Monday, September 08, 2008


I'm ready to run away and hide. We've had trees come down in our neighborhood as a result of the recent hurricane leftover rains. Here's a shot of the tree we had taken down. Its removal took two days and three kinds of tree trucks. The tree guys were the closest thing to adults playing cowboys and robbers that I've ever seen with a chipper and a chain saw. Unexpected roaring, machinery right by the house, crash, bang, and they disappear. (with the tree in pieces on the driveway.) Eventually, after the third truck? They disappear with the tree itself. A guy shows up later to get paid. No advance warning for any of the crashing, either. It could make anyone suffer from "nerves."

Of course, we are also undergoing a massive construction project on the next block, where the city has decided to straighten out a curve in the downtown area. (This will allow people to speed in an entirely unsafe way, but they didn't consult me on this and they did ignore the historic preservation planner too, so I'm not alone on this opinion...) I hear a lot of jackhammering.

This can agitate my dogs into barking wildly, who are also agitated by thunder and lightning from fall hurricanes and other excitement. The professor left home and spent the weekend doing field work (read: chasing butterflies and moths) in the wild western part of the state. Hmph. My dogs decided this was the time to overturn the compost bin in order to chase varmints, dig to China nearby in order to catch those varmints, and then? Sally the dog got itchy.

On Friday morning, it was raining too hard for any normal dog or human to attempt a walk. So, late Friday afternoon, Sally found a chink in the fence and took a leap. I'd put her in the yard and in just a moment, she'd gone two blocks and taken a left on Park St. Then I looked in the yard and started calling for her to "Come" and said the magic words..."Dog Cookie." I found her panting wildly on the wrong side of the fence...apparently she'll run three blocks for a dog biscuit. I told her to stay, went for the leash and out the front door to catch her. Gary the mail man said he watched her take off, and "she had some speed on her." He also reported her route. She was taking herself on the usual walk. Thanks, Gary. Always good to know the mail man; he has vital information.

So, you know, I'm supposed to be getting work done over here, too, right? Last week, I had a note on Ravelry from someone who begged me to get the Alpaca Ruffle Boa up on the web again. I rushed to do it--I believe in customer service! Several hours later, I had it formatted. My web designer rushed to help. And then? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. No sales. I contacted the person desperately seeking a boa. Oh, she says, she worked something else out. Of course she did. So, if you wonder why I don't update or post new patterns for a while? Yeah, it's not exactly paying any bills. Grumble. It's hard sometimes to stay upbeat when relying on the sale of a $5 pattern (after paypal and other web expenses, it amounts to even less) and then no one buys it.

As a counterpoint to this madness AND proofreading, I'm spinning a lot. It calms me down. Here, you can see some brown Romney tinged with some blue I dyed in, and piled with Ashland Bay Merino and Silk in blue shades. On the Little Gem? Some greasy Rambouillet that is a sight to behold. After a year of sharing bits of it with others, I finally washed it. Our water here is very hard, so even though I used Power Scour and added boiling water? It came out greasy. I'm ok with that; it doesn't have any dust, and I just pull out a lock, tease it briefly, and spin from there. It's luscious stuff.

For book #2, I'm working on new designs. I can't show you anything specific, but here's some Navajo-Churro rug yarn, knitted up into something and awaiting the right button. Any opinions on that button choice?

Also, this is a pile of Shetland yarn and roving. It is being transformed. I take notes on the pattern while I design on the dpns. I'm heartened to find that when I'm sufficiently submerged in the creative parts of my job, I can't really hear the jackhammering as much.

Button advice? words of encouragement for loud noises and proofreading? any place I could run away to and work? Leave me some comments, please!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Joanne:

I'd suggest a largish button of similar value to the pillow. The pillow's lovely, and I wouldn't want anything to detract from it. Of this selection, all else being photographically equal, I'd take the one on the far left.

Tree removal: I used to do that kind of work. I was on the ground, managing the ropes that control the kickback of the limbs (or trunk) and keep them from killing the other guys. It's hard and dangerous enough work that I can easily ignore the noise of the chainsaws and chippers as long as they aren't interrupted by emergency-vehicle sirens.

Spinning does help.

Good thing you've got a food-motivated dog. We have one of those. The other isn't. She is, however, motivated by snuggles. That works, too.

Running away: got a coffee shop that will let you camp out? I'm in one now.

Sending good thoughts.

September 8, 2008 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Afternoon! I'd suggest those deerhorn-type buttons I've seen on several sites. But if you can't get those, then the tic-tac-toe one.
Ear plugs work pretty well if you can't spend all your time cuddling the dogs while burrowing into your favorite pillow fort. Music in the background helps, too. Maybe you have an ipod nearby. (If not, then you and I might be the only ones with ipod capabilities!)

September 8, 2008 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

"Without" ipod capabilities. Geesh. Sorry.

September 8, 2008 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger SueJ said...

Glad Sally's adventure ended safely. Wild weather seems to be the order both sides of the pond! At least we have just the rains at the moment!

September 8, 2008 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger vanessa said...

i like the larger brown buttons in the middle.

you are so lucky sally came home!!!!

the sounds of lawn/tree machines are veryu distracting :(

September 8, 2008 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger ilana said...

i like the big whitish button.
sorry about the grumping- but there is a bottle of new york's finest cider waiting for you at the farm to drown your sorrows in!

September 8, 2008 at 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The knitting is beautiful. When Gary Met Sally. Glad you got her back!

September 9, 2008 at 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh! construction site noise is the worst! No wonder Sally's freaking out - I would be. I think deborah's suggestion of a coffee shop is good. Here, I would say a quiet pub - but I'm not sure you have pubs like ours over there. Somewhere with a couch in a corner that will serve you coffee :-)

Oh, and my honest opinion on the buttons - I would choose a pink one probably. Not much help sorry :-P

September 9, 2008 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger cyndy said...

Awww...poor tree...(you should have saved a piece of it and turned it into a button!)

Too bad about that whole Alpaca Ruffle Boa thing...customers can be hard to deal with sometimes. (one of the reasons I love doing work on commission!)

September 9, 2008 at 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for either of the brown buttons. The yard and knitting are so beautiful, I prefer the brown ones as they don't seem to call attention to themselves as much as the ivory ones.

September 10, 2008 at 2:03 PM  

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