There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
You are very welcome here, so feel free to comment and contribute!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New Blog

I was thinking that I hadn't done much with my tarot decks lately (I think I am sorta afraid to find out what is going on in my psyche or something). So, I went ahead and made a tarot journal. I am hoping it will encourage me to keep up my habit of drawing a card per day, to gauge my mood, the world's mood, or the current circumstances. Sometimes I'll do a bigger reading. I hope folks will comment or add insights, if so inclined. The blog is linked in my links collection here, and you can click the title of this post to get there. So far, only one real entry, but it was COOL that the first card I drew was the one I use to symbolize myself in readings that require choosing a significator (in most readings, I let the tarot do the choosing).

The card, depicted at left, is the Queen of Cups. She's emotional, mysterious, watery and Piscean so it works for me.

I told my friend Diane I'd help in her upcoming tarot class (locals are welcome to join it--just email me for info and I will pass it on to her), so I figure this will warm me up a bit and be a useful tool for that, as well.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Paranoia, will it destroy ya? Nice weekend, tho

My dear friend Stephanie has been calling me paranoid a lot, in a friendly way. And she may be right-- I often interpret subtle signals as if they affect me in some way, when in fact, they don't. HOWEVER, I often interpret clusters of subtle things correctly as affecting me--and I often have good hunches. (For example, the dude I worked with once who gave me such a bad vibe that I made a friend be with me whenever I might have to be in a meeting with him, who later turned out to have an assault conviction.) And most of us can tell when there is something in the wind that does not bode well for us. So, I am not sure that my paranoia will destroy me--it just keeps me alert so that perhaps I can prepare myself!

And the paranoia applies to my political ravings from the previous installment. It makes me feel better when I find out I am not the ONLY one having paranoid feelings, so I was happy when the Dear Partner forwarded me this article from AlterNet. I am NOT the only one seeing signs of an impending Police State in the US. I feel more and more like I live in the former Soviet Union.

But, all is not lost. For example, over the long US holiday weekend, I finished the first of two socks for my friend Andrea (she will make ME a pansy item in return). It is out of rather interesting yarn, Austermann Step, which has jojoba and aloe in it, supposedly which will last for some number of washings. The shades of blue are rather too close for my taste, but at least the pattern does show up (I will next make it in a lighter yarn, and sport weight, which is what the pattern originally called for.) If you are interested, it's a 3 Trails Handknit Design called Scotch Lace Prancer. I added a pattern repeat so it would fit in sock-weight yarn.

Yesterday was a big day for me, as the red-haired child turned 13 and I am mother to two teens now. He had some nice friends over and they ate a lot, but played nicely. Sweet, goofy teens. See top photo, including the older one in his Flying Spaghetti Monster shirt.


Elisabeth said...
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.I horrify myself that I am no longer horrified at the things I read in the newspaper.... shock myself that I am no longer shocked when I hear about a friend being grossly mistreated by another human being.It is way too commonplace for me to even sit up and take notice anymore.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006 3:40:00 PM

DianeS said...
I say a book at Whole Life today called Pronoia. ( for Amazon entry). I came close to picking it up for you, but decided you might not find it funny.(g)
Wednesday, May 31, 2006 5:36:00 PM

Friday, May 26, 2006

Corgi Update and EEK Politics

I talked to the eye doctor vet today, who is almost having as much job fun as I am, poor dear. But, I got brownie veterinary points for requesting that we re-test Gwynneth for fungal infections. Sure enough, one test did show the resence of some fungus that they get by inhaling, which can affect eyes. The other test was once again, our favorite, "inconclusive." The positive test means we can't put her on oral steroids or the fungal thingie would go crazy. It also means that, perhaps, treating the fungus would help her eye inflammation, so she could be a blind dog WITH eyeballs rather than without, which I certainly would prefer. Next up is talking to the local vet about it, oh boy. At least finally we got a result, on something.

I spent much of the day getting presents for a hard-to-buy-for almost-13 boy. I think he will like what he got, though it appears there will be some "this is on order but not here yet" gifts. Especially the claymation boxed set that is not even out yet (he loves some claymation dude in Schertz, Texas). But, he is getting drumsticks with his name on them, a maginfying light for his Warhammer dudes, an inexpensive video camera (VERY inexpensive) to make claymation and other cinematic masterpieces, and some black shirts for his "goth wannabee" phase. I am impressed we came up with that many things for someone who would prefer to do nothing but paint and play Star Wars Galaxies.

Stop here unless you want to read liberal, pacifist content. And pro-war pals, no need to rebut. You won't change my mind and I have no illusions that I will change yours. And I realize this is incoherent rambling, but what else is one's own PERSONAL blog for?

And as for eek, politics. My dear partner was reading some article about the Iraq war that apparently wondered why people weren't more up in arms about the goings on there. He said it postulated that US folks were too sedated by reality TV and American Idol to concern themselves about complex stuff like wars and politics. And I am not denying that has a part in it. But I expressed to him that what most concerns ME is how apologetic anyone who has the temerity to voice a criticism of the war in public (like on a television talk show or news/comedy show) feels compelled to be. If you have the guts to say, "I am opposed to this war," it is like obligatory to then quickly qualify it with, "But of course, I support Our Troops." It is like you can't be a "good" American without uttering it. It's like the Muslims always saying "inshallah" after every sentence. It begins to lose its meaning after being repeated over and over again. "I believe X, but of course I support Our Troops."

You know what, I don't really support our troops (I do feel sorry for them and care about some of them A LOT). I think if you are someone who volunteers to go out and kill people or work to support the ones assigned to kill people for a living, that is your choice, but it is not a choice I, a pacifist, support. I support individuals and their right to do for a living what seems right to them at this time, but no, I am not actually all hepped up on military careers. And I am tired of hearing how, "Oh, but they are protecting you and sacrificing themselves for you." Uh huh. I think we all are obligated to protect each other by doing our best at whatever we do--you don't have to take mass murdering lessons to protect fellow citizens. I protect them by providing the information I provide in my job, or by helping people stay calm by learning to knit...or....

Yes, yes, life is complex, and I am probably an insane dreamer for thinking that, you know what, if we all just let other people live their own lives, in their own countries, with their own beliefs and customs and stopped trying to impose our own beliefs and cultural mores on other people, we could probably have peace. Yep, I'm a fool. Until just one giant multinational corporation is in charge of everything and its Board has 85% of the stuff and the rest of the world has 15% or so, there will be wars. That's the plan, far as I can tell. Countries and governments aren't behind all this crap, and certainly our Fearless Leader who can't even string together two sentences is not in charge of what the so-called "USA" is doing. He does whatever the multinational corporations his Daddy has been working with for decades tell him.

OK, report me to Big Daddy so my phone calls can be tapped. Heh heh. But read this Big Daddy: Peace-nik Nut Suna probably can't do a thing to stop you, so feel free to focus on something more worth your while. I'll just knit and watch, and wish voicing my opinion mattered even a teeny bit.


DianeS said...
You go, Girl!A while back I invited the NSA to listen in to my phone calls (what few there are) or read my emails. While I strongly object on civil liberties grounds to the programs, I'm willing to let them at mine. Because I think it will bore them to tears and, if forced to deal with my real life for very long, may actually kill them all with boredom.
Sunday, May 28, 2006 3:37:00 PM

Vicki said...
I'm interested to read your opinions. Please write more!
Monday, May 29, 2006 6:07:00 PM

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Patience, It's a VIRTUE

So I am trying to be virtuously patient. Things are moving along a little more on the job front, both in searching for something that pays the bills, and in doing the current job (which I love and would hate to leave, except for that pesky need for income). The income thing becomes painfully clear when I have to make down payments for band trips and such--trip isn't until next April and already we are paying for it! And there is no knitting teaching for two weeks, so that income stream has dribbled away. Plus, the new shetland jumper weight yarn I ordered is on back order. Patience, grasshopper Suna, patience.

School is out tomorrow and the man of the house is grumpy about that. Those darned kids keep talking and wanting to do stuff, ha ha. (Actually, they are much quieter than your average teens, I think, though I am sure the Memorial Day All Day Birthday Party, Video Game and Magic Card Fest for the younger one will feature more noise than usual.) But, they are going to be gone at least a month, as usual, for the Their Father visit, and this year I won't have a conference or visit to my dad's house to distract me from it. I'll really miss visiting him this year--last year's visit was so pleasant and relaxing. And the house is deadly quiet with no children around at all.

I finished the flag socks from last week, which is good, and am working on the second washcloth for a wedding gift for this Saturday. They are Egyptian cotton and plain, but otherwise like the one in the previous entry's photo. My friends keep plugging away at me to also give the happy couple a rainbow one, too. We will see how quickly I finish this--I do want to start the socks of my friend Andrea, which are next "in line." The picture you see is the final class sample I finished, a very soft alpaca scarf in a quite simple lace pattern. Even I, the lace weenie, managed to eventually memorize the pattern.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

I am doing a lot of deciding in my life. I am so happy I am learning to decide to let go of things that are bringing me more pain than joy (the church decision), even though it STILL is not an easy decision--I do miss some people and activities, like choir. Right now I am working on deciding whether to go to my 30th high school reunion or not. Last year I was feeling successful and confident, while working on the interesting work project, getting to travel a lot, and learning so many new things. This year I am in such limbo in so many ways...not feeling terribly "successful" but happy I am coping well and making the best out of whatever situations come up. I just don't know what I'll be doing and how I'll be financially in four months! I was one of the "successful" ones in high school--not in the "in" crowd, but popular in my own group of music (chorus and band) friends and the "smart kids." I left high school with a great boyfriend, and the expectation that both of us were off to get PhDs and become brilliant college professors. Well, the boyfriend did just that (and I am so proud of him), while I wandered away from academia making "interesting" decision after interesting decision. And honestly, since my marriage broke up and I have been struggling so hard to raise the kids in a stable setting, I have not felt terribly successful. I feel like it would be a real let down to show up and say, "Hi, I walked away from professor stuff, did some weird editing jobs, married and had kids and stayed at home, then worked as a webmaster for a nonprofit organization that could not pay well and got stranger and stranger until...I have no idea what happened."

On the OTHER hand, what the heck. Probably everyone in high school has had ups and downs in the past 30 years, and some have done well and some haven't. At least I am still alive and kicking, and so many from my class aren't (including my close friend from when the boyfriend, this guy and I were a trio of pals--and I don't even know what happened to him!). I didn't keep up much with high school friends, since I moved far away and felt bad about breaking up with the boyfriend and who knows if they'd even remember me! I tried to contact a couple people a few years ago, but got terse responses or none at all. But, it would be nice to see Florida again, even south Florida, not my favorite part. So, I actually think the good outweighs the bad, especially since I am gradually feeling better about myself and trying to do positive stuff...

And I have had some fun. Two of the yarn store women let me go out to dinner and to the exciting Cool River bar last night, where I had a very expensive green drink. It was fun to hang out with women, though there was no exciting man "action" (nor did I expect any). We were ages 28, 38, and 48, so I was the old lady of the group. I don't FEEL old or like I shouldn't be going out and having fun, though! And we were carded. How fun.

OK, as you can see there is an obligatory knitting picture. Yet another washcloth. I knitted a very plain and delicate one for a wedding gift (going to make another one for the other half of the couple), and then just HAD to finish this extra bright one for my own use, with really nice, thick cotton from "the other yarn store" in town. Now I am going to go finish that other patriotic sock. Thanks for reading.


Jody said...
I think I'm going to avoid the expensive green drink in the future, just not worth it. That was a good time on Saturday! No hangovers in sight.
Sunday, May 21, 2006 8:14:00 PM

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bob Ross Lives!

Well, this just cracked me up so much I had to post it. I think he vaguely resembles Mr. Happy Trees, don't you? I always look forward to the spring middle school band concert, where all the kids dress up. Such a glimpse into his red-headed bearded future! Wow!

I am covered in hair spray and gel from trying to make his hair bigger, but that IS all his own hair!


Jennifer said...
Thursday, May 18, 2006 5:59:00 PM

Barbara said...
That is just too funny!!! I love it. But I didn't know that Bob Ross died :( It would explain why I haven't seen him lately on pbs.
Thursday, May 18, 2006 6:26:00 PM

Sam said...
That is hilarious! I love it!!
Thursday, May 18, 2006 6:46:00 PM

Tina said...
Snakes on a Plane, the resembalance is uncanny!! That is indeed hilarious, Sue Ann.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006 8:33:00 PM

Blogged Up

I spent the day typing up help files on blogs with my pal NJ for the intranet at work, so I have been thinking about blogs all day. It is fun to learn different interfaces! I do find blogs to be a handy tool for various purposes, not just venting and getting oneself in trouble, LOL.

I finished up the rest of my class samples last night, and will post them over the next few days, but thought I'd share my sock today. I am diligently finishing the second one, now that the samples are done, because I now want to make that delayed lace shawl, and another one and blah blah. I am really proud of the sock, which is probably the first patriotic anything I ever made in my whole life. I enjoyed making the pattern come out nice on the front, and the heel blue. Hardly wasted any yarn, either, which is good, since I want to make the other sock match!!

I'd type more, but I need to go turn my near-teen (who's spent the afternoon in tears over English class) into Bob Ross. It's his end-of-year band concert day, and they are supposed to dress up as a famous artist. He will match his "Happy Trees" t-shirt and look extra cool. All I have to do is fluff up his curly red hair and draw on a goatee!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's a DOILY!

Knitting update. This is one of the Bathtime Blossom "washcloth" patterns that I have been working on lately, in wild colors. I think it's a doily, however, as this one has rayon in it (bought the happy, shiny yarn last year and can't remember what it is), so I don't know how well it would stand up to frequent washing. I know I needed to block it before it would lie down and BEE HAVE. All this lace knitting of late (still working on the mohair sample scarf) has finally motivated me to finish the shawl for my poor, patient friend, Diana, which I started last summer. I was having trouble keeping count, but I seem to be in a better "space" for lace these days.

Work stuff. I've been really busy at work, even after losing all the previous responsibilities I've had, and have been making some really useful Web pages and updating others. I am totally amazed at how helpful my volunteers have been with working on improvements to the content. They really rock. With so many fewer phone calls and meetings, I can concentrate on content a lot more, and that has been refreshing. I am really hoping that things will be turning around for the better where I work--there are lots of good people trying to make useful changes--it is a challenge being a nonprofit these days.

Dog stuff. I recently went to the vet again with the dog. The vet isn't doing so hot, either--lost her office location, so I have no idea where I will see her next. We are re-running Gwynnie's fungus test, to be sure she doesn't have that (previous one was uncertain). Once we are more certain, we will start oral steroids, to see if it is an auto-immune thing. That will help, if it is the case. The bad thing is that we can't know for sure what the problem is without doing a pathology on her eyes, which requires removing them. Which I can't afford right now. And which will make us all sad. Trying to get some savings up, thanks to the extra jobs!

OK, back to work--this was my "lunch break" :-)


Jennifer said...
I really like those colors. That doily is just an awesome sunburst of cheer!! :D
Wednesday, May 17, 2006 5:29:00 PM

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Not Much. Hands Hurt

I think I have been knitting too much--my hands are sore. Mostly I think it is from working with "Suede" yarn to make the belt sample for the store. Here is its photo. When it's done, it will be a cool belt, though, and I think people will enjoy making one and learning to follow cable instructions by making it.

I am enjoying the lovely alpaca lace sample a lot more, I have to say! Oh, so soft, and an easy pattern I can relax with. And all those washcloths which can be doilies, or dishcloths are also a ton of fun. Hoping to figure out a good color and make a couple as a wedding gift.

Weird thought of THIS week is how nice the world would be if everyone was an INFP on the Meyers Briggs scale. Ah, a world of sensitive, kind, altruistic people. Just like MEEEE. Hee hee. I bet things would be a LOT more peaceful. I got sort of weepy on Mother's Day when someone read the original Mothers Day proclamation by Julia Ward Howe. It sounded so darned NICE to think of all these mothers settling arguments and agreeing to live and let live so no one would massacre each other's sons. Sniff.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day Musings

I am spending Mother's Day knitting up samples for intermediate knitting classes, and the first one I finished was this fair isle tam, knitted in really soft bulky baby alpaca yarn. MMM. The pattern is from the "Yarn Cocktails" collection, which are mostly simple patterns, each with a recipe for a cocktail on the back. Of course, I forget the name of the cocktain this hat is named after, but it's something Scottish.

My son found it, put it on, and never took it off, so I guess it was a hit! In honor of being a mother, then, I present you with a photo of this son in the hat! He is as sweet as he is cute. And very proud of the hair.

It has been a lovely day so far, and I got from the boys some caramels (from Jeff, go figure) a CD I had wanted (the Emmylou Harris/Mark Knoppfler one) and a lovely Legion of Superheroes graphic novel. I have collected Legion comics since I was first able to read. I can really stick with a hobby. It's like a really long soap opera for me. Recently there was a Justice League cartoon where Supergirl and some JL dudes got transported to the future by the Legion, and in the end, she decided to stay there so she could date Brainiac 5. That was the best cartoon ever made, IMHO. They are the cutest couple. (OK, so I am weird about comic book characters--it's a harmless affliction!)

In addition to knitting, I also made a new website last week. This is for the band Jeff joined recently, The Starters. I like the color scheme. Nice clear colors. I think I did a reasonable job with their logo, too. They didn't give me much text, but what they gave, I formatted. I used CSS and templates, since I needed practice in those things. Now I just have to make something in PHP.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Dog Sweater

Look! I do have another dog besides Gwynnie the Blind Corgi! Today's image is of Scrunchy the Very Large Pug in the dog sweater I made for him when I did a doggie sweater class. I am debating whether to duplicate stitch "Big Pug" on it or not. Hope that wouldn't offend him. Of course, the sweater itself, a plain dog sweater embellished with fair isle borders in Cascade 200, offended him. I put it on him to see if it would fit or not and he froze like a statue with a perplexed air. It certainly made taking the photo easy enough. And yes, I did a rotten job photoshopping his red eye out, but it was late that night! Anyway, I did get him to take a few steps, but I could see that the sleeves had him confused and uncomfortable. Maybe when it gets cool again in the fall we'll try it out again.

I am also a bit worried that, as a male dog, he might um, "soil" it when he lifted his leg. And it's a hand wash sweater. Oh well, good for demo purposes, and I had used leftover yarn!

We have had nasty, nasty weather the last couple of days, with bad hail all around us, but nothing too awful here. And I have been to a rather controversial lacrosse parent meeting, high school band concert, a band parent meeting (where I volunteered for something, when will I learn?), and a middle school percussion recital in the past few days, so I am "parenting"ed out. But it is fun to see one's kids doing music!


Judy said...
I love the dog sweater! Hopefully, he will wear it in the fall.
Thursday, May 18, 2006 12:15:00 PM

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Felting Silk and the Weird Things I Think

Today's knitted object is a bag using the "Lucy Bag" pattern, made with entrelac, out of Silk Garden yarn left over from my recent vest project. What makes it interesting is that, as an experiment, I washed it like you would a wool item, and it came out SO incredibly soft. It has inspired a couple of friends to wash garments made out of this yarn! You just want to snuggle up with it, like a "blankie." However, it really is not a great bag. Sharp items easily poke through it. But it was an interesting experiment.

About thinking weird thoughts, I realized one day last week, as I was driving through the hideous desolation that is the toll road construction near my house, that when I am near so much ugliness, I imagine myself back in Gainesville, driving through all the leafy, green streets with all the camellias and azaleas. I feel like there are two of me. One is here, coping with single parenthood, under-employment, stressful interpersonal relations and a lot of ugliness. And the other is back home, having not had to move away in 8th grade, having gone to high school with the people I went to elementary school with (and Tom Petty, LOL), having met a nice, fun, responsible dude in college and stuck with him, perhaps working at the college doing something I like and also knitting. It's nice to think about this mythical me who didn't leave her happy home where she was on the road to being successful and popular to start over in a school where no one talked to her for a year. I KNOW that there would have been challenges and issues, even if I had gotten to stay in my home town until college, but it sure seems like things went "awry" once I left the surroundings that made me happy, with a brief 4 years of happy when I went back for college.

Hmm. No, I don't really blame my parents for everything that has happened to me. It has been my own decisions and actions that have affected me, not that stuff! It's just weird things I think when I am tired and staring at concrete rubble with a few Mexican Hat Flowers thrown in, on the side of the road.

And there's a lot of good in my life. I would not want to miss having my wonderful kids and the wonderful friends I have met in Texas and at work!

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Really Happy with This One

Here is a sweater I am very proud of. It fits beautifully and is so light and comfortable that I know it will be great all summer long. It is from the Enchanted Garden Elsebeth Lavold pattern book (link will tell you more about her), and is made in Hempathy yarn, an intriguing combination of hemp, cotton and modal fibers. It was a bit stiff to knit with but is already softening up. The yarn comes in very interesting, muted colors--it's probably hard to bleach hemp out completely.

I loved the pattern, called Althea. The design is subtle but there are little touches of shaping that make the sweater really fit well. I think I will make another one out of this book sometime.

On another topic, I am hoping a great job I applied for will come through, so send hopeful vibes. They changed it to a full time job instead of contract work, so now I need to wait for an official process to happen and hope no one they like better applies! I am still looking for something that fits my web/writing skills and will pay enough to support ye olde family.

Very proud of the family. Kynan is getting an academic acknowledgement at school, which is wonderful--he adapted so well to high school!! He also did a manly task and helped a friend with heavy lifting and big machine work over the weekend, with a great attitude. And Declan's work on Flash astounds me. It is so fun watching him express his creativity!


Judy said...
Wow, I love this sweater! I love the pattern and the color. Did you buy the pattern book from Pat? Thanks again for all of your help on my shrug project! Hope to see ya soon.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006 11:48:00 AM

Sam said...
This sweater is beautiful! As are you. I love having the chance to pop on here and see your gorgeous creations.Take care
Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:00:00 PM