10 March 2014

Sometimes It All Just Comes Together

Since many of my recent verbal posts have dealt with various things not going my way, I thought it would be a good idea to share a day where things, large and small, have been going my way. These stories vary in length, but the first has the longest back story.

I cooked my latest Amelia yesterday, which meant--because my method uses 180-proof grain alcohol as a solvent, and then I distill the oil by boiling off the alcohol--that, even though I exclusively perform these tasks outside, and it was a warm, breezy day, I was "relaxed" much of yesterday, from about 12:30 pm on. I licked a couple things clean as I was tidying up in the evening, and I seem to have made a potent medicine. In the light and relative clarity of this morning, I decided I needed to redo the final step, distilling the drug a bit more, using a metal measuring cup and an old mug warmer in the kitchen. Not too long after that, I realized that my morning clarity was fading into the air along with the rest of the grain alcohol.

To finish the long story, I was not at all sure that I would be well-served to drive to Gyrotonic this evening where I was scheduled for an expensive private session, but I turned on the kitchen fan and decided I would have a large lunch and then take a nap, and make my final choice in the late afternoon. Before I could even think about what to eat, though, Jeffrey the Instructor called in sick! I mean, I'm sorry for Jeffrey, but my dilemma was solved.

Then I got an email from Eragem saying that a ring I'd consigned late last summer, and largely forgotten about, has been sold!

Spackle has had some runny poops of late (my brand-new Nexus 5 cell phone has been reading more about poop than it would like, I'm sure), as well as The Farts of the Dead, and today he really seems to be on the mend! Feeling safe to walk (if not drive), I went by foot up to the QFC to buy more pumpkin and chicken thighs, to be served with rice to block the dog (I've actually been eating roughly the same diet, with roughly the same effect, which has not stood me in as good a stead as it has the dog). Of the four stoplights between here and there, 75% of them were completely in my favor, and 25% were not seriously out of my favor. B+, Stoplights!

At the QFC, my chicken thighs, pumpkin, and Hostess Cherry Pie came to exactly $20.00. "That never happens!" exclaimed the clerk.

Last is the knitting project I've just begun. It's been at least a year since I've knitted a hat of Fair Isle, or stranded knitting. I have had two failures since my last success, which put me off the whole practice for awhile. The first failure was meant to be birds flying in a deep sunset sky, using yarns I had on hand. It would've been pretty, perhaps, but I was unable to get my head around (or, ha ha, under), the math necessary to alter the pattern to fit me. In an attempt to salvage something, I began a hat using the same yarns, but the the pattern on the other half of the printed sheet showing the birds. The problem here was not only that I didn't search out the perfect pattern that I actually wanted to do, I chose to knit the design in a way that used all four colors in a single row. True Fair Isle only ever uses two colors on a single row, because it is way too difficult to keep track of anything more complicated than that, and the garments get bulky and rigid. My cold-season threads have been mostly sewn this year.

My last story seems to be a nice long bookend to my first, after all. Starting this new project yesterday evening (but stopping when Amelia got vigorously involved), I began responsibly by knitting a gauge swatch. While knitting, I determined how I would use my four colors--which twos I would choose--when I began the actual hat. Afterwards, I measured my swatch and determined that my pattern of 14 stitches would fit around my head if I knitted it 9 times, equaling 126 stitches, which is exactly the right number for my head. I then went looking through my pattern books for something to go with it, decided on one I liked which was 6 stitches, and calculated how much alteration I would need to make between patterns. It turns out none alteration--because both 14 and 6 (at 21 times) go evenly into 126, as will the 3-stitch ribbing at the bottom! This never happens, and it's a particular nerdy delight because one of the foundational primes is a seven.

And, Ian gets home tonight!


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