived. He stayed on the hilltop for many, many moons, hunting what food he could by day, and howling at the moon by night.

One evening Coyote came late to the howling spot. The moon had been up, spilling a very bright, silvery light for a long time before Coyote woke. He padded softly, slowly toward his place, but suddenly he stopped, in the shadow of some pines. In his favorite howling spot sat a young female coyote, staring up at the moon with a very puzzled expression on her face.

Coyote smiled to himself. He remembered the night long ago, when the moon had kept him awake. Now he had become the old coyote. He cast back into his memory and remembered what Old Coyote had said….

“Hello. Have you come to howl at the moon with me?”

Another Fine Knitting Weekend!

Sorry it has taken me a day or two to post about the fabulous knitting weekend! I didn't get much done Sunday afternoon, and then I worked at the store all day today, trying to catch up. But now I can finally say, the April Knitting Weekend was absolutely wonderful. We had a great reception on Friday night, with private shopping at Unique One. Saturday Mary Jane taught a Color in Fair Isle class, and soon the inn was full of people busily working away at their wristlets. I gave a long talk called "All About Yarn", in which I hope I answered all those yarn questions you've always had, but never have figured out the answers to before. I hope I didn't bore you all, having to listen to me yak on and on and on about yarn! Everyone seemed to enjoy it, though.

Then we had a great lunch, and did the class thing all over again in the afternoon. Saturday night, after people returned from dinners out, we gathered in the conference room and shared projects and stories about our fiber pursuits.

Sunday morning, Jodi Clayton of One Lupine Fiber Arts came and spoke about feltmaking -- its history, its contemporary uses, and how felting is done. Very interesting! She also very kindly created and gave out small felting kits so everyone could try out felting at home.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended this April weekend and made it such a wonderful experience! I'm already looking forward to our next Knitting Weekend in March 2007!

I have added a photo album for the April 2006 Knitting Weekend down and to the left, in the side margin of this blog. Your best bet would be to click on each thumbnail image to see the pictures, as Typepad seems incapable of showing them in order by clicking on "next image" -- if you do that, you'll just end up going round and round in a circle of about 4 or 5 images. So to see them all, click on each thumbnail image separately, or you'll miss some pictures. Silly Typepad; maybe someday they'll get it right. :)

The April Knitting Weekend

It's off to a flying start! The Unique One 2006 April Knitting Weekend promises to be just as fun-filled as the March Knitting Weekend was, if not more so. We had a great evening reception with fab food and wonderful wine, and super shopping -- then everyone sat around in the Lord Camden Inn conference room and knit and blabbed and laughed and generally had a GREAT time. I got a few pictures -- & I'll put them up later. I'm pretty tired right now, but excited and happy at the same time. I am relaxing on the sofa in my utterly beautiful room overlooking Camden's Main Street, with a hot cuppa cranberry apple herbal tea and my soft, comfy pajamas. This room has a huge bed; I think it's king-sized (I hope I don't get lost in it!), and you just sink right into it, it's so comfy. There's a very romantic fireplace, a marble bathroom, a little kitchenette area with a microwave, sink, coffee pot and refrigerator, and a roomy balcony that overlooks Camden. The balcony has a couple very comfortable chairs, and Victoria and I took advantage of them before the registration and the reception started; we had coffee and relaxed and chatted. The whole evening has been great, with good friends (and family, for me, too!) and knitting and chocolate and wine and knitting and laughing and wine. And knitting. All I have to do now is look forward to tomorrow.

I think I will start with coffee and socks on the balcony, followed by more coffee and socks and a trademark Wonderful Waffle in the breakfast room. Then we'll have a class, and lunch, and another class, and go out to dinner; and wrap up the night with a Show & Tell evening and more knitting and laughing and general hanging-out. This is so much fun! Why don't we have one of these Knitting Weekends every weekend????? I'll have to think on it.....


Outknit Saddam!

.....from the Department of This Is Just Plain Weird:

You know how web pages have these interactive "games" that are really click-through ads? Usually they're something like "Shoot the rubber ducky and win a FREE IPOD!!!" or "Outrace the Lone Ranger and NEVER PAY INCOME TAXES AGAIN!!!". Usually I ignore them; they've become so ubiquitous, such a common site on the internet that they're not even visible to most of us, anymore. Until I saw this one:


I must say, it caught my attention. I did not click on the giant red "knit" button to try to outknit Saddam and win a free ringtone -- I have a hard enough time as it is, recognizing my ringtone as my phone, and I don't want the extra spam I'm sure I'd get by clicking through -- but I must say it was tempting. I would love to get one-a them dandy "KNIT" buttons, though. I'd get a lot more done if I had one!

Regarding the ad image: I can understand the Granny stereotype. Knitting will probably never be able to kick that one, despite some knitting blogs coming up in Google searches for phrases like "sexy ebony butts". But what the heck -- pairing up knitting with Saddam? Where did that come from? The designers must have been knitting with hemp yarn that day.

(ducking from Tracy & Tom)

(Seriously, hemp yarn is wonderful to knit with. We sell it at Unique One! You should knit with it! Make sure you outknit Saddam.)


Rube Goldberg Delight

I've always been a fan of Rube Goldberg contraptions. I loved them on the old cartoons in the sixties; I loved them in the computer video games in the nineties.

There's a Google Video I discovered that shows a whole bunch of Japanese Rube Goldberg contraptions. They all were created using only household items, including spoons, empty sewing machine bobbins, and tape measures. All of them result in a Japanese phrase being revealed or created -- this seems to be the object of each "machine": to create this phrase. Anyone read Japanese? I'd love to know what the phrase says.

The video is 12 minutes 54 seconds long, and if you're using dial-up to access the internet you might want to skip this, or buy a large bucket of patience (It's a 50MB file). I have to say, though, some of these contraptions are a real testament to human creativity and intelligence. It's fun to watch! Here it is:

The Cable Thing

Three guesses what this is:

Yes, I know it's a cable. But what's it going to be, eventually? Hmmm?

I have finally gotten around to playing around with the very lovely Wendy Traditional Aran. This little item pictured above, is what I'm working on right now -- eventually it will be a pattern handed out on the June knitting cruise. Hopefully, with a matching item to go with it.

I love this yarn. It smells like a sheep. It leaves lanolin on my hands. It practically knits itself, it is so well-behaved and springy. And the cables it's making look exactly right. Now I want to design a sweater (aran, cabled, of course) in Wendy Traditional Aran -- and eventually, I will.

Now, back to my Cable Thing.

Benchmark for Spring

So. I just had waffles for breakfast. I would normally say "Yum", but these were just the frozen, boxed variety -- a pale imitation of the Really Good Yummy Waffle that I will be having at the Lord Camden Inn next weekend. *Sigh*. *Pining mightily for next weekend.*

The cup of coffee I am having with the waffles is good, though.

Yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny, warm spring day. My crocuses are up, but it's hard to see them because they are still covered by last fall's leaves that I haven't raked up -- and probably won't, anytime soon. I am NOT a gardener: I can usually distinguish between a plant and an animal on the first try. Usually. As far as being able to grow things, in the ground? Let's just say, Chia pets challenge me. But anyway, I digress.

Since it was such a beautiful day, it was the perfect opportunity to take an old washing machine to the dump. Joe got to actually throw a large appliance off the back of the pickup, down, down, down, into the metal hopper -- it made a wonderful and alarming and very loud crash at the bottom. That was fun.

Then I spent the rest of the day outside (obviously, not gardening). I needed to work on the bench. We have this garden bench that most of the year sits outside Unique One, on the sidewalk. Since the store is located smack dab in the middle of town, our corner bench is pretty much the prime spot to sit in to do people-watching in the summer. You may remember it; here's a picture of it from last year, when I finished the Snowdrift Shawl:


We call our bench "The Husband Bench", because the ladies can come into the store and shop away the hours, and the husbands can sit on the bench and watch people. Also they can notice how close we are to A) the bar next door; B) the bakery, in the same building as the bar; or C) the bookstore just down Bayview Street. So whether their current need is beer, brownies, or books, if they get bored hanging out on the bench, they can just pop in and say, "Honey there's a bookstore (or bar, or bakery) right around the corner; I'll just go there now and you can meet me later, okay?" and the wives say, "Okay, honey," and then they smile thankfully, turn to me, and usually say something like, "Thank God."

The bench gets hauled away for the winter, because it's in the way of snow removal. It sits outside in my yard under a tarp. Yesterday I sanded it and applied a coat of water sealer and now it is all ready to make its appearance in front of the store again for another year. Our pansies are all planted in the window boxes in front of the store, and once we put the bench back in place, it will really be Spring!

Knitting news: I am three-quarters done my Malva Bistro Shirt -- it really is fun to knit. I am enjoying working with this yarn a lot, and I'll be kind of sorry when it's done. The yarn just feels good slipping through my fingers!


I am the victim of cut-and-paste! I just sent out the letter to our April Knitting Weekend describing the upcoming events, what needles to bring for the knitting class, directions to the Lord Camden Inn. As you can imagine, because I might be a little sleep-deprived (as in, "must...stay...up...longer --!") and mostly because I am possibly the laziest person in the entire world, I pasted the same letter I sent to the participants of the March Knitting Weekend into a new document. Then, I carefully went through the entire document and lovingly changed all the details to reflect the upcoming April weekend....


..... the date heading on the schedule for Sunday's events still says "March", although the knitting weekend is clearly being held in April. I managed to change the date headings for Friday and Saturday; somehow Sunday ended up back in March, though.

So if you are participating in the April Knitting Weekend -- and you are very lucky, because we are going to have SUCH a great time! -- please note that the letter that you will receive tomorrow or the next day has a little error in it. Everything (to my present knowlege, anyway) about the knitting weekend is accurate. I just mis-represented Sunday's date. Sorry! And yes, this is to try and forestall 22 people coming up to me at the inn, and pointing out in a variety of emotionally humiliating tones, "Did you know you got the DATE WRONG on the schedule???" as they all look at me and see me for the pathetic imbecile I am, obviously unable to read a stinkin' calendar, for Heaven's sake. Sheesh.

But it did give me something to write about on my blog today, no? See, there's always a good side....

Don't Worry...

I know it's been a couple of days without a post, but everything is okay -- don't panic! I've just been busy, and when I am busy I can't think of anything to write about. Okay, well one day (the 7th) I just FORGOT to post anything. I know, how could I forget you? How awful of me! You know that I love that you're reading my blog. I'll try to do better.

I've been knitting a bit, actually. I got done some knitting I had to do, a knitting obligation; then I finally made some progress on a scarf design, finally got the thing to work the way I wanted it to, and successfully completed the scarf today. It is a reversible, braided-cable, skinny scarf with self-created i-cord edging. I think it's quite nice, if I must say so myself, and it was endearingly fun to knit, besides. I used two skeins of Blueberry Farm alpaca/merino/silk that we sell at Unique One, and it is such great stuff. I loved knitting with it. I'll be giving out the pattern free to the participants in the April Knitting Weekend coming right up on the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. These lucky folks will be the first to get the pattern; then after that, I may decide to print it and sell the pattern in the store. I'll also be handing out the pattern on the June Isaac Evans Knitting Cruise. It was nice to get this particular scarf project done, because not only was it fun to knit and very pretty, it also was holding me back from doing any other knitting. Every now and then I get like that, feeling like I can't do ANY knitting until I get one particular thing done.

I'm making great progress on my cotton T-shirt project. I am using a fabulous yarn from Filatura di Crosa called Malva. It's an 85% cotton/15%nylon tape yarn, perfect for a little summer top, or maybe a crocheted bag. I really like knitting with this yarn. Unlike a lot of tape or ribbon yarns, the resulting knitted fabric is soft and has good drape. I often find that while most tapes and ribbons look utterly beautiful in the skein or ball, they feel "crunchy" and uncomfortable when knit up. But this yarn keeps its beauty and silky feel even when knit. I am using color 10, a lovely combination of greens, and I'm enjoying this project quite a bit. It's a simple t-shirt knit in only two pieces (no sleeves! the little cap sleeves are knit right in to the two body pieces!) and it is an Oat Couture pattern, the "Bistro Shirt". It's a very easy knit, and I'm zooming right along on it.

Unique One And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Saturday was the day in question. First of all, I was really really really tired (still am, actually) and I overslept, so I got to work half an hour late. On the way to work, I realized I had forgotten to write a blog post the day before. When I arrived at the store, I discovered brave Victoria barely surviving, trying to decide whether to call in Susan to work for her, as she had a migraine that was practically killing her. We decided to just knit and drink coffee for a while. See, here is Victoria happily knitting:

A few minutes later, Victoria discovered a huge leak in the ceiling of the frame shop, in the gallery that is housed on the floor below us -- it is located just off the room where we store extra yarn. There was a mad rush to lay out basins and buckets to catch the water, to soak up what water we could. Luckily no prints or framing jobs had been affected; the water was falling relatively harmlessly on the cement floor. It looked like a leaky roof problem rather than a plumbing problem.

But no. It was a broken-radiator-in-Unique-One problem. One of the billion-year-old radiators had a valve that gave out, and lo and behold, the rug-covered floor was all wet in Unique One in this particular corner. We immediately called A Man to come and fix it. He came right over (I just love men; don't you?) despite the fact that it was Saturday morning. He turned off the water coming into the radiator. Then Another Man came and replaced the faulty part. Here is a picture of the New Part and the Very Wet Floor:

So then I congratulated myself roundly for having had the forethought to purchase a small Wet-Vac water sucker-upper a couple months ago, and fetched it from downstairs. But of course when I tried to suck the water up, the Wet-Vac wouldn't suck. I decided to break down and call The Husband, who knows more about Wet-Vacs than I do.

That is when we discovered that the phones didn't work. No dial tone could be had, in any phone at Unique One. No problem, except that we need to have working phones to do business. After a good bit of trial and error problem solving (Victoria's expertise and experience in electrical engineering and computer programming was called into play; I fell back on my problem-solving skills developed during massive computer-game play years ago), we finally figured out that one of The Men, in trying to be extra helpful, had noticed that a phone cord had become unplugged from a phone jack, and he had plugged it back in. Unfortunately we haven't used that phone jack since 1983, and plugging the phone cord in -- with no phone attached -- made the phone gods think we had a phone off the hook. I unplugged the phone cord, and the phones magically worked again. Here's the culprit that caused the Phone Panic:


So I called The Husband to see if he could tell me why the Wet-Vac wouldn't suck (you still remember the Wet-Vac, right?). As I am carefully explaining to him what the innards of my particular Wet-Vac look like, I notice the hose is plugged full of dirt and hair and styrofoam packing peanuts. Aha! Another problem solved. I used a crochet hook to unplug the hose, and voila! the Wet-Vac sucked up the water like you would not believe!

Things got pretty much back to normal, until Victoria discovered she had to rip out the 5 or so inches she had knit during the entire morning:

I pulled out the mitten I've been working on and was confronted with the Fair Isle Glob:

.... which I carefully untangled. Then I gave up and just schmoozed with the customers the rest of the day and enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank God for our customers -- they made the whole day bearable!

There's Still Room!

I have a couple of events coming up soon that still have openings:

First, we have our next Unique One Knitting Weekend, April 21, 22, & 23. You can click here to find out all the juicy details. :) If it is even half as fun as the March Knitting Weekend was, it will be a very memorable event! The Lord Camden Inn is gorgeous with its brand-spankin'-new floor that they laid down in the lobby last week, and I have a great big pile of wonderful doorprizes donated by my favorite yarn companies: yarn! kits! books! very cool stuff!

Second, there's a knitting cruise coming up in June that still has quite a few spots open. Which, I really can't understand. Maine? June? sailing? knitting? lobster bake? I honestly can't believe the fact that this cruise isn't already packed full. I am looking forward to it like you would not believe. It's going to be so much fun!! Even though this isn't technically MY event -- it is offered through the schooner Isaac Evans in Rockland, Maine; please contact them to make your reservation -- I really hope the cruise fills up so Brenda will keep offering two knitting events per year. Selfish, of me, I know, but there you are. Please do call me at Unique One if you have any questions about the knitting aspect of the cruise: 1-888-691-8358.

Captknitjpg(This image of Captain Brenda knitting on the knitting cruise is totally lifted from the Isaac Evans website -- go look at all the other pretty pictures there! And yes, Captain Brenda did knit her own hat.)

This Is Totally Stupid...

... but it's the kind of thing I just love, even though it has nothing to do with knitting.

If you were working on the International Space Station, and you were bored, and there was a near-zero-gravity environment, what would you do? Embark on some "experiments" with water and Alka-Seltzer, of course!

Check it out: Click here to watch the video.

(I got this link from the fab space/science/generally-cool-stuff blog, -- it's a great site!)

I wanna be an astronaut.....

More Cat Haiku

From my cat haiku collection:

The dog wags his tail,
Seeking approval. See mine?
Different message.

and then there's this one:

I don't mind being
Teased, any more than you mind
A skin graft or two.

Hmmm. I think Grace the Hungry Cat has been reading too much haiku lately.

Today was rainy and windy and we even had a little wet snow. Bleah. Not much to post today. I didn't even knit anything.

The Mitten Centerfold

Almost every knitter I have ever met has a copy of it somewhere, or they've seen a copy of it, or they've been looking to replace the copy they used to have. Here it is:

"Gloves and Mittens to Knit and Crochet for the Entire Family", currently published by Nomis, and I'm sure it was published by someone else before Nomis got it. I think it's been in publication since something like 1938. I have seen vintage copies of it with the printed price on the cover: twenty-five cents. I think it's $4.50 now. It is far and away the best, most favorite mitten pattern of knitters everywhere, and it's all because of this:

It's the centerfold to end all centerfolds, in the mitten-knitting world, anyway. "Classic Mittens and Gloves for the Entire Family", it proclaims, and it means it. Every size, from infant through large adult; directions given for both knit (flat) on 2 needles, and knit in the round on double-pointed needles. Configurations for both mittens, and gloves! All in durable, warm, worsted weight yarn. The directions are pithy, no-nonsense. Do this, fill in the number over there for your size. Follow the directions and you'll get the mittens, the good, basic, make-a-snowman in the yard mittens. Everyone grew up with these mittens. I've seen I-can't-even-tell-you-how-many copyright-infringing copies, photocopies, copied over and over from others' photocopies, well-worn, creased, wrinkled, coffee-spilled-on copies of this valued mitten pattern. Oh yeah, it's a glove pattern, too.

And that's the thing. The mitten pattern is so good, so valued, so versatile, so tried and true, that people forget about that other thing: you can make gloves with it, too. But surprisingly, they forget something else pretty amazing: that particular mitten and glove pattern book includes many other patterns for mittens and gloves. The centerfold pattern is only one little pattern in the book! Most people just figure the other patterns that fill the pages before and after the centerfold mitten pattern provide protective padding, ensuring the safety of the gem that is the centerfol pattern, which is what they want the booklet for.

A couple years ago I set out to prove, once and for all, that it is indeed possible to knit another of the patterns in that book, other than the centerfold pattern. Scary, I know, but that's the way I am, sometimes. Unfortunately, like so many of my other projects, I started it and set it aside. Today I was digging around in the office and discovered a shoe box waaaaay up on top of the office shelves. It was filled with the Mitten Book, balls of Shetland wool, and a mitten whose ribbing was all knit, and whose hand was yet to be started. I had decided to make the "Man's Fair Isle Mitten" (the picture is blurry because I forgot that my camera has a macro setting - sorry [I did remember the macro setting for the last close-up shot, though]):


"Oh look!" I said. "I remember that mitten.... " and then it took me a while to figure out what my Cunning Plan had been regarding the colors. The original colors called for in the pattern were 3 shades of brown and beige heather, white, red, and aqua. Very 1930's. I had balled up in the shoe box 3 shades of blue heather, white, dark red, and mustard yellow. Very I-don't-know-what, but there they were. And since they were all balled up and ready to go, I said "Oh well, that'll be fine, I guess." The pattern says to knit the mittens on size 2 double-pointed needles, but I noticed that I seem to have been using size 1 or 1.5 needles. Don't know why. It's probably what I had at hand when the mitten mood struck. Spontaneous mitten-knitting: it's usually safer than spontaneous combustion. Usually.

Here's what I had to work with:


So I figured out where I was in the pattern, figured out where my chosen colors should go in the chart, and proceeded to knit. I got about 8 rows done. Who knows how much I might get done on it in the next 2 years. :)


Filler Post

Nothing much to say today, I'm afraid. Slow day at the store. I had to recover from the mammoth job of filing I did yesterday.

Now I'm home and watching Joe torture the cat -- or watching Grace (the Hungry Cat) torture Joe. I haven't figured out who's in charge. He's making hot chocolate and then we'll watch some history show on TV. I might knit! Haven't done that in a while. Problem is, I have so many projects I don't know what one to work on -- it's sort of the knitting equivalent of the deer-in-the-headlights look.

Grace has given up and let Joe tickle her under the chin. And I smell popcorn....

See ya!

Fear of Filing

Every week I pay the bills. Pay, pay, pay. Then, the idea is, I file the invoices away so I can look stuff up easily later. It probably takes me ten minutes to file a week's worth of invoices.....

UNLESS, of course, I keep just piling them up in a corner of the office. It starts innocently enough. One week, instead of filing them, I put them in a folder and set it aside to file later. Then next week, the new invoices go into the same folder.

"What's that stuff?" Victoria asks.

"Oh, I have to file those paid invoices," I say. "I'll do it later."

Later. It's a funny word, no? I'm off the hook for another week.

A month later, the folder is so full that the invoices spill out of it, and it won't fit in the nice little folder-holder thingy on the side of the desk. So that week, I pull the thick folder out and set it in front of the fax machine. Victoria raises an eyebrow.

"I'll file all that stuff as soon as I can get around to it," I say. But now part of me is wondering, how long can I go without filing any of it? How bad can I get? How far down before I hit bottom, in terms of my filing disability? To what extent am I willing to let this filing avoidance impact the lives of those I love (my employees)?

Several weeks follow, me paying bills, me not filing. Not filing anything. It's grown way beyond not filing invoices, it's spread out, into the non-filing of stuff that comes in the mail: new color cards, new catalogs, brochures, health insurance information, correspondence from Unique One fans. It all goes into the pile, now tall and precariously balanced in front of the fax machine. It takes up space once required by the adding machine, space where people were wont to place their mugs whilst eating lunch at the desk, space where faxes used to spit out from the front of the fax machine. Now, poor things, they enter the office through the tiny slit from electronic wonderland and instead of displaying themselves with honor and dignity, floating out flat and clean onto the desk's surface, they now push their way out from the front of the machine, crinkling up scrinchily, making their presence known by the sound of wrinkling paper and gears fighting to push thin thermal paper against the immovable mass of a wedding-cake-sized mound of unfiled stuff, balanced in an increasingly alarming manner on top of the original folder, carefully labeled, To Be Filed.

Sending a fax presented an even more terrifying ordeal. To send a fax, one had to move the whole pile somewhere, in order to be able to approach the fax machine. Scary beyond belief! Dangerous! One day last week, the entire pile fell over on top of Victoria while she was eating lunch! It was a scary thing. We nearly had to call in the avalanche rescue crew to dig her out. Visions of increased worker's compensation premiums began to fill my mind, inhibiting my ability to sleep. The pile of filing that I was NOT doing, NOT getting around to, followed me around with every step, billowing black smoke into my mind, blinding me.

So today, I filed it. The whole thing. Three months' worth. It took me six hours, working steadily, more or less. Well, maybe not steadily, but still. It got done, and I feel better. Victoria feels safer. Now if I could only face the backlog of unfinished knitting projects......