Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Resoluted in 2013

I have had such a good year.  The biggest and most important thing about my year is I changed jobs (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2013/04/tempest-in-hoosegow.html)!  My new life away from my previous job has been so much better.  I feel again like there may be hope for me yet, that I found this hope while working for a jail is a little surprising.  Yet, working behind bars is so much better than working with books.  My new job has come with challenges, but as I face each one and work towards solutions I like my job even more.  Now when I pass out on my futon at night it is from exhaustion, not depression.  Epic win on that one.

On the epic fail list is a change in my social circle.  This change has been painful, but it has allowed me to throw myself into succeeding at my new job.  These two changes have also given me back my evenings and allowed me more time to spend with my beautiful wife.

Speaking of my beautiful wife, we are married in way more states then we were last year.  The end of DOMA has opened so many doors for our relationship to be legally recognized as what it is, a marriage.  Also both of our jobs recognizes us as married.  Epic win again!  I am expecting next year to be more epic wins for equality.

I reviewed my resolutions from last year (http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2013/01/resolute.html) and find on this point I am going to give myself a sort of win. I did write this year.  In fact I took the NaBloPoMo challenge to blog everyday in the month of November.  I decided to write about falling in love with Natalie back in the day.  So many of you said so many nice things about our story, thank you.  However, I wish I would have written more this year. 

But I did knit a sweater! Okay, it was a pullover, but I am calling it a sweater.  Epic win on the sweater for me.  I have even worn the sweater out in the public and been complimented on how great it looks (thank you everyone for being so polite). At first I failed on the sweater but I added some ribbon to the neckline and saved all that knitting, so yay me http://tempestinapot.blogspot.com/2013/10/first-sweater-first-sweater-failure.html).

My year was so good I think I will forego making any resolutions for 2014.  Okay, maybe I will resolve to make another sweater, that sounds like a great resolution.  Have a Happy New Years my friends.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Knitting 2013

This year I scaled back my Christmas knitting and actually did most of my knitting through out the year.  Again compared to previous years it was much less.  In the end I gifted 4 pairs of mitts, 3 washcloths (thanks Spidermonkey for the inspiration), and 2 scarves.  I also have 3 as of yet gifted items (one of which is actually still on needles).  I love giving and receiving knitted items for presents, but this year I was just not inspired to knit for Christmas.  Maybe next year I will have that mojo back we will see.

However I this is what I did knit:
3 Ball Band Washcloths
2 Pair of Fingerless Moss Stitch Mitts in a Silk/Wool Blend
A Pair of Fingerless Moss Stitch Mitts in Angora

A Pair of Sparkly Fingerless Moss Stitch Mitts in Rayon
 I Hope everything I knit went to a home where they know the items were knitted with love.
Casablanca Wavy Scarf
Meandering Rib Scarf in Cotton Chenille

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fiestaware Holiday

My nearest and dearest know I love my Fiestaware.  They make sure my holidays are colorful and bright by giving me new pieces for my vast collection.  This year I was the luckiest Tempest in the world.  I got plates, bowls, and serving utensils in Fiestaware. 

9 inch buffet plates and a lemon grass hostess bowl

 Medium Lapis Sized Heart Bowl with Small Tangerine Heart Bowl


New Serving Utensils with Medium Lapis Heart Bowl and Tardis Teapot



Now to figure out where to put it all.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Tardis of Teapots

A couple of weeks ago Natalie bought me a new teapot.  I must admit, it was an impulse buy on her part which happened too fast for me to stop her.  It was not that the teapot was not attractive, but it looked kind of small.  I thought it would only yield maybe two small cups of tea or one large cup of tea.  I brought it home and thought what the hell I will give it a try.  The teapot is a lovely round, enamel green, thing made of stainless steel.  The first pot I made actually filled almost 4 Fiestaware mugs, each mug is 12 ounces.  I was a little surprised that the tea just kept coming out of the shiny spout.  The next day I made a pot of tea for our larger Nightmare before Christmas mugs, those run about 18 to 20 ounces a mug.  We had just enough tea for those mugs with a little room leftover for honey and a splash of milk.  Again, I was surprised.  So surprised I started calling the new teapot the Tardis of teapots. 

Natalie kept laughing at me every time I talked about the amazing new teapot.  I would say, "But it really is bigger on the inside than the outside."  She would laugh even more.  I didn't get it.  Well today I got it.  Really, I got it, a Tardis teapot.  When I opened the package she laughed and smiled at me.  All this time that I have been going on and on about my new Tardis of teapots, she actually had a Tardis teapot for me.  So crazy and awesome. 

Tardis Teapot on Left, Teapot with Tardis Qualities on Right

Good presents which will be much enjoyed.  I hope everyone had a great holiday, much love.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Welcome to Equality New Mexico & Utah

Sorry, no Utah Magnet Yet

Talk about two wonderful early Christmas presents.  Yesterday New Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny same sex couples the right to be married.  Judge Edward Chavez wrote, "Denying same-gender couples the right to marry and thus depriving them and their families of the rights, protections and responsibilities of civil marriage violates the equality demanded by the equal protection clause of the New Mexico Constitution."  I had suspected New Mexico was joining the ranks of same sex equality and had already bought the magnet in anticipation of this inevitability. However, thank you the Land of Enchantment!

And today when you least expect it we get Utah.  Utah!  I did not even see that one coming.  Another federal judge, Robert J. Shelby, wrote, “The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason...Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.” (http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-utah-gay-marriage-20131220,0,4328899.story#ixzz2o5Dy676A)  Well, welcome to equality Utah and thank you Judge Shelby.

In one week we get states 17 and 18, where couples are being married while I write.  Such a wonderful present.  If Utah can change their mind, so can Missouri and every other state in the union and then the world.  Feeling so hopeful right now.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dyeabolical Sockhands

My friend Rachel at Dyeabolical Yarns (http://www.dyeabolicalyarns.com/) came up with a pattern called "Sockhands" to showcase her vibrant hand dyed yarns.  She said, "They started out as a sock pattern and whopsie daisy turned in to fingerless mittens."  The pattern is here: http://dyeabolicalyarns.blogspot.com/2013/11/sockhands.html.  The very  vivacious models for this pattern are two of my favorite knitters having too much fun.  I especially love the photo of the two of them mock kung fu fighting.  Take a peak at the pattern just to see these wonderfully silly knitters.

 I don't know if it was the crazy photos or the pattern, but I decided I should make a pair of these mitts for me.  I just happened to have a mutant strain of Dyeabolical Yarns in a color way  I am calling Easter Egg,  I thought the Easter Egg yarn would be perfect for this pattern.  The pattern was easy, the mitts knitted up quickly, and they look smashing.  I especially liked the way she designed the thumb gusset in the ribbing section.  It made for an elegant looking line on the mitt. 

I always have a difficult time photographing anything knitted for the hands, very complicated.  Baby Sis was enlisted to help me show off my knitting prowess.  She was a natural for the photo shoot and coincidentally her nail polish matched the mitts.  I even managed to work in a Fiestaware demitasse cup and saucer in one of the photographs.  Clever me or maybe it is more like obsessed me.  Thanks Baby Sis for the help.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Knitted GIfts

This time of the year I am in the final rush for Christmas presents.  I have in the past stressed out about not getting my gift knitting done by December 25th.  This year I said, no to that headache and scaled back my expectations on handmade gift giving.  However, with the weather getting colder and the holiday season upon us I have found myself thinking about knitted items from my own childhood.

Like most kids I preferred toys to clothes, but occasionally something special would slip through.  When I was 5 or 6 my grandma gave me a stocking cap and scarf set that I loved and wore every winter with pride.  That does sound charming, but I am sad to say there is a smudge on this memory.  Though this is not a good excuse, the time was the early 70s and one of my favorite restaurants then was Sambo's.  Sambo's was the Denny's of my youth.  I loved their hot cocoa and hash browns.  My grandma knew my feelings about Sambo's and bought me a neon orange and black hat and scarf set emblazoned with the restaurant's logo.  I am not going to lie to you the hat even sported a black pompom on the top.  I LOVED them both and wore them all winter long.

After a couple of years the set was looking more than a little shabby.  The hat was especially sad with a spout of black yarn in tribute to the now missing pompom.  I didn't care I just loved the bright color offset with the intense black logo and scarf even had stripes.  I felt like a tigress once I had the scarf wrapped around my neck. 

My mom kept a laundry basket at the bottom of the coat closet to catch all the miscellaneous winter accessories.  When I wasn't wearing my Sambo's hat and scarf they hung out in the basket.  One day they weren't there.  I checked the bottom of the basket, I pulled the basket out of the closet and checked the floor.  I stomped around in a snit because I how could something that bright hide from me?  My mom gave me a different hat and scarf, but the colors weren't as bright and I didn't feel like a tiger anymore.

The missing accessories left me with questions.  Where did they go?  And Why did the stripes on the scarf have a wonky jog to it as it went around to the other side?  And how come there were no more Sambo's?   As an adult I can answers all of those questions.  Sambo's aside from being poorly name made some bad marketing choices.  I think, rightfully, people were offended by the lack of sensitivity of the company to use pejorative racial images in the restaurant.  Sambo's removed the offending images, but the damage was done.  I do think there still one Sambo's left in California.  As to my accessories, my mom had let me wear the set because I loved it so much, but over time she knew the garments would have to go.  One night after I had went to bed she dug them out, optimistically hoping I wouldn't notice the theft.  Finally, now that I knit, I know the answer to why the stripes looked weird on the side. Trust me there is a good answer, but it might bore a non-knitter.  Mysteries solved all, but one.  What the hell the was I thinking loving that neon orange so much? 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Burn Out

Since the end of NaBloPoMo I have been a little burned out on my virtual life.  So, I have been taking a little break from the virtual world.  No big drama just needing to recharge and spend some time with my wife, my family, and my knitting.  All is well, just keeping the home fires burning.