Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Winter Weather, Knitting & Deodorants

I wrote this Friday, planned on working on it over the weekend and posting but that never happened as I never even opened my computer over the weekend.

This good news is how I get through winter, especially this winter with which the coming 3-5" (yesterday the prediction had been 5-10") of new snow predicted for tomorrow will bump us into the Top 10 (they say) of Detroit's snowiest winters. As I tromp through snow on a daily basis, I simply recite my mantra, "It's good for the Great Lakes. It's good for the Great Lakes. It's good for the Great Lakes." It's also how I manage to put up with rain in the summer when I want to sit outside. While the Great Lakes were at or near record lows last summer, even with the snow melt, they're a good foot below where they should be.

I'm just really thankful I bought these boots (in black) back in early November. I have definitely needed them.

And as much as I hate snow, I'm not overly fond of bitter cold. Is there a reason Roberta Jasina can't tell me EVERY DAY what the RealFeel temp is? Don't say it's 26F out there, which sadly, I would welcome, when the RealFeel (i.e., wind chill) is 12F!!! That's a big friggin' difference! I mistakenly took WWJ at its word one day last week when they told me it was 30F. Yeah, not so much, in actuality. I think it was actually 10F or something equally ridiculous.

In case you can't tell, I’m officially over winter. It can go the bloody hell away!!!! As much as I love my new boots, I'm tired of having to wear them every freaking day. I'm tired of having to bundle up like the Michelin man to walk to work. It literally takes me 5-10 minutes to get dressed to go outside. I'm tired of having to wear a hat (as much as I love my hat which keeps my ears toasty warm) and then deal with hat head once I get to work, as my hair goes every which way when I pull it off. At the height of the insanity this winter, I was wearing two scarves, two coats and two pairs of gloves. I don't do negative windchills very well.

It's now Tuesday and I ventured out without a hat and without my super warm gloves. My ears weren't happy, but I'm being defiant in the face of a continued winter. Actually, the weather types are saying that it's supposed to be 50F Thursday and Friday! I can't even stand how excited I am about that. I'd sit outside except that I have a feeling the ground will be wet and cold.

Saturday was an exercise in frustration for me. I've been working on this green scarf for the LB's girlfriend (it's her favorite color) in this quite lovely zig zag lace pattern that Beth sent me (we've been sharing free patterns). As of Saturday morning I had already ripped it out completely and started over at least 4 (probably 5) times. My problem was that the 2nd row (it's a 4-row pattern) starts with a yarn over while the 3rd row ends with a yarn over. I would be knitting along and find that I had an extra stitch. Turns out that I was ending the 2nd row with a yarnover as well. ARGH!!! Rip! Well, Saturday I was being ultra-careful about that particular issue and got through one whole skein. I was very excited. Then I tried to do something I see all the really good knitters in Knitty Gritty on the DIY Network do – add in the next skein without using a little knot. They just hold the yarn and start knitting. It looks so damn easy. I somehow messed it up so badly that I had to rip the entire bloody thing out (can you tell I gave up the "F-word" for Lent – otherwise, this entry would be chock-a-block full of it, trust me).

At that point, I put away the green yarn and got out this beautiful black alpaca yarn I bought in Maine. It was ostensibly for me, but a friend from work wants a hat to match her scarf and it matches the scarf a bit better than anything else I have or have seen. So, I start casting on my 98 stitches on the double-point needles and I join without twisting and knit a few rows where it became obvious that the joining hadn't gone so well – I had a good 2-3 inches of yarn at the join. *sigh* I take it all out and start again. The joining went a lot better this time and I did the 1 ¾" of ribbing and then started the pattern which is a lace-like pattern. I'm cruising along and after a good 3 inches or so I notice that it doesn't look like the pattern. Hmmm, I count my stitches and I have two less than I need and started out with. ARGH!!! I rip it out, wish I hadn't given up drinking for Lent, as a beer would have been really nice right about then, and start again. I get through the casting on, the joining and the ribbed band and am working on the body of it and being ultra careful. I'm counting every stitch as I knit muttering under my breath "knit 1, knit 2, knit 3, knit 4, knit 5, knit 6, slip, slip, knit through the back, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over." Repeat...until I notice that it looks exactly like it did before. Once again I count my stitches and once again I have two less than with which I started. At that point, I said the two words I gave up for Lent as I was so frustrated and pissed off. I rip it back, roll the-not-as-pretty-as-it-used-to-be-yarn into a ball and go to bed.

So, after knitting for about 12 hours, I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to show for it.

I started it again on Sunday, but had to go to the BAB's house for my niece and nephew's birthdays, so I only got through a row or so of the ribbed band. As I was having so much trouble with it at home alone, I left it there and took something mindless to work on. Good thing as my SIL's brother was all intrigued by the knitting and was asking all sorts of questions. He's a mathematician, and he saw the mathematical nature of the lace pattern. He didn't understand how the project got from one needled to the next, so I showed him.

I didn't get home until 8:00, so I fixed my breakfast and lunch for work for Monday and then crawled into bed and read the Tao Te Ching. And for the first time in I don't know how long I actually slept Sunday night. Of course, I slept like crap last night. *sigh*

Tonight I'm supposed to go dancing at the old bar. It's Bauhaus, Peter Murphy and Love & Rockets video appreciation night, but my feet have really been bothering me the past four or five days. My stupid feet hurt just walking (in two different spots on the two different feet). Stupid feet. I hate my feet. The funny thing (funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha) is that they look fine. I've noticed that when most people complain about their feet, they have major bunions or their feet are malformed. Not mine, they look perfect, it's all internal messed-upedness.

I have a personal question to ask the females in the audience. I am completely unable to find an anti-perspirant that works for me. I have been using Tom's of Maine which is just a deodorant (as I figured all the anti-perspirants I've tried don't work for crap and why use something with aluminum and give myself Alzheimer's later in life for no reason), but it's reached the point where it's not really working very well and it's only winter time here. I figured I'm going to be doing my best impression of a hippie in the Haight come summer. What do you use that you find works well or at least works marginally well? Last week I was actually experimenting using one brand under one arm and a different one under the other. The problem was that I couldn't remember which was which at the end of the day. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

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At Tuesday, 11 March, 2008, Anonymous Urs said...

I'm a Mitchum fan, myself. It's horrible for you - nowhere near natural - but the shit works.

At Tuesday, 11 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Urs - I haven't had a lot of luck with Mitchum either. Maybe I'll try again. Thanks!

At Tuesday, 11 March, 2008, Blogger Sal said...

After all that I gotta say I'm glad you have perfect feet. LOL

At Tuesday, 11 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Sal, yeah, I thought after the fact that that sounded a little weird, but I left it in there anyway.

At Tuesday, 11 March, 2008, Blogger LL said...

I can see now why you took up knitting. Sounds very relaxing...

At Tuesday, 11 March, 2008, Blogger dr sardonicus said...

Hope you made it to the bar. Bauhaus appreciation night is not to be missed.

FWIW, my wife has recently started using Secret Clinical Strength. The medicines she takes make her sweat profusely when she's outside gardening.

At Wednesday, 12 March, 2008, Blogger Jason said...

You can't get gout if you're a vegetarian can you? Somebody I know had foot pain on and off for years without seeing a doctor and it turns out it was gout. Sorry you couldn't make it to the bar. It was fun. Just Carol and myself. Anthony was there. Just Davo and myself for dinner. Unfortunately I didn't win the raffle. I would've given you the new Bauhaus since I already have a copy. No idea on the anti-perspirant thing. The ones I've had the most success with obviously aren't PH balanced for a woman. Good luck with that. Hope your feet are feeling better.

At Wednesday, 12 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

LL - You always make me laugh out loud...not always good when I'm at work!

Doc - Thanks! I'll make a note!

Jason - Oh, thank heavens you went to dinner. Davo was PISSED that nobody was showing up. No, it's not gout. I know why my feet hurt, sadly.

At Wednesday, 12 March, 2008, Blogger Dave said...

Since misery loves company, I gotta tell you I feel your pain. All of it. I've been knitting again and just finished Brynn's blanket, but my casting off was a bit tight. I tried giving it a bit of a tug and didn't I snap the damned yarn? I had to unweave the tail, unknot the last stitch and rip out two rows. I might rip out one more to be sure I have enough to cast off more loosely considering the yarn I had to toss when I broke it. I have to buy something bigger than the 10 mm needles I've been using to do the cast off so I don't strangle it again. Next up is a striped scarf...never done that before either. Could be scary.
And I hear you about the foot pain. Not only do I currently have a sciatic nerve thing going on in my right leg any time I stand, but my right foot feels like I'm stepping on something puffy under the ball of my foot. Feels like my sock is bunching up, but it isn't.
As for the pit sauce, when I lived with the folks, I would steal my mother's Secret because I found the Right Guard wasn't working. Hey, come on, it's strong enough for a man!

At Wednesday, 12 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Dave - You just need to learn to cast off more loosely. I've done the same thing many times. I actually cast on one size up, knit one row and then switch to the correct sized needles, because I found I would get looser as I went along. Works well. I haven't tried casting off with larger needles, though.

Have you been to the doctor re: your foot? Thanks for the advice on Mom's deodorant.

At Wednesday, 12 March, 2008, Blogger mr. schprock said...

Wow, that knitting story was quite a yarn.

Yarn! Get it! Ha!


As a cyclist, it takes me twice the usual time to dress for winter, and I need to do it twice a day on weekends. I'm with you: I am so done with winter.

At Wednesday, 12 March, 2008, Blogger Jorge said...


If you need to keep trying side by side, the easy way is to set the two "test" units on the sink/vanity/dresser/etc on the side that you used for each arm.

So the Secret on the left side gets put on the left side fo the sink, the Right Guard on the right side goes on right side of the sink. But then again, you probably already thought of that.

Personally I don't use an antiperspirant of deodorant, they irritate my skin (who knew I was such a wuss?). I tend to sweat, but at work I wear a t-shirt under my dress shirt, so that helps mitigate any obvious perspiring. Obviously I understand that's not always an option for women.

My wife buys a Chlorhexadine soap, which is a pretty good antibacterial agent. It's in a lot of hospital grade hand sanitizers and other places. It's almost as strong as bleach but not nearly as harsh. I can take you through all the chemistry, but it's a pretty simple and effective soap.

I wash with that and it does a really excellent job of killing all those little stinky bacteria. Best of all its not irritating.

At Wednesday, 12 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Schprockie - Cute pun...

Jorge - I don't keep deodorant in the bathroom - my sink is very old - no room to put anything on it. So, I'll know when I run into you around town when I find someone who smells like sweat? ;-) Just kidding!

At Thursday, 13 March, 2008, Blogger MW said...

I'm tired of having to wear a hat... and then deal with hat head once I get to work, as my hair goes every which way when I pull it off.

You're kidding, right? Don't you have something like a mere 3/4 of an inch of hair? ;-P

At Thursday, 13 March, 2008, Blogger Beth said...

I'm a big fan of that pattern I sent you because I know it by heart. It was one that came easy to me and I don't have to look at it to know it, so I feel terrible about your frogging, ripping out entirely, ack, all of that. Did you ever get it done? I am making a scarf of all my leftover little bits of yarn using that zig zag pattern. Right now it's a medley of ugliness because most of the colors just don't belong together. Oh well, it'll go with everything, right? lol

I absolutely love this new deodorant I bought a couple of months ago. Soft & Dri with a Power Stripe. It's a pink and black bottle and works like a dream. When I workout, scrub grout, whatever, I SWEAT, and this stuff does the job, smells nice, and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin. Great price too.

At Thursday, 13 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

MW - Even short hair has a style and the ability to get messed up.

Beth - Don't feel bad! It's completely my fault. I've been tempted to knit a scarf with all my bits and pieces, too. Just haven't gotten that far yet. I have done next to no knitting this week. After the hell that was Saturday, I decided to take a break. I might knit tonight.

At Thursday, 13 March, 2008, Blogger fermicat said...

Oh no! All that work down the drain. This doesn't make me want to try knitting.

RealFeel 12F?!? Gawd. I am so glad I moved back home to the deep south.

I have had similar issues with deodorants suddenly not working. Ah, the joys of being over 40... I tried a whole slew of them, and the best lately has been Degree. But it isn't summer yet...

At Friday, 14 March, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Fermi - Exactly, if I'm having trouble with deodorants in this weather, I'm in huge trouble come summer! Knitting is really quite satisfying when you're not messing up. ;-)


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