Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Slight State of Shock

My husband was out of town for a few days. On the rare occasions this happens, I plan a big project, so that I can spread it out over the house for a few days without incurring raised eyebrows or questions. Besides, it provides a distraction, especially in the evenings, and I'm not as conscious of the fact that I AM HOME ALONE.

Up until January 2006, I had at least one dog in my house for over 16 years. In other words, I was not HOME ALONE for 16 years. Even though Heidi was pretty much deaf, and moved with the speed a snail would laugh at, she was still a fairly big dog that barked. Instant security system.

From 1995 to 2004, we had our patrol puppy, Fen. He wasn't even 6 months old when he let a door-to-door salesman know that "if you come near my mommy, I'll shred your ankles". Over the years, be it mouse or man, Fen protected my well being anytime that my husband wasn't home. I thought Fen was absolutely adorable, Heidi found him insufferable. She tolerated his presence for 9 1/2 years, and I firmly believe that she lived as long as she did just to prove that she loved us more and she deserved to have us solely to herself again.

Certain projects were impossible to do, simply because of doggy curiosity, or more importantly "you could be spending time with me - NOW". Here is a picture taken back in 1996 or 1997...

Me and the pups

Fen is on the left. He weighed 75 lbs., and was pretty much fur, bone and muscle. He had picture perfect show stance, and he probably would have loved the ring, but that would have required a lot of dedication on our part. Not likely to happen. He was a pretty boy, and he knew it. Heidi is on the right. She was so smart, and sneaky. Her nickname was Heidini - as she was truly an escape artist. If there was a way to get out - she would find it. And only a space big enough for her. Fen snitched every time. She weighed between 50-60 lbs. throughout her life. And she was a girly-girl. She would nudge you with a nose to get your attention. Fen slapped you with a paw. She would drink and eat quietly, and daintly. Fen would slurp, burp and fart. Heidi would always sleep on a cushion or blanket, and would ease herself down slowly and assume a regal pose. Fen would drop to the floor with a thud and stretch out for maximum coverage. They were polar opposites in all things, except one: their unconditional love for us.

When I get started on a big project, I kind of miss having them underfoot. Sticking their noses into boxes or bags, determining if whatever is in there is edible, even tasty. Fen for the most part would pick a spot and just keep an eye on me. Heidi would shadow me, as if providing some type of moral support. "If I could walk upright, or had thumbs, you know I would help." That would have been a problem this time, as I was working on yarn.

I know I have a lot of yarn. Some of it was either still intact with their original ball bands from 20+ years ago, or wound into balls ready to knit. In any case, there is a lot of it. Much more than I thought as a matter of fact. It's almost indecent.

I always tried to keep the new yarn away from the dogs. It would come home and go into a plastic tub for a later time. Of course, when I would start knitting, dog hair would become part of the project. You couldn't get away from the downey white stuff these two shed every day of every week of every year, regardless of brushing. I still have a box of brushings in storage that I will have spun into yarn.

I have wanted to catalog the yarn, so that I can "shop" in my own home before buying more. And I have some beautiful yarn - silk and wool and cotton and soy, and every combination that you can think of. In sock yarn alone, I could easily make 100 pair. Think about that for a minute - 100 pairs of socks. For me, I could go a whole year without wearing the same pair twice due to the fact that if the weather is warmer than 65F, I will probably be wearing sandles. And speaking of socks, here is pair #13 that I have finished this year:

Colinette Jitterbug Socks

I finished these up this morning. Made from Colinette Jitterbug in the color Bright Charcoal, they are comfy and fit well. I doubt I will be wearing them soon, it will be in the 80's by the end of this week. Still, 292 yards less of stash.

I have input into a spreadsheet every skein of yarn that I found in my craft room. It took about 14 hours to complete. Spread out over my living and dining rooms, 20 tubs of yarn were sorted, separated and re-tubbed by type. I was surprised by how much I determined would be allocated to "charity" knitting. Maybe color is a factor, or just the realization that niether I nor my husband would be wearing a sweater THAT warm. Let's just say, by the time I was done, I was in a state of shock. Trying to justify the purchase of one more skein of anything is going to be really hard to do.

UPS just delived a wool shipment from Webs. I better enter it into the spreadsheet and then find some room for it. Two more pairs of socks and two sweaters to knit. Hey, at least it was on sale.

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