Reading While Knitting

Nothing complicated; nothing too exciting, but yes, I do knit while I read. As well as during many other domestic activities.

Friday, March 13, 2009

They're all unique

That's at least what I hear about snowflakes; we don't get enough snow here for me to do any personal research.

My only recent experience with the singular nature of snowflakes was a wooly type. I finally (finally!) finished the Stashbuster Raglan, and was embroidering snowflakes along the red band, as I'd planed.

"How hard could it be?" I asked myself. Well, three snowflakes in, I realized that for me, it was "hard," perhaps "impossible," to embroider snowflakes I was both happy with and that bore some relationship to one another, designwise.

Duplicate stitch! That would surely save me. Nope. Apparently making duplicate stitches resemble one another in more than a third-cousin-once-removed way is also beyond my capacities.

Leaving it with just one finally made the most sense, I figured. We'll go with the "it's as unique as you are" approach.

He doesn't seem to care that I managed to knit one red arm-end with a too small needle, since I picked up the last needle I'd made the rolled edge on the other one to finish the second. He just likes it because it's warm and soft. I don't think I'd do the purl ridges on the arms again.

They look a little bit like weird arm gauntlets, but the bustin' out all over apricot doesn't mind, either. And I don't live in Blueland, it was just evening when I took the picture.

The brown cat doesn't mind the children, as long as they're asleep.

Oh! For those of you who care, I pulled a total Bee Whisperer move yesterday! I had talked with a new beekeeper at the Association meeting on Tuesday evening, and he was telling me about his mentor, who works his bees barehanded and often veilless. And yesterday, I wanted to super one of my hives. Didn't want to get in it, didn't want to powder sugar them to treat for Varroa mites, just wanted to make sure I got that honey super on before the flow.

So without changing any clothes or suiting up, I walked to the hive, and with lots of slowness, eased off the top cover very slowly, set it on top of the super, and turned toward the hive. A bee landed on my hand. So I made like a statue, and held very very still. Tor called across the yard, "What are you doing?" I just said, "Waiting for this bee to fly away." After some moments, she took off. Various other bees had been landing on my shirt and pants, but just sitting there and flying off when they were done doing whatever they were doing.

Without moving my feet too much, I turned again toward the super, grasped the sides, and pivoted to place it on the now-topless hive. I didn't want to crush any bees, so I placed the first corner of the super on one corner of the hive, then gently, so gently, lowered it along the sides so any bees in the way could move. Once it was on, I walked away.

Then I felt the shakes. Apparently I'm not quite the Zen beekeeper I was acting as. Not yet. I don't think I'll open hives at least without veils, but it made me feel as though I was making some progress.

In other catch-up news, I'm still maintaining the running schedule, although my slowness and literal feeling that I'm "hauling ass" down the street (like dragging a bag of rocks) hasn't changed much. And I'm supposed to be on a panel discussion on local food production for Earth Day, so I have to get my talking ducks in a row. Someone asked me yesterday how many hours a week I knit. I laughed and laughed. I consider it a bonus day if I even get to pick up needles lately. With four kids, three classes to teach, and a household to run, who has time?

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At 9:03 AM, Blogger Kristin Sherman Olnes said...

You have so many talents Stefani and I enjoy reading about them. I could have used your bee whisperer zen yesterday when I was in my suit, 3 deeps deep. I forgot to put my jeans into my boots and a bee found its way up each pant leg. My right ankle and calf are swollen--so if you think you have led legs when you run, imagine running with a stump leg. I'll be in the pool today.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Susan said...

I'm very impressed by your bee whispering. Do you know I have never even worked a hive? You have two very cute cats. And Tor's sweater looks fabulous.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger allisonmariecat said...

Oh, yay! I love bee stories. That is SO cool.

Heh, I'm so using your "hauling ass" description when I tell my husband I'm off to exercise. Though mine is more jumping around in the living room like an idiot than sweating out in the world...

My word verification today is "bleurg" which sort of sums up this rainy, dozy day.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger cpurl17 said...

I think Tor loves the sweater because it's wamr and soft and because his Mama made it for him!

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous patricia said...

You are a bee whispering goddess and I hope you can grant me some of your talents. I've never been afraid of bees before--the kids and I like to pet them when they're out on the lavender. But I'm sure having a whole hive of them will knock some fear into me.

I think the gauntlet look is pretty perfect for a seven-year-old boy.


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