Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kachina Footwear....Bo Style....

Ok, I finished one of the pair of Kachina Slipper Socks with leather soles for Blaine's brother-in-law. Yay, I thought, triumphantly!!! I'm on the downslope now!


And then reality hit me hard....

Turns out, knitting the sock was the easy part. The hardest part was attaching the damn leather sole. You can see a little bit of the sole at the toe. (And you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

The sewing holes on the soles were so tiny that I had to use regular sewing needles (and just TRY threading those damn things with sock yarn, which I used to attach the soles to the sock.) And then the depth of the soles had to be sewn correctly or it totally distorted the sock and changed its size. And then, after I'd sewn everything, I had to crochet a decorative border around the sole/sock seam line in an attempt to make a neater edge while hiding the sewing.

And I used Blaine as a fitting model so many times that it started to get on his nerves. I don't know how many times I had to exclaim: "But these are for your DAMN BROTHER-IN-LAW, Blaine!!!!!" to get his cooperation.

Anyway, I finished one, as you can see by the pictures. And the other sock is finished and so right now I'm in the process of pinning it to the sole. Sheesh, why did I ever think this would be an easy project??? Why, I ask you!? Why?

Then one of the damn pinning needles broke and a piece of it got lodged into my hand. I think I got it out with the tweezers but I'm still not sure.

And I still haven't even STARTED the Kachina Slipper Socks I'm supposed to be knitting for my sister's husband---who has even bigger feet!!!! Oh help me Lord, for sure......

What was it that little train said? I think I can, I know I can, I think I can, I know I can......

P.S. The reason the pictures of the finished Kachina Sock Slippers are pictured NOT on a human foot is because when I asked Blaine to try them on for the 100th time the idgit mutinied on me. That's okay, because I did get him to try them on earlier and they fit appropriately but were a little bit too big-- which is what I wanted because Blaine's brother-in-law has a larger sized foot, which means they'll fit, God willing and the creek don't rise.....



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble Gobble!!!!


Happy Thanksgiving One and All!!!!!!

We're going over to Blaine's brother's house for Thanksgiving Dinner at 1:00 pm, and I've already made my greenbean cassserole as my contribution. All we have to do now is pick up the pies at the grocery store. Blaine also made some homemade bread.

And with the help of all three of my therapists, I think I have the bravery and a positive attitude about going out of the house to attend a family dinner. (Except I haven't looked yet for anything decent to wear...)

Also, I completed Blaine's brother-in-law's Christmas present, my Kachina Socks, the ones which will be attached to leather soles. Lord, designing that pattern to fit him and also the leather soles was quite a job. (You can click on the pic to enlarge it.)

(Now I have to knit a pair for Sasquatch....oops, I mean my own brother-in-law.....)

Anyhoo, I hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Don't forget to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (what's left of it, heh).

And don't forget to get the wishbone out of the turkey and make a wish---and I hope your wish comes true!

(I know what I'm wishing for---I want one of those Pandora charm bracelets!)



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What The Lord God Has Made....

I just HAD to share this picture with you. Our neighbor's tree has lit up the neighborhood with its splendor....

It reminds me of the story in the Bible where Moses sees the Burning Bush....

Anyway, I think it is a thing of beauty and I had to capture it in a picture. But in person it is even more spectacular and beautiful.... even my mobile therapist went a picked a leaf off of it to try and dry it in that stage of its color. And then the UPS man who was delivering something to us also stood in awe of it, saying "Have you seen your neighbors' tree?" and to which I replied yes, and that I'd taken a picture of it.....
Only The Lord God could make something so breathtakingly, splendorously, beautiful...



Monday, November 15, 2010



Ok, the above Kachina socks are destined to be those kind of slipper socks that have a leather bottom. They are going to be a Christmas present for Blaine's Brother-In-Law. There's only one problem.....

It's the middle of November and I'm knitting on only one project (and it's not even finished) out of all the things I want to knit for Christmas presents.

Here's the list of my difficulties:

1. The first project isn't finished. And what's worse, the slipper leather soles I ordered for them are not here yet....

2. After this project I have to knit a pair of the same as above, leather soled Kachina socks, for Sasquatch.

Okay, he's not Sasquatch. He's my sister's new husband---and please don't tell her I called her man Sasquatch. But hey, if you read the link, the other popular name for Sasquatch IS Bigfoot. And I definitely think that taking on the knitting of size 15 socks is a challenge. Especially since he's not here to try them on every so often. I'm trying the current ones (for his BIL's size 10 1/2) on Blaine but he only has size 9 feet. What the hell am I going to do for the size 15? I may be reduced to searching the neighborhood.

(Can you see me at someone's door, holding up a Kachina sock, saying plaintively "Uh....does anybody in your household have size 15 feet---and would they mind trying this on?")

3. After I finish the above two pairs of slipper socks with leather soles, I want to try that felted clog pattern everybody loves. They would be for my sister. She wears "slide-in" bedroom slippers so I thought I'd try these felted clogs and see if she likes them. But I have no idea how to felt so it could potentially be a knitting disaster second only to the "Ugly Bugly" Socks Incident ---but let's not go there. So I'm going to try felting for the first time---with Christmas breathing down on my neck.

4. And after all that above, I was going to knit YET ANOTHER pair of the leather soled Kachina socks for my sister's daughter, my niece.

5. I hate knitting the same thing twice....much less four times!!

I guess all I really have to say about my dilemma is this:




Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Kachina Socks...

The whole thing started out as me wanting to knit some of those slipper socks with the suede soles that you attach to the bottom of the socks. And I wanted to knit with colors and patternings that remind me of Native American dancers, especially the Kachina. One of my great-grandmothers was a full blood Cherokee and so I really appreciate those things of the Indian cultures. My Mamo, who just passed away recently, had many authentic Indian articles in her household.

So I got the leather soles and knitted up a mock-up Kachina sock with an extremely high leg/cuff (to symbolize the tall nature of the Indian dancers' moccasins). I knitted it in colors and designs I've seen and admired in Native American clothing. All was going well until I finished the first sock, attached it to the leather sole---and tried it on Blaine. And I realized I had made a big mistake in the mock-up. (Which is why I guess it's a smart thing to make a mock-up...) The gauge was totally too loose and when it was on Blaine his foot kept slip-sliding all over the leather sole and its edges.

Not acceptable.

It wasn't acceptable because I plan on knitting a pair for both Blaine's BIL (since I knit his sister a pair of socks a couple years ago and now it's his turn) and also for my sister's new husband, whose foot is so big that no bought house slippers fit him. And I want them to be nice, fitting well.

So I dis-attached the Kachina sock from the leather sole----and guess what happens? Blaine wanted to try the sock on again without the leather sole. And hell must have frozen over because Macho Man Blaine, who heretofore has always refused to wear anything other than plain solid grey, black or brown, actually WANTED this colorful Kachina Sock! Go figure! And whodathunkit? (You can click on the pic to enlarge it and then you'll be able to see the light grey as well as the dark grey---the light grey shows up better in person.)

So what could I do but make the other one? I just now finished it and so he'll have the whole pair tonight---he wants them as house slipper socks because the yarn is soft and warm, and the sock goes high up on his leg. (And I know they don't look the same---but you know how I never knit two socks or sleeves the same--thus the fraternal twin nature of them.....) And also I know that they're not exact copies of Indian moccasin dancing boots but I used those colors and patterns which inspired me and added my own twist on them. Call them Bo's Version of Kachina Socks....

Meanwhile, I now have to start the other two guys' Kachina Socks. I'm going to go down a bunch of sizes of needles to get a more stiff gauge. Hope that works. I'm thinking of adding fringe around the top or down the back seam to make them look more authentic as the Native American dancing moccasins I got my inspiration from.
See the pony below? I covet it. It's the one called "Kachina" from the collection of pony statues from The Trail of Painted Ponies that I collect. I wish I had this one. I love those ponies. And I like to think of my ancestors riding as fast as the wind on beautiful ponies such as this one.....



Saturday, November 06, 2010

The Story of Bonnie....


"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was;
and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it...
Ecclesiastes xii 7.


It's been years since I talked to Bonnie.

Bonnie was my college roommate for four years. We lived at Tropicana Village, an upper class, off-campus student residence for students in California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. "Tropicana", as it was called by us students, was a lah-tee-dah student residence for the privileged, located about one mile from the campus of the University.

Tropicana had a bus which left on the hour for campus, to both take and bring back students from campus so that we didn't have to walk or drive. They even had a 2-story bus like they have in London, England. Many snobby students in Tropicana looked down their noses at those who had to live in the on-campus residences. The on-campus dorms were no-frills, 2-bed cinderblock rooms. Whenever I made bad grades in my course work my father used to threaten to transfer me to the on-campus dorms. That was usually enough to make me work a lot harder at my studies....

We at Tropicana enjoyed many luxuries including living in 3 bedroom, 2-story apartments which looked out over the three sparkling swimming pools and whirlpool sauna baths. We were allowed free scuba diving lessons in the pools. And we also enjoyed free tennis lessons on the residence's numerous tennis courts.

Bonnie and I lived in one of the 3 bedroom apartments with another girl. Our apartment had mirrored walls and even one wall with decorative wooden shingles. The carpet was sumptuous. And our cafeteria looked out over our section's swimming pools.

Anyway, Bonnie and I were best friends. I guess nowadays it would be called being BFF. We went on double-dates with boys. And although I was a cheerleader, I hung out with Bonnie instead of my cheerleader buddies. We went to the favorite local bar called "The Graduate" with our friends after football games. We helped each other with homework. We were inseparable.

After we graduated, Bonnie and I moved into our first apartment together in the area and tried out our fledgling selves in the job market. I went to work for a local airline and Bonnie went to work in restaurants, since she had majored in dietary science.

And then, as do many friend-sets in college, we lost touch after awhile since I ended up moving to the east coast and she stayed on the west coast. We'd call each other every couple of years to catch up, but the gap of time between those calls got longer and longer.

Bonnie had always had a troubled life. She had always had a hard time finding satisfying relationships with men and so she'd take up with anybody she could get--- usually worthless assholes who didn't treat her with much respect. Part of that maybe have been because Bonnie was drawn to bars. She loved to go to bars and drink --- and meet men.

Anyway, as time went by, I became an RN and began my career a couple years after I had graduated from college. I went to nursing school in the east, in Pittsburgh, PA. (See the stories called "Who Ya Gonna Call", beginning with Part One here.)

And, 20 years later, my hard core alcoholism began to take me down. And I was trying desperately to hide my mental problems as best as I could by being the most absolutely perfect RN I could be. During this time period, the last time I talked to Bonnie was in 1997, just before I went to Damascus, Syria, to live with my mother who was stationed there in the Diplomatic corps (and we were both almost killed in an anti-American event.)

After returning to America, my life was filled with functional periods alternated with attempts at getting my alcoholism under control by going to alcoholic treatment centers, over and over, with doctors scratching their heads over why I couldn't get better by following the AA 12-Step system. It wasn't until I moved up here with Blaine, and got hooked up with the very personal, aggressive psychiatric professionals who are seeing me now, that my mental problems were finally diagnosed correctly. And, with my family's help, I then began my current therapies for all the many debilitating mental conditions which had heretofore enslaved me (and which contributed greatly to my alcoholism, since I drank to numb the symptoms).

And so it went today, a nice leisurely Saturday, that I thought of Bonnie---and thought I would surprise her by calling her after all these long years. I didn't know where Bonnie was but I knew where her parents were and found their phone number.

Her mother answered the phone and I explained who I was and that I was hunting Bonnie down to regale each other with stories of our salad days.

Her mother said slowly: "Honey, Bonnie is dead." And she told me the whole sad tale.

But...long story short......Bonnie had died very young of complications related to alcohol abuse.

Why, Lord? Why didn't I call her sooner? Perhaps I could have helped.....

Like Forest Gump said..... "And that's all I have to say about that".....



Thursday, November 04, 2010

OK, He Asked For It.....

My therapists are very nosy about what I knit or what I do with jewelry making. And I have no earthly idea why.

Why would they care??? Are they just nosy----or do they have some mental health reason?

So, finally, it's a cold enough day that I need long sleeves with a cardigan. And so I decided to finally wear something I made down to the psychiatric center. It's the pattern for Molley Weasly's cardigan from the Harry Potter movie (I think it was the "Chamber of Secrets" one or something like that.) (You can click on the picture to enlarge it.)
I got the pattern out of the book "Charmed Knits", but I didn't knit or crochet it the way the pattern went.

I added cables, a crocheted edging, and the sleeves are completely out of my imagination once I did the shoulder ruffle.

(You know that I never could follow somebody else's pattern to a T---I just had to tweak it somewhat.)

Anyhoo, I'm going to wear it. I know it's wild, but the other patients at the psych center probably won't even blink. Many of them have purple, blue or pink hair, one or two of them walk around with ukelele's or banjos (while playing them), and then there's the Hula Hoop Girl.....

What Jack (my therapist) specifically asked to see was the Little Red Riding Hoodie, but I don't think it's cold enough yet. And besides, I haven't attached the frog closures yet. Maybe I'll oblige next week when the temperature is expected to drop.

Anyhoo, I'll see what happens. When I talk he sometimes scribbles something on his pad. (Just like Fred used to do, remember?) And I want to see if he scribbles something when I first wear that thing in front of him...

(Hee hee....)



Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Maybe I Should Have Picked A Small Drugstore For My First "Alone" Shopping Trip...


Okay, so I finally I screwed up my courage and did what my therapists have been asking me to do for the last 2 years.....

I voluntarily went shopping at the mall--- by myself.

Yep, I did it. And it would actually kill 2 birds with one stone. One, that I would finally do what my dang therapists have been preaching to me for the last 2 years; and two, I have been drooling over the above Coach handbag (on the internet) for months---but I would need to actually see it in person to find out if it had all the characteristics I wanted. But going outside in public, especially to a mall, was a daunting task for which I could barely find a tiny bit of what my therapists call "doing the opposite of what you feel" and also "willingness".

Willingness schmillingness.
And so I went. And I found out something disturbing---I can barely hold a meaningful conversation with strangers in public. For some reason I couldn't hear what the salesgirls were saying. Maybe that was because my blood was rushing through my ears out of nervousness. And so, I kept having to ask them (multiple times) to repeat themselves. And I was stuttering so bad that I wasn't making any sense in my sentences. I know they thought I was retarded or something.

And in addition, it makes me hideously uncomfortable for a sales person to come try to help me. I just want to skulk around, checking things, finding my size, etc.---and I absolutely abhor sales people who come up and nearly assault me in their quest to find things for me. I just don't like anybody in public paying attention to me when I want to stay quietly in the background, looking for whatever it is that I want.

I wanted to raise up a cross and a string of garlic bulbs whenever those damn pushy sales people approached me.

For example, I walked by this one kiosk where the girls there were selling hand lotion and fingernail products. And let me tell you, they were the most aggressive sales girls that I've ever experienced in my life. I clearly said "no thank you" when one of them approached me----but then she ignored that declaration and grabbed my hand---and put lotion on it! Then she asked if I always keep my fingernails "natural" with no polish. I made the giant mistake of saying "um...yes, I guess"----and then she produced a nail buffer the size of a bar of Zest soap and started vigorously buffing my fingernails on that hand which she had in a vice grip.

She buffed and buffed, and I kept tugging on my hand to make my escape, repeatedly telling her that "I've got to go"--- but she kept on buffing!!! What the hell? Finally she let go of my hand and said "look!" So I looked and, sure enough, my dull "natural" fingernails were shiny and pretty---without polish or anything.

But I didn't want a fingernail buffer and so I forcefully extricated myself from her and kept on walking. But then...when I was finished shopping and had to turn around to head towards the mall exit---I was mortified to realize I had to pass that kiosk all over again! And sure enough, I was ten feet away from it when that same sales girl began hollering out her spiel to me. This time I knew better and tore ass away from her as fast as I could, heading towards the mall exit--- and away from her and other aggressive sales people who don't take no for an answer.

I haven't been to a mall in so long that I was overwhelmed with all the stimulation of so many stores and all the music coming from the inside of each store. And I was amazed to see a full sized merry-go-round in front of Dillards. It was huge and the ponies were brightly colored and just begging to be ridden. But since it was fairly early in the morning there were no kids riding the merry-go-round--- and so it was going round and round with no riders on the sad ponies.

I did so want to ride one of those ponies....

This mall trip was a huge step for me--- to go out in public to shop. And to a mall, no less. I had been putting it off for weeks. So I imagine my mobile therapist will be happy as a lark about it. But it was such an unpleasant experience that I doubt I'll repeat it again any time soon. I did get the things I wanted but I felt like it was guerrilla warfare between me and the sales people who descended on me every time I turned around---and I felt excruciatingly shameful that I couldn't talk coherently whenever I wanted to make myself understood to one of them.

I really didn't feel any triumph at all over this first foray into the outside environment by myself...