Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've had this ol' knitting blog for two years now, and I have come to an end there for two reasons:

1) I am a lazy lazy knitter. I am appauled at fine gauge knits. I can do socks, oh yes, but an entire tunic on size 4s? There is a category in my knitter's journey entitled "Not in This Lifetime." Don't get me wrong. I appreciate, I value this kind of knitting. A whole garment knit on teeny weeny 0s drapes so beautifully and feels so wonderful, but me? I am a lazy, distracted woman, and I can go so far as to knit socks on any size, but a tunic, no. I think I might invest in a bunch of bulky, washable yarn and knit interesting dish cloths for everyone. (OK, maybe not this far, but...) So an entire blog about knitting doesn't work for me. I don't knit enough variety or detail. And sometimes, like lately, I don't knit enough.

2)I am starting over. My life has just been blessed to overflowing lately, and I am running with it -- starting everything anew. I have a new city, a new job, a new cell phone number; why not have a new blog? A fresh place to record these new adventures in my life!

So please: come one, come all, to my new life. It's well, ahem, "shantastic"!

And I'll continue to post all purely knitting related posts here, just for fun... :-)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Why I Love Poetry

Because, even when you are horrible and have forgotten the important outfit and had to go back home and you forgot to shower today and are sure that, indeed, you are going to be late to your mother's house and wake the puppies and cause far too much commotion, you can turn on National Public Radio and hear this: "Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,/ the world offers itself to your imagination" and know that you are okay.

(That's from "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver, and maybe this post should really be called "Why I Love National Public Radio")

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Poor Little Carpal Tunnels

A few months ago, after my big post about knitting for myself, I was planning to announce my big sweater project, but it's on hold for now. As is pretty much every knitting project.

These are hard times. I've got a steady job, a great little home, Internet access, a working computer, a fabulous dog who loves me... but I cannot knit.

Well I can knit. But not for very long. Typing, too, is a problem. You see, I've got carpal tunnel syndrome. Not too bad, as yet, and I can knit for a bit, especially on something small and non-heavy, like socks. But, only for a little while.

After sitting on the couch and crying one evening, I have embraced a few solutions:

1. I have BRACES. My friend says they look a bit awkward, and they are hard to knit with, but if I wear them after knitting they do help.

2. I got a split keyboard at work. And an automatic hole punch. Laugh away, but medical records requires a lot of paper-punching.

3. Also, I've begun to quilt again. It's much easier on my wrists to quilt. I can wear one brace on my left wrist, which is the worst one. I'm working on a baby blanket. I'm considering moving my mother's machine back to my home and creating some gigantic project to hang behind the tv.

So, this is why I have been absent so much from the blog. The blog may have to expand and not be about knitting for a while. Please bear with me...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Four Things

1. My resolution this year is to knit myself something. I am knitting a couple of rows every couple of days on my Daisy Stitch Handwarmers from Purl Bee. I have chosen a yarn that I got from my sister and brother-in-law for Christmas in purple and pink and green and coordinating yarns: lime green, pink, and white. It disturbs me that these colors are the same as my matching Monday scrubs (the top is hot pink, the pants lime green) because I hate them. I match everyone, and it's just a bit too bright. But, provided I finish knitting an object this year, I will have coordinating gloves. I refuse to give them away. I am knitting something for ME.

2. I am a vegetarian again, like I was from the time I was eleven until I was twenty-one. I took a couple of years off, to see if I was a vegetarian for the right reasons. I have determined I am not a vegetarian for the right reasons, but I feel better not eating meat, and it's a crucial part of my identity. It's interesting that I forgot the "other people" factor of being a vegetarian, as in the way that "other people" are constantly asking "why." Maybe this isn't true everywhere, but there are many cattle farmers here, and many people that are relatives of cattle farmers, including myself. I am not a vegetarian to be a personal affront to anyone. At all. I am a vegetarian because my diet is an inseparable part of who I am and I am not a meat-eater. There. But, I am telling my co-workers this: "Oh, there are lots of boring reasons, you know. I want to be healthier." This, I think, will mean to them that it is a diet, and while vegetarianism is NOT an acceptable thing amoung these women, dieting is. (Case in point: Coworker upon finding out my diet: "Oh, Shannah, I have a deer in the back of my truck I'm going to butcher." Me: "Ah. Well, you know I grew up on a goat farm." Nothing disgusts me. It's not their death that bothers me, or the fact that you're eating them, it's the way... well, I didn't go into it with her and I'm not going to here.)

3. I miss my friends. Everyone is either living somewhere far away and more exciting, working evenings, having babies, or redoing their bathroom. This leaves me with Roxie. She is a good dog, but not a brilliant conversationalist. Perhaps I should invest in cable.

4. I am taking medical terminology on-line. This has nothing to do with creative writing or special ed, but does give me a brighter future in medical records.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In Search of the Lentil

I thought the lentil was an ordinary bean, a yummy main dish, a vegetarian staple.

But here, in God's armpit (this is a loving term for west Texas) they no longer sell the little beans, apparently.

I was at the specialty grocery store this evening, stocking up on vegetarian dishes, and there were several other people there at 9:30: a gay couple, an Indian man, a local tattoo artist and his girlfriend, and a handful of female college students. Not a busy evening.

I went down every isle. This is my second grocery store. I was disappointed by two things: 1) no lentils (how do you not have a little bag of beans?!) 2) no 6-pack of eggs (I will not eat 12 before they expire).

(This post is dying slowly, so I stop here... this is what has happened to me now, that my friends have all officially graduated and moved away, gotten married, or had babies: I buy expensive food. I sit at home and write the strangest poetry yet. I consider Iowa caucuses and Annie Lammott's books. I engage others at work only because they ask about my dog. I worry about the state of West Texas because of its lack of lentils until it is way past my bedtime and write about it on my knitting blog. But there are vegetarian knitters out there, right? There are other lentil eaters? What, oh what, am I going to do with all my stewed tomatoes without any lentils?)

Sunday, December 23, 2007


(I've looked and looked, but CANNOT find the author for this)

Knitter's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
There was unfinished knitting not under the tree,
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep---he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was 6" too small.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash.
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how far I still had to go.

When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,
I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.
And although I was tired--my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment that it must be St Nick.

Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed
For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.
"Move Rowan! Move Patons! Move Koigu and Clover!
Move Shelridge! Move Starmore! Move Spinrite!
Move over!

Lopi, don't circle around, just stand there in line.
Pay attention you sheep and you'll work out just fine!
I know this is hard as it's just your first year
But I'd hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill. What I saw was amazing:
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!
And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's big boots stomping on the porch floor.

I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.
As I turned around, St Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his heat to his toe
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.

A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back.
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosey red face.

The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:

"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff.
So I asked, "Hey, Nick, did YOU knit all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when I was just a kid."

He was chubby and plump, a well dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.

He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap
Where I had laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He began then to knit, first one cap then 2--
For the first time I thought I might really get through.

He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,
While I sat back drinking a scotch on the rocks.
Quickly like magic his needles they flew,
Good Grief! He was finished by two!

He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year, start your knitting sometime around JUNE!"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I've been tagged!

(The rules are that you can't insult yourself or be obvious, but you must go through the alphabet and put a creative word that describes you for each letter.)

A-Abby tagged me!
B-Babysat the best baby Sunday night!
D-Dog lover
E-Exercising (going on two days!)
F-"Fabulous" (a Favorite word)
H-Howdy! (My Texas greeting)
J-Junk (I own a lot)
L-Lens wearer (bad eyesight!)
M-Medical Records (what I do all day)
N-National Public Radio (what I listen to all day)
O-Old glasses (my frames are from the 70s)
P-Peace (what I want for Christmas)
Q-Questioning (always good)
R-Ravelry (I'm Shantastic)
S-Sarah (who I'm tagging)
T-Totally obsessed with dogs and/or knitting.
U-Underdressed (my office is cold)
V-Vacant (my brain)
W-Writing poetry and fiction
X-X-actly right all the time
Y-Yearning for good books
Z-Zounds! It's done!