12 November 2010

Pick Me Up, Love, Every Day

On my way home from work this afternoon, I swung by the bank a few blocks away to deposit a check, only to discover that the bank was closed -- even the ATM was dark. There was a sign on the door, but I wasn't motivated enough to get out of the car to go read it, so I headed home. On the way, I spotted a police roadblock that seemed to be clouded with smoke. I figured I'd go home and use my fancy new DSL to check the local news websites to learn what had happened. As I got out of the car, I noticed that my stairway light was off, and wondered why my neighbors would turn it off, since it was a full floor above them and shouldn't bother them.

As I reached my door, I had that unpleasant eureka moment where all of the dots connected -- my neighbors hadn't turned off my light, the power was out, and whatever the police were dealing with was probably the cause.

Well, feh.

I set down my bag and groceries, turned around, and went for a walk to see if I could determine what the problem was. Apparently they'd cleaned up the worst of it by the time I got there, because I couldn't see anything, so I came home again and hunted for my candles.


I made dinner (tuna sandwich), read the mail and the paper, shuffled some boxes around to make room for the things I'll be bringing home over the weekend, and just as I was running out of stuff to do by candlelight, the power came back on.

Now, I may have mentioned that my new place has certain perks that my Summer lodgings lacked, and while I've been enjoying the bigger-than-a-breadbox shower, full-sized fridge (with freezer!!), and stove (that gets hot enough to boil water!) already, I hadn't yet used the oven. So tonight, I baked.


Here you see the combined fruit of my kitchen's wonderful appliances: apple-cinnamon muffins (Jiffy mixes aren't half bad, but don't make much), boiled water for a cuppa, orange-chocolate cake (vegan!), and ice cream (solidly frozen, not mushy).

I'm in heaven, I tell ya. Being able to make the whole apartment smell like chocolate totally makes up for the stairwell smelling like the neighbor's cigarettes.

I was expecting my beau to be here to enjoy these goodies with me tonight, but apparently a drunk driver ran somebody down right outside his house, causing the police to shut down the area, so he can't get out until morning. It seems the crazies are out all over the place.

So yeah, every day is an adventure. I'm going to have one more cup of licorice tea to help with this head cold I've acquired, and then I'm going to tuck myself in for the night. I'm aiming to carve out some time on Monday to post about more knitterly things, so, as usual, stay tuned!

10 November 2010

Checking In

Hi, there! I moved out of the chilly caboose and into a cozy apartment, and then had to wait a week and a half for my phone and internet to be turned on, which is why I haven't posted in a while.

Coming soon: pics of new place and new pets, a not-contest with prizes, and... not much knitting. As usual. Stay tuned!

14 October 2010

Minding the Store

Thank you all for your messages of sympathy and condolence. I'm doing my best to find a balance between mourning and living, and I seem to be doing okay. I am eternally thankful for the vast and strong network of friends I have made, both online and in real life, who help me through tough times like this. You remind me that life goes on, and not even harsh words from small minds can take away the wonderful memories of the time I shared with my girl. Thank you again.

Life does go on, plans get made, and sometimes plans get un-made. For example, this Saturday, instead of going to Rhinebeck, I'm going to be working at the Spinnery. On Sunday I'll be curled up with my beau, enjoying some peace and quiet, and playing with the newest members of my household. (More about them another day.)

I thought I would be disappointed not being able to go to Rhinebeck this year, but I'm actually okay with it. First off, I have no money to spend on yarn, or even the gas to get from here to there -- just getting groceries is a stretch these days. Secondly, my full-time job is making yarn, which means my spare time... what little of it I have... is spent doing non-yarny things, because there is, as it turns out, such a thing as fiber overload.

So, to all of you happy fiberholics headed to Duchess County this weekend, have a great time, have a deep-fried artichoke (but not a deep fried pickle), take pics of the punkin' chuckin' contest, and remember to look at everything twice before you decide what to buy...

...unless it's something that's really screaming at you. Then buy it on the spot. ;-)

01 October 2010

In Loving Memory

My beloved greyhound, Sassafrass, passed away yesterday. She had been having health issues for a while, but the decision to end her pain yesterday was the result of bone cancer that wasn't discovered until yesterday's x-ray. It was so far advanced and causing her so much pain that, even with amputation, meds, and chemo, she would only have had a few weeks at best, so it was time.

Sassafrass was 13-and-a-half years old, a retired racing greyhound who never officially made it to the track, and she came into my life just before her second birthday. She was especially fond of peanut butter and ear skritches, and not so keen on fireworks or things flying through the air near her. She recognized other sighthounds and was friendly with them, but was much more of a people person than a dog person. She never could figure out why blankets didn't behave like dirt when she tried to dig in them. She will be loved and missed and never forgotten.




sleepypuppy disgudtoo



Goodbye, babygirl. I love you.

19 August 2010

Roll Or Bowl A Ball, A Penny A Pitch

My beau spent a week and a half at Pennsic, arguably the biggest living history encampment in the Northeast. I couldn't afford to go this year, so he sent me pictures as the event progressed, and he brought home a present for me.


It's a yarn bowl! It keeps one's balls of yarn from running rampant while in use. I love it!


Pretty, huh? I love functional things that also have an element of beauty to them.

Speaking of beauty, I've been knitting and finishing! The alpaca neckwarmer I knit up a while back finally has buttons:


There's also a project that I've had up on Ravelry for a while but haven't mentioned here, the Merry Little Bag. Last year at Birka I bought some yarn from The Merry Little Lamb, and it finally decided that it wanted to be a felted colorwork bag. The pieces are made but not assembled yet, as I'm still trying to decide how to assemble them.


Then there's some more colorwork that I think will be a pillow (the bit on the left):


I've started another panel that reverses the colors, and that will be the other side of the pillow. The yarn is rejects from work -- some Mountain Mohair that's too thin, and some custom yarn that became impregnated with rubber bits from the carding aprons. They both work just fine for this particular project.

I picked up some more free waste roving at work today, which has me itching to spin, but I've promised myself that I'll finish the curtains I promised a friend months ago before I start anything new. I've also been informed that, after over four months of working at the Spinnery, I'm finally due for my three-month review. I would tell y'all what I'm hoping for from that meeting, but I don't want to jinx it, so you'll just have to stay tuned and see what happens.

Happy knitting!

04 August 2010

Feed Me, Seymour!!!


Either I work in the Little Shop of Horrors, or... well, it's just another day at Green Mountain Spinnery. Something got stuck or clogged, and Laurie crawled in to pull it out. As he keeps saying, you'll never get rich at the Spinnery, but you'll have a lot of fun.

Speaking of fun, I wanted to make something romantic but quirky for my beau, and I settled on giving him my heart... my vaguely anatomically-correct heart, that is!


The pattern is from Knitty Winter 2008, the yarn is Ella Rae Classic, and the veins and valve-ends are needle felted.


I brought it to him in a cooler packed with ice. He loved it!

Also, as promised, the handspun FO. Here's the Northumbria Cowl from the Fall 2010 issue of Knitscene. I discovered once it was blocked that the dye in the silk bled onto the white in places, but I think I'm okay with it. When the weather isn't 90°F and humid, maybe I'll model it.


I have the sudden craving to knit up a model of Audrey II, for some reason. Hmm...

27 July 2010

Walk Right In, It's Around The Back...

Shortly after I got to work this morning, a crew of high school students descended on the Spinnery to do some landscaping work. The funny part is that they showed up in a VW Microbus with shovels and rakes and implements of destruction. Guess what song was stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

I've been knitting! Really! But I haven't taken pictures yet. I was flipping through the latest Knitscene at work when I saw the Northumbria Cowl and was so taken with the super-simple stitch pattern that I just had to cast on. It's nearly finished (ran out of handspun halfway through the bind-off, so I have to tink back a row), and it's pretty cute. I'll tell you what I plan on making to go with it when I post the pictures.

My last trip to visit my beau involved a romantic stroll through one of Boston's old cemeteries, so while I procrastinate taking pics of my knitting, let me show you these instead: Flickr set: Cemetery.

Next in the crafting queue is one of Voodoo Maggie's Baby Dragons, which, assuming I enjoy making the first one, will likely be made in bulk as presents for everyone I know, because everyone needs this level of cuteness. Srsly.

The last few weeks have been a roller coaster of sorts... one of my friends lost a beloved goatling but gained a cria... I misplaced my driver's license somewhere between Tampa and here, but got a new one (which I needed anyway) this morning... my car's brake pads needed replacing, and I didn't have the $220 the garage wanted, but I have a friend who's a mechanic, so that was taken care of for the cost of parts and a few six-packs of Coke... my dog was in the hospital for almost a week with heat stroke, and came out of it better than the vet expected, though her arthritis seems to be worse... my fridge died, but I got a loaner to last until payday when I'll buy a new one (and deduct it from the rent)... and the abusive ex's repeated attempts to harass me without technically violating the restraining order are making me laugh more than anything else (you'd think someone who claims he wants to get away from me would actually, y'know, get away from me eventually -- btw, if you get an email/call/whatever from him, please forward it to me so I can forward it to the judge).

So, life goes on, and things improve. How are all of you?

11 July 2010

She Moved Through The Fair

What's Lilith up to, you ask? Being busy, she replies! Trips to Boston and Florida, encounters with drunken pirates, shy manatees, and haunted stones, and the excellent company of friends new and old have all been keeping me from my knitting, with no objection from me. So instead of showing you the one project I've managed to work on in the last month ('cause it's still not finished), I'll show you some highlights from my trips.

Sylshessa and me at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

Roscoe the bird, also at the zoo

a playful manatee at the zoo

the vivid carpeting at the Rodeway Inn in Tampa

a unique jerkin from Potted Fox Studios

a haunted place in Brattleboro

Oh, and for those of you who don't follow me on LJ or Facebook, I got that restraining order I was hoping for. The judge found, as a matter of legal fact, that the ex had stalked me, so she issued a final order for six months. It's nice to feel safe, finally.

22 June 2010

By Any Other Name

So there I am at work, loading bobbins onto the plying machine, and I hear the bell that indicates there's someone in the retail shop. I go out to greet the person, and she has a vase of flowers in her hands... for me.


The fellow I'm seeing wanted to make me smile, you see. And he did. I've been smiling for hours!

Thank you, darling.



05 June 2010

Hulk Smash?

I was going to work four hours this afternoon and then head down to CT for the weekend. However, the coworker scheduled for the first half of the day is down with the flu, so I got a call at 9 this morning asking if I could work the whole day instead. Oh, sure! Scramble to get dressed, make lunch, throw stuff in a bag, and get out the door on time, and I made it. Having expected to spend four hours doing other things before being at work, I was a little out of sorts, and naturally, the first thing I did was injure myself.


It doesn't look like much, but it hurts like the dickens. I was lifting the ramp of the steamer (a big plywood box), and my hand got caught between the ramp and a plastic file crate. Now I know where we keep the bandages at work!

There has been some knitting and sewing (pics eventually), some moving-of-stuff, not nearly enough sorting and clearing, and lots of time spent with dear friends in the last few weeks. Life is getting better, I'm singing and laughing more, and generally feeling happier. I even managed to get to an awesome Dave Matthews concert, where I took some crappy pictures with my phone from my "seat" (read: standing room only) in the pit.


And because it's spring, there are babies everywhere, including at my friend's farm. Isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen?


I'll be in CT tomorrow, and my original reason for coming down has disappeared, so I'll have some time around lunch to hang out with anyone who feels like calling me. Happy knitting!

25 May 2010

The Birds

It's probably a good thing that I haven't seen a certain Hitchcock film, as I've been having some close encounters with my feathered friends lately, and I don't need more reason to be freaked out.

First, there's a pair of what I think are flycatchers that have built a lovely little daub-and-moss nest on top of the security light just outside my front door. I like these birds, and they're very cute, but they're also somewhat territorial, and every time I leave, I have to pass right under their nest. They don't like this at all. They hover a few feet from my head and snap their wings at me, then pop off to the nearest tree and angrily chirp at me until I get in my car and go. I wish I could relocate them to make life a little less stressful for both of us.

Then this morning, around 6:45, I heard some tapping on my window. Initially my heart jumped to my throat and I reached for the phone because the ex has been stalking me, but when I sat up and looked out the window, there was a little bird sitting on the sill, staring at me. I didn't have my glasses on, so I couldn't see it clearly, and as soon as I moved again, it flew away, but it definitely made eye contact.

So that was an interesting way to wake up. Now, because I'm not completely awake and exhausted all of my nervous energy telling you about the birds, I'm going to wrap up this post with some long-awaited pictures. Enjoy!

neckwarmer made with yarn spun from alpaca fiber purchased at CT S&W

fiber purchased at CT S&W

14th-century-style hood made back in January and finally blocked the other day

Jaggerspun 2/20 Cobalt heather

yarn spun from the mystery fleece I picked up at work

More pics next time!

13 May 2010

Down With The Sickness

My father has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. He also has irregular cells in his stomach that might be lymphoma, a common side-effect of Celiac Disease that has gone untreated for years. He must remove gluten from his diet, which effectively means my sister, who lives with him and cooks for him, must remove gluten from her diet, as well. They'll check the irregular cells in two months (after he's been gluten-free for a while) to see if they're lymphoma or not.

This disease is genetic. There is an inaccurate blood test, and symptoms can be so mild as to go unnoticed. If you remember how to do a Punnett square, parent 1 is nn (Celiac Disease is recessive), parent 2 could be anything (nn, NN, Nn), and my chance of having this is all over the map. I'm calling the doctor tomorrow to schedule the blood test, and I may be altering my diet just in case... I probably won't go comepletely gluten-free, but I'll limit my intake.

Just when I think life is calming down a little, I get slapped with something like this. I need a hug.

08 May 2010

The Sting

So there I was, yesterday morning, getting dressed. I pulled a folded pair of jeans off the shelf, shook them out, and stuck my leg in. I felt a familiar pinch at the back of my knee, threw the jeans on the floor, and watched a stunned-looking wasp stumble out of them.

Anyone know of a natural wasp repellant? I don't want to bug bomb all of my stuff, but I'm really getting sick of getting stung. This is the third time in a year. Grr.

The other day, one of the ladies in one of my knitting groups brought a few cones of yarn she'd found at the local recycling center. Two black cones didn't interest me, but the peacock-blue laceweight did, especially when I checked the label inside the cone -- Jaggerspun Heather! It's their 2/20 in Cobalt, and it will make a beautiful, lacy something... someday.

Before I find a project for that, though, I need to make a gift for my best friend, who's getting married in July. I've settled on a ring pillow, covered in light purple satin with a white knitted lace overlay. I just need to settle on a lace pattern.

Now if I can just find motivation to do anything on this dreary, rainy Saturday. Tomorrow I'll be at NH Sheep & Wool, and I'm really looking forward to it, making today even harder to get through. Maybe I'll knit a little before I go to work.

27 April 2010

Come Sail Away

There is a lightswitch at work with a label below it that reads, "FORCE OF GRAVITY -- DO NOT TURN OFF."

I love my job.

26 April 2010

Exhausting Weekend

One of the perks of working at Green Mountain Spinnery is occasionally bringing home free fiber. Today Laurie, the fellow who runs the carder, brought over a pound of "waste" wool and told us it was up for grabs. One of my coworkers and I decided to split it -- I took about 3 ounces, and she got the rest. It's white and fluffy, fresh from the carder, but it isn't the same blend as any of our stock yarns and wasn't part of any of our custom orders, so if we didn't take it, it would be used to clean dark fibers out of the carder before the next run of white, and would be ruined. It was too nice for that. I'm not sure what I'll do with it... maybe play with some food coloring or other dyes and then make a little hat or something.

On Saturday I went to CT Sheep & Wool, hung out with more friends than I expected to see, and allowed myself some very modest fiber acquisition. Sunday I moved the last of my things out of Erik's house. While both days went relatively well, the one-two punch has left me exhausted, bruised, and blistered. I really didn't want to go to work this morning, but I'm glad I did. I think I need to stay off my feet for a few hours, though... owwie.

I'll take pictures of the new fiber as soon as I dig out my camera and find an uncluttered spot to take a picture.

15 April 2010

Getting Better

My first day at the Spinnery was good. I came home smelling of lanolin, wondering how a cooperative can possibly make timely decisions, and eager to go back tomorrow. I spent most of the day twisting and labeling skeins, with brief interruptions to ball three skeins for a customer and pose for an impromptu photo shoot ("You look about the right size. Here, put on this sweater and come outside."). The people are great, the work appeals to me, and I get to inhale wool fumes all day. This job is a good fit for me. I hope it lasts.

14 April 2010

Well, that sucked.

I broke up with Erik last month. He didn't take it well, and things were getting a little dicey as I was scrambling to find a new place to live, going to job interviews, and dealing with daily harassment about the living situation, financial issues, and random other crap.

On Sunday the 4th, I came back from a weekend with my family, and the harassment began anew the moment I walked in the door. After 20 minutes of begging him to leave me alone with no positive result, I called 911. The Troopers who responded suggested that I pack a bag and go somewhere else for the night, and as soon as they left, that's exactly what I did. The next day, I went back with the intention of talking about the financial issues and even handing him a check, but he stopped me before I even got in the house and told me I had to leave because he'd filed a restraining order. He said it was because I "escalated" the situation by calling 911 the day before.

I dealt as best I could for a day or two, relying on family and friends for clothing and a place to stay. I made arrangements with the State Police to go get some of my things (more clothes, some food, the crock pot, one of the spinning wheels, etc.) and prepared for the hearing, scheduled for this morning.

Turns out that courts overbook dockets the way airlines overbook flights, counting on a certain number of people not showing up. They didn't count on so many showing up this morning, so they had to prioritize the cases they heard and continue (postpone) the rest... including mine. The new date is May 5th. As soon as that was decided, I made arrangements to pick up a few more things (computer, cookware, etc.) this afternoon, and I am now set up with the bare essentials (plus some knitting) in my cozy new place.

Erik is making noise like he wants to drop the restraining order, which would make everybody's life a whole lot easier, but I'm not counting on him following through. I'd love for him to prove me wrong, though. He seems to think I was "kind" today when I came to get my computer, and while I'm not sure what he's smoking, I'm not going to argue. I just want to collect the rest of my things (which will require a large U-Haul and several helpers), get on with my life, and see where things stand in, I dunno, six months or something. There is no way I'd date him again, since we seem to bring out the absolute worst in each other, but I'd consider being on speaking terms if he can show me the respect I deserve.

For now, though, I just want to get on with my life. I've been hired by Green Mountain Spinnery to work in production, and I start tomorrow at 9:30! The wage isn't much more than minimum, but the fiber discount is 50%, so I may have trouble not spending my paycheck on yarn.

My fortune cookie tells me, "soon you will be sitting on top of the world." The one before this told me, "you look pretty," and I'm beginning to think that Chinese food should be mandatory when I'm depressed. Those little slips of paper wrapped in sweet cookie are wonderfully uplifting.

Back to knitblogging any day now, I swear.

Oh, I'm planning on being at CT S&W on the 24th. Who wants to meet me there or ride along from anywhere along 91?

15 March 2010

Low Point

We were out of power for about two days, took a few years off the life of the fridge by running it off the truck's inverter, and were surprisingly productive. Now the snow is melting, mud season is starting, and I should be feeling better. Sadly, I'm not.

Depression has been weighing me down a lot lately, nudging me to sleep more, knit less, and spend way too much time reading threads on Ravelry. The causes and triggers are numerous; things like my birthday, my one-year anniversary on unemployment, and ongoing relationship issues all fuel this feeling of hopelessness that's so difficult to conquer. I keep trying to do things to break out of the cage, but they never quite work the way I hope they will.

For example, I started looking at colleges, because I regret not having the discipline to get my degree years ago, and I found a place that I fell in love with as soon as I set foot on campus. It's beautiful, it's small, it's relatively inexpensive (for a private school), but I still can't afford it, because student loans don't pay my car insurance or storage unit fees, and I'm not confident that I can do full-time school plus a part-time job and survive with my sanity intact. I did full-time job and part-time school for a few months back in '07, but that was trade school, which meant no homework or studying.

So, once again, I've fallen in love with an idea that probably isn't feasable. But how could I not fall in love with a place like this?



In an effort to give myself some confidence, I've started an ambitious project: Marianne Kinzel's Rose of England Design.


I know it doesn't look like much yet (that's part A... for those unfamiliar with the design, the large version ends with part M and is supposed to be 72" in diameter), but I only started yesterday. Maybe I'll have it done for Rhinebeck!

In the meantime, I'm going to write a cover letter for a job that intimidates me, re-write a college entrance essay, and do some sewing. Happy thoughts appreciated.

24 February 2010


We're buried under more than two feet of snow and have been without power since 7 this morning. The nice lady at the power company told us that we might get power back tomorrow, but since most of southern Vermont is out, it may be into the weekend before we're hooked up again.

Wish us luck.

11 January 2010

New Year, New FOs!

Hi there, 2010. I'm still unemployed, still broke, still trying to figure out what to do with my life, still living in Vermont (which is the first good thing on this list), and still knitting. I've been mightily stressed lately, and rather than make things for myself that will be forever associated with that stress, I've made a gift for my friend Allison's impending little one (ETA: about six weeks from now).


I've also made a wee feather-and-fan hat to go with it, but I haven't taken a picture yet. The yarn is one skein of Fiesta La Luz (100% silk) that I got on clearance at Webs a few years ago, the buttons are vintage mother of pearl from my late grandmother's stash, and the pattern is Victoria Jane. The hat pattern is Lacy Baby Hat.

I also finished a long-awaited project, for which I must now write the long-awaited pattern: version 2 of my Greenery Hat!


The most common complaints I heard about the first Greenery Hat were that it was too tight and too tall. Version 2 addresses both of those problems. See?


Writing the pattern is taking some time, since I lost my notes somewhere between Connecticut and Vermont, so I'm having to reverse-engineer my own pattern. I'm not even going to hazard a guess at when it'll be finished... like the late, great Douglas Adams, I'm all too familiar with that whooshing sound deadlines make as they zoom past. That said, I know some of you have been waiting for this pattern since 2007, so I'm going to put it as high on my priority list as I can without sacrificing food and rent.

Time for me to head off to the diner for SnB. Happy knitting in the new year!