Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm Trekkin'

My yarn is here! Trekking XXL is on the needles, and I'm good to go. I'm knitting with color 100 and trying Grumperina's Jaywalker socks. I'll keep you posted!

Project Spectrum/Colorswap

The new color is here! The new color is here!
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And with it a questionnaire for my Colorswap pal who is moving tomorrow! Best wishes, Cecily. Hope it all goes smoothly! Are you crafty? Yep. Would you enjoy things like: Buttons, ribbons andembellishments? yep again Do you dye your own wool? Not yet, but I've purchased the Koolaid in hopes of trying it soon. Do you like to scrapbook or make homemade cards? It's not my forte. What are your favorite scents? Spicy, citrusy Do you like stationary and cards? I'm a paper products and office supply harlot. Do you like to sew or embroider items? In very small doses. Do you like beads? Love 'em. What kind of candy do you like? Dark chocolate, anything with caramel and pecans. Do you like hand lotions or soaps? I do indeed. Do you like to wear costume jewelry? Mostly dangly earrings. Do you like to make/or use stitch markers? Love to use them, haven't tried making them. Do you collect anything? Yarn? Books? Felted bag patterns? Do you have any allergies? Smoke, grass, mold, trees. Do you have any hobbies? Don't have time for hobbies with all the knitting I do. :) Do you like scented or unscented candles? Scented Are you a fiber snob? I think I'm becoming one. Do you like to play cards or board games? Not so much. Do you like neon colors, pastel, light or medium ranges in the color of the month? I love cobalt and periwinkle most, but most colors of blue are great except teal. Do you like kitchen magnets or key rings? You betcha. Do you like picture frames? Yes, but I don't use them much. Very limited space.

Ring of Fire

I saw you today at the coffee shop. Nice looking, friendly smile, engaging and engaged. More married. I stopped looking once I saw the ring. No, stopped hoping, but continued watching. You spoke to all around you, captivating with a smile the barista who plays golf like you, the heavy-set woman who took the comfy chair. I rose to leave And in came the girls in their summer dresses. You began to fidget with that band of gold on your finger. Did it feel too tight? Was it choking you? I left before I saw where it ended--on your finger or in your pocket. I guess it doesn't matter. The damage is done. What had been the garrison is now the prison. What protected you and me and the summer girls lies in ruins and you don't even know it yet. A ring of gold is replaced by a ring of fire And we shall all be consumed.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Worldwide Knit In Public Day


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Check it out: June 10th, grab your needles and yarn and head to the nearest gathering for Worldwide Knit in Public Day! Places I might be spotted are here, by the bean or here. Actually the second one is June 21st, so I could technically do both. Knitters unite! And spinners too! In Central Park, no less, for a Spin Out! Cool, I want to go. And I want a t-shirt.

Magic Yarn Ball Swap

I'm swappin' again! This time it's the Magic Yarn Ball Swap. Check out Larissa's tutorial at Whipup.net. I think it's a great thing to do with kids, so I've already enlisted the aid of my nine-year old crafter-in-the-making. I'm getting in touch with my love language--gift giving (and receiving)!

My Pincushion Challenge/Project Spectrum for May

Here are my pincushions for Booga J's Pincushion Challenge. Very beginner, but I think they are a little cute. Something I can make with the kids, because you can never have too many felted apples. And notice two of them are green, thus fulfilling my goal of making something by the end of May for Project Spectrum.

Roots (or do you want to skip out and go to the Roak for coffee and fries with gravy?)

Or, back when cigarettes weren't eight dollars a pack. (I'm not a smoker, but I'm pleading the fifth about my past.) Believe it or don't, but my 25th High School Reunion is this year. The fine grads of Vincent Massey High School, Class of '81 have planned a big shindig. I don't think I can go, but maybe I can swing it. I know, I know, you're asking, "Who the @#$# is Vincent Massey?" Darned if I know. One semester of Canadian History, baby. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. Anyway, many kudos and muchas gracias to Kev, Michelle, Dean and Mark--fellow Massey grads and all around nice people--for their hard work. See if you can find my scary self.- And look what we had made as senior merchandise: I can't believe I haven't broken it yet with fourteen moves (counting college), two kids unloading the dishwasher and twenty-five years worth of drinks. Maybe the past isn't as fragile as I thought.

May meets June

May is almost over, and I've posted no Project Spectrum photos yet. I know, I know. I'm not procrastinating, honest. May and June colors are both in my new and improved sac du marché (probably a sad Americanism there). I'll post pics soon; now the only thing green thing I have is envy at the other knoggers who have finished projects and lovely photo essays of the greens in their lives. Check out Lynne's May 21 posting. I'm also working on my pincushion which needs to be done by tomorrow. Finishing touches are all that I have left. Back to working on my sac du marché. auvoir. P.S. Here's a teensy peek at my Sac. I was shamed into taking photos for something else, so I'm posting it now. Blue is Noro Kureyon #40, green is Malabrigo Lettuce. It will be interesting to see how they felt together. My fingers are numb from knitting the Noro--callouses, nerve damage, broken Denises, three needle-size changes. It had better be gorgeous or I'm going to break something (besides my Denises).

Memorial Day (TV in review)

I celebrated Memorial Day as all good Americans do, watching TV about Memorial Day. It rained like the dickens (not that I'd venture outdoors in the 93 degree weather with 200 percent humidity), so we couldn't grill. Oh yeah, and I keep forgetting to refill the propane. The History channel helped my patriotism by hosting a Band of Brothers marathon. I'm glad we have movies like that to help us remember what our soldiers sacrificed for us. I'm also glad that is was hours and hours of serious eye candy. You can dirty those boys up and still . . . yum. I've had a crush on Ron Livingston since Office Space. And speaking of offices, watched season one of The Office (US edition). I am an unabashed fan of the original BBC version. Ricky Gervais is pitch perfectly horrible and pathetic. I love him utterly. Ron Carrel's boss is more hateable (is that a word?). I love Tim and Pam from the US show, but I have to choose Gareth over Dwight as the weird side-kick. I'll be buying the DVD, and am eager to catch season two. Not sure I want to spend $35 on iTunes for the season (like I did for Law & Order:SVU). Other office news. 10 years ago today Gock began his career at the Big Blue (no, the other one--Blue Cross). Happy happy. Go health care.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Patterns

As one obsessed with patterns, this poem has never been far from my mind: Patterns I walk down the garden-paths, And all the daffodils Are blowing, and the bright blue squills. I walk down the patterned garden-paths In my stiff, brocaded gown. With my powdered hair and jeweled fan, I too am a rare Pattern. As I wander down The garden-paths. My dress is richly figured, And the train Makes a pink and silver stain On the gravel, and the thrift Of the borders. Just a plate of current fashion, Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes. Not a softness anywhere about me, Only whalebone and brocade. And I sink on a seat in the shade Of a lime tree. For my passion Wars against the stiff brocade. The daffodils and squills Flutter in the breeze As they please. And I weep; For the lime-tree is in blossom And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom. And the splashing of waterdrops In the marble fountain Comes down the garden-paths. The dripping never stops. Underneath my stiffened gown Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin, A basin in the midst of hedges grown So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding, But she guesses he is near, And the sliding of the water Seems the stroking of a dear Hand upon her. What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown! I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground. All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground. I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths, And he would stumble after, Bewildered by my laughter. I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes. I would choose To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths, A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover. Till he caught me in the shade, And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me, Aching, melting, unafraid. With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops, And the plopping of the waterdrops, All about us in the open afternoon-- I am very like to swoon With the weight of this brocade, For the sun sifts through the shade. Underneath the fallen blossom In my bosom, Is a letter I have hid. It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke. "Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell Died in action Thursday se'nnight." As I read it in the white, morning sunlight, The letters squirmed like snakes. "Any answer, Madam," said my footman. "No," I told him. "See that the messenger takes some refreshment. No, no answer." And I walked into the garden, Up and down the patterned paths, In my stiff, correct brocade. The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun, Each one. I stood upright too, Held rigid to the pattern By the stiffness of my gown. Up and down I walked, Up and down. In a month he would have been my husband. In a month, here, underneath this lime, We would have broke the pattern; He for me, and I for him, He as Colonel, I as Lady, On this shady seat. He had a whim That sunlight carried blessing. And I answered, "It shall be as you have said." Now he is dead. In Summer and in Winter I shall walk Up and down The patterned garden-paths In my stiff, brocaded gown. The squills and daffodils Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow. I shall go Up and down In my gown. Gorgeously arrayed, Boned and stayed. And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace By each button, hook, and lace. For the man who should loose me is dead, Fighting with the Duke in Flanders, In a pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for? -- Amy Lowell

Miss Peach and I

Here I am in one of my last photos with Milo, aka Miss Peach and Me Girl. Miss you.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Project Colorswap


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To add to the fun of Project Spectrum, Lynne has created Project Colorswap. Pals who are NOT secret swap a package filled with the color of the month. I'm in for June (yay, thanks Lynne!) and my swap pal is Cecily. There's a blue brainstorm going on here. If you have suggestions for fun blue things to include in my package to my pal, don't be shy. I'm making a list and checking it twice!

I get Mr. Darcy, and you don't. (And I'm not sharing him either.)

You scored as Elizabeth Bennet. As one of Austen's most beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet represents what most women would like to become: strong, independent, and loyal. Of course, she has her faults including a stubborn will of iron and a clinging to first impressions. Overall, Lizzie is bright and lovable...something to admire and aspire to.

Elizabeth Bennet

88%

Emma Woodhouse

66%

Elinor Dashwood

63%

Jane Bennet

50%

Charlotte Lucas

44%

Marianne Dashwood

41%

Lady Catherine

31%

Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with QuizFarm.com I was afraid I'd be Mr. Collins or Mrs. Elton. Yikes. And in true Lizzie Bennet style, I figured out BY MYSELF without the help of anyone else how to change the htm-hell stuff to move the picture of Lizzie off my links (she was too far to the right). I'm so excited now I won't be able to sleep. Maybe I should go read P&P again.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Charitable Accountability

Whipup.net has been so inspirational to me! Although Whiplash is officially over, and I wasn't able to complete my project in time (I bit off more than I could chew--like whole continents worth ;)--more about that later), I went in and looked at all the entries for the final week. Color was the theme, and there were so many lovely and inspiring entries. I'm still in awe. Counting Mermaid's entry was one of my favorites. I love her yarn and especially the names she gives her creations. She has a great sense of humor, eye for color and philanthropic heart. Through her blog, I found 25 Things for Charity. It's a challenge to make and give away 25 handcrafted items over a twelve-month period to a charity of your choice. The purpose of the blog isn't to toot your own horn, but rather to have a collective accountability and a place to share ideas of what to make, how to make it, and where to give it. I already have a designated charity, and I've already made several things, but I'm setting my giving ticker back to zero. I'm sticking with prayer shawls, and I'm getting involved in Caring Hearts and Hands. It's a great ministry dedicated to helping those with physical and spiritual needs. Love with shoes on (or a shawl). In fact, instead of blogging, I should be finishing up the shawl I said I'd have done by Friday as a sample. Yikes, do I feel another all-nighter coming on? I'm not in grad school anymore.

Secret Pal Update

Well, I hate to brag, but it ain't braggin' if it's true (so said Babe Ruth). I have the best Secret Pals. All four of them! My One Skein Secret Pal (1SSP)--my spoiler--is my musical compadre. She rocks, literally. We are having fun (okay, I'M having fun) sending songs related to the days of the week. She's got my music mojo going, but she is way more hip than I--I'm sending her the Mamas and the Papas and Elvis, and she's sending me New Order and Pinmonkey. I'm such an anachronism! I'm learning cool songs, though. Thanks One Skein Secret Pal! Here's a song I adapted especially for you (name that group!) Oh SP, you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind, hey SP (huff huff), hey SP (huff huff) Oh SP, you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind, hey SP (huff huff), hey SP (huff huff) Oh SP, you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind, hey SP (huff huff), hey SP (huff huff) Oh SP, you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind, hey SP (huff huff), hey SP (huff huff) Wow, I just realized I'm even annoying myself! My spoilee--the lovely and talented Stacey of Big Sky Life is my co-newbie as a sknogger (sock-knitter-blogger). She just had a birthday and is using the Cat Bordhi Socks Soar on Two Circles book that I sent her. When she said thanks for the book, I actually had to go back to my Amazon account to try to remember which one I had ordered! Pass the gingko biloba please. Reports are that Stacey has already turned her first heel and picked up the stitches along the gusset and ordered extra Addis from Astrid. You go, sock girl! On to my Secret Pal gals of SP8. My spoilee writes me witty, mysterious emails, and I am putting on my Hercule Poirot beret to figure out ze clues she sends me about her self. She, like I, is a logophile. I'm enjoying the fun words she includes, grad student that she is. Thank goodness one can look up the dictionary online! Best wishes in your studies SP8! And to conclude my serendipitous SP encounters, meet Harriet of Lime Dragon fame. She's a seasoned sock knitter, and you have to check out her kickin' creations (pun intended)! I read on her blog that she is planning to attend Stitches Midwest, and I emailed her suggesting we meet up there. I know it's a little early, but wouldn't it be fun to have a face to face at such a great knitting extravaganza? Whadya think? Should we meet? I'm so horrible at keeping secrets. Well, it's getting late, and I'm trying to get French Market Bag #2 on the needles in the semi-darkness. Thanks for making my first Secret Pal exchanges so much fun, ladies!

Getting the Baby Itch

So I can knit this. Somebody please hurry up and have a baby girl! Or I'll be forced to "embiggen" (gasping with hatred at that hideous word) the pattern for my girl (who finally thinks I'm cool because I got highlights in my hair).

Monday, May 22, 2006

Torn Between Two Lovers

Feelin' like a fool Lovin' both of you Is breakin' all the rules . . . To blog or to knit? Torn. But today, I must away and knit. I want to finish my Whiplash entry and a hostess gift for a party I'm invited to. And once school gets out, it's a free-for-all with football and school functions and trips to the eye doctor. I'm off, but not before I play Name That Tune with my 1SSP (One Skein Secret Pal). Every other day, every other day, Every other day of the week is fine, yeah But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes You can find me cryin' all of the time Nah nah, nah nah nah nah.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How weird am I?

You Are 20% Weird
Not enough to scare other people... But sometimes you scare yourself.
Sheah, right.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Fair Isle Part 2

I had my second Fair Isle class yesterday which was a heady mixture of art 101 (for color dummies like I who know WHAT they like, but not WHY they like it), philosophy, fair isle history and technique and soul sharing. I'm not kidding, this is way cheaper (well, maybe not) and a lot more helpful than going to a psychiatrist. I couldn't tear myself away from that great group of ladies. I showed Mary (Queen of Color and Platinum Star Fair Isler) my Fair Isle bag, and she loved it--I was so happy, and then suggested that since bamboo is so soft, instead of trying to make it stand up with a plastic canvas lining, why didn't I put a tassel on the bottom? It would show off the cool target design on the bottom and add a Victorian touch to my modern-colored bag. She and Nancy (crochet lady, mother of beautiful daughters, button consultant and general hoot) told me how to make a tassel. I ran home and tasseled myself up a little decoration for my bag, and here it is: Now I hope to be able to tackle a project like this one from Nordic Fiber Arts.
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Sally Melville is Comin' to Town!!!

I'm so excited! I learned that the inimitable Sally Melville of The Knit Stitch and The Purl Stitch fame is coming to Knitche in August! Clear out Tuesday, August 8 and 9 (of 2006!) on your calendar so you can join all of us Sally groupies at Knitche and the beautiful Avery Coonley School campus in Downers Grove, IL. Activities will include a book signing, a lecture, dinner with Sally, and two workshopys. Registration for each for each activity (except the book signing) begins June 14th. Call the store (630-852-5648) or stop in at 5150 Main Street, Downers Grove, IL. No early registration, but classes will fill quickly, so don't delay! More details to follow. If you can't see her at Stitches Midwest because her classes are already full, then come see Sally in a smaller, more intimate setting as she discusses "How Do We Get it All Done: Learning, Remembering & Time Management (as it relates to knitting and life!)"; Basic Maneuvers and Learning to Love Intarsia. Check out Knitche's website, too, for more details. I'm going to go set up my tent now in front of the store so I can be first in line!

Quick Simple Sock Update

It's official! I've turned my first heel and lived to tell, thanks to Sally's book. Here's my precious lil darlin'. Ready to turn, baby, turn. Back of heel Blurry (with tears of joy?) completely turned heel! I am already trolling the sock knitblogs (would that be sknogs? hee hee) for sock knitalongs and found Trek Along With Me. I see my name on the sidebar too! I'm so excited. I need to order my Trekking XXL from Astrid (who has a monthly prize for best socks knit with her yarn) and get started. Check out Ann's first socks at MDK. Cute socks, funny post. You can tell she's been a kid and is a mom.

NoNi Bags

I love Mo of froy and olo, but I told her in a recent email she was killing me. She introduced me to Noni Bags, the temptress. I went online and found the patterns here and here and locally, here. I was all set (as I planned at midnight) to hop in my car the next morning and trek to Geneva to BUY patterns and yarn with "I want it, I want it, I want it," ringing in my head. But six hours of sleep calmed me down enough to realize that I must wait for my NoNi bag pattern--it was a No-No at this point. I needed to stay home and clean my stash/knitting area. And here's the reason why: You know it's time to clean up when this is the only measuring tape you can find. I stayed home, and (shock of shocks) I cleaned up my "area." Lo and behold, I found both missing measuring tapes, the necklace I had mislaid, and several other items that have probably appeared on the hit series, "Lost." Someday, as Wayne of Wayne's World once said, "She will be mine, oh, yes, she will be mine." I'll get a NoNi, but I'll wait until Mo finishes hers (the medium carpetbag if I remember correctly) and my beloved LYS owner Kathy finishes designing her carpet bag. I told her that I love her designs, but they are way too small for me. My wallet won't even fit in her sweet dainty bags. She needs to make Bahama Mama size. Then I'm in. Or at least my wallet is.

Tribute to a Crafter

(Layne, on the right, with longtime buddy Rachel) (My own cute Mom and her big sis, Layne) In the early hours, today, May 20, my Aunt Elaine (aka Layne, Auntie Layne or Laynie) slipped into eternity after a brave struggle with lung cancer. She was the third oldest in my mother's family of six children (Mom is #5, the youngest girl). My clever grandparents were able to find six names that started with "E"--actually all family or friend names, too, if I remember correctly--Edna, Eunice, *Elaine, Eben, Eve and Elwin. Elaine, always a mold-breaker, actually went by Layne. My childhood memories of her are of someone who was really cool, very warm and funny, super creative, and who drove a car so ugly you had to like it (an El Camino). She was the only one of her siblings who didn't marry, and I think she thought of her nieces and nephews as her kids. I know we all have a special place in our heart for her. You gotta love a lady who loves cats and crafts. I think back to the gifts she gave us--somewhere at my parents' house (after all these years and 20 or so moves) are the plaques she decoupaged, the rugs she latchhooked, and pictures made with that paint in a tube stuff that was so cool in the sixties (I'm sure it's off the market now because the smell totally made you high--but hey it was the sixties). I'm sorry to say that my memory stops there because we moved away, I went away to college, got busy with life and didn't go back East until last summer for our family reunion. We had a memorial service for my uncle (the brother in between Layne and my mom) who also succumbed to lung cancer. It was a great time of remembering gentle, sweet Uncle Eb. I reconnected with family members unseen for twenty-five years and those that had arrived (and grown up) in the interim. It was good to see Layne again. ABC connected with her immediately because of their mutual love of kitties, and they became friends. Shortly after we left Maine, Layne was diagnosed with lung cancer. Despite the treatments, her cancer advanced. Because her tumor was around her windpipe, it was inoperable. It made it hard for her to breathe and to swallow. The doctors and family helped her get into the VA hospital where she spent her last days. Up until yesterday, she was lucid and able to communicate with family. It sounds like everyone back East spent as much time with her as they could. I'm so glad, because she left this life knowing she was loved. And that's the way it should be. So here's a crafty salute to a lady whose smile and sense of humor opened hearts and lives, whose creativity inspired us, and whose love was a constant across the years. We'll miss you, Laynie. Ayuh. Brother Jason will be blogging about Layne, too.

Funky Book

I've seen this book before (eBay I think), but when I went back looking for it, Liz's blog is the only place I could find it. Glad I looked, because Liz's blog Ohiaz is a crafty feast. The yellow spherical bag on the cover is the inspiration for my project-in-progress for Whiplash #6. All I can tell you is that it involves LOTS of Cascade 220 and size 15 Addis. Stay tuned.

Hey OSSP

One Skein Secret Pal, YOU are my American Idol. You have it going on musically, girl. Love the suggestions for my musical question game from you and the others who left comments. Here's a song that has only questions (at least in the first verse): Are you lonesome tonight, Do you miss me tonight? Are you sorry we drifted apart? Does your memory stray to a brighter sunny day When I kissed you and called you sweetheart? Do the chairs in your parlor seem empty and bare? Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there? Is your heart filled with pain, shall I come back again? Tell me dear, are you lonesome tonight? I think (sadly) that the songs I choose date me. But I'll defend myself by saying that the King is timeless.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Can you help me out?

I have discovered a new way to play with (read here bother) my kids. Yesterday, while ABC was trying to read in the car, I said, "Hey, I have a question to ask you." When she finally answered me with an annoyed "What?" I burst into song, "Do you know the way to San Jose?" I proceeded to sing her all the song questions I could think of, which was very few. She reposted with, "Do you know the Muffin Man?" and the game was on. Now I need some help. I can't think of many song questions, can you?

Happily Handmade Basket continues

Back to posting my merch and singing the praises of the Indie Shop Sponsors of HHG. Today I'm giving a shout out to Mo of Froy and Olo who gave me these pretty thank you cards (almost too pretty to use). Sorry the picture isn't the best, but you'll get a better idea of her work if you check out her website. She also shares her crafty mojo on lemon gardenia. She's even on my toolbar. Can you hear that wet sound? That's me totally sucking up. The best part about Mo is that she's not only super crafty and an awesome thrifter/estate saler, she's really nice. Be inspired by her and bring some of her beauty into your life. I wish she lived near me, because I would totally beg her to let me thrift with her. But she has my formal invite to Chi-town, so we can check out the cool stuff in mid-America (and eat popcorn at Garret's downtown and go to American Girl and the Art Institute and oh, maybe even the Merchandise Mart.)

Fair Isle Fever

At my LYS, there is a teacher par excellence named Mary. She is a beautiful lady, a wise soul and an amazing knitter. She is the one who helped me unzip my Moebius waste yarn to make my first (correct) Moebius basket. I went to her Fair Isle class, eager to learn the two-handed method of Fair Isling (is that a word?). She taught us several provisional cast-ons, and despite my issues with my cast-on, she managed to impart her wisdom to me. She even made it seem easy! And what I love about talking with her is that she talks about the history and the theory and the why of knitting. Deep thoughts. I don't always get them, but I sit at her feet and hope some of it sinks in. I learned piries (oops, not the store) PEERIES and borders and set to work. Here is my bag knit with Classic Elite's Bam Boo. Yep, girls and guys, it's 100% bamboo. It's soft and colorful and fun to work with. According to the skein label it's a "renewable fiber resource, silky hand and drape, naturally antibacterial fiber and non-allergenic." Wow! It does split, though. I have a lining pinned in the bag, but I need to remove it and block the bag which I will do later today. Voila! (Photo 1: Bottom of bag: cool decreases, huh? Photo 2: Blurry up-close of xo peerie Photo 3: The whole enchilada)

I'm Sorry

The Yarn Harlot found me out. Yesterday with nails sharpened, I shredded her Grenyrn to bits. I thought it was witty and charming. She thought it was mean. So she sent me an email and told me. And she was nice. Maybe that's why she's the Yarn Harlot, and I'm just me with my 2.3 readers (hi mom). She, in her inimitable Canadian style, reminded me (as my mom used to) "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything." I don't think she's going to let me play with Punk Rock Kitty and KnittyKitty anymore. They're a bad influence on me. If she had been catty, I would not have listened. I know me. But she disarmed me with her courtesy and her wisdom. So, gulp, red face, stammer . . . Stephanie, I'm sorry I said mean things about your sweater--and thus mean things about you (because if I rip on your knitting, I rip on you, don't I?). Will you please forgive me? And here's my positive correction: "Although I am not personally attracted to that sweater pattern, I laud your persistence in trying to make it work and hope that you find a happy solution to your dilemma with it. I hate it when things don't fit." Your humbled (and hopefully wiser and definitely awestruck) fan, lorinda

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Okay all you English majors

Get out your copy of Dante's Inferno and tell me which level of hell liars occupy. I've looked but found only treachery, not bearing false witness. And my copy of DI is in storage. No really, it is.

Sock it to me, Baby!

All day I've posted like the Madwoman of Chaillot. And I've yet to share my biggest surprise: I am knitting a sock! It's true. Didn't care about socks. Didn't like socks. Necessary evil. Thought people who knit them a tad off. Little by little they began to infiltrate my world. I started to take notice. Maybe it was Astrid who started it all with her cheery emails and Addis on sale. Or was it my bevy of secret pals, sock knitters all, who called me to the next level? The straw that broke the camel's back was this. Mother's Day I did what any sane mother does, I ran away from my family. After I scored cool merch. (I'm not as cold as I sound, I took one of my kids and dropped off presents at MIL's) I went to Knitche to work on my newest project and arrived as the Sock Club was finishing up. My new friend Michelle arrived with her sweet-pea of a daughter, and little M and ABC disappeared to amuse themselves and eat cookies. Michelle and I sat and chatted, and before long she took out the sock she was working on. Then one of the LYS girls (Claire) came and worked on her to-be-felted Koala, and last but not least, Kathy the owner showed up. She is designed a DARLING pig out of pink Malabrigo to be felted. I can't wait to see it, try it and share it. As I got ready to leave after a pleasant hour or so of knits and chats, a patron of the store came in a donated a bag of sock yarn to be used for charity. My LYS actually knits teddy bears for charity, but I jumped in and offered to take a couple fo skeins and give it a try. Hear the ice cracking? There's a thaw coming. Long story somewhat shorter, I ended up back at Knitche two days later and fell off the "use what you have" wagon. I justified it (lamely) by telling myself I was learning something new. Kathy convinced me to start the traditional way--size 2 DPNs, top-down, Sally Melville's The Knitting Experience: The Purl Stitch Simple Socks pattern and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn in Crazy Stripe. I raced home and started up. Here's my very first sock rib! And it's progression since then. Yes, I know there's a mistake. When I finished the ribbing, I was supposed to knit. I wasn't paying attention as well as I should have been at the ice rink waiting for my daughter to finish practice, and I knit on the wrong side. It looks like a band (of sorts), and I'm loathe to frog it because I fear I'll end up back at the start. So I'm calling it a design change--making it my own. Hopefully I can duplicate my mistake (oops, design change) on sock number two. And now without further ado (there's been plenty of that already), my first sock! Here's my sock knitter's starter kit! Charles wakes up to model the new sock. And here's my cute little sock in progress. I'm just as scared as you are, but I had to try it on! Be thankful I cropped out most of albino leg. And look what I have for sock number two! (I mean pair of socks number two; I promise I'll knit two of the same color first.)

Dante's Knitferno

My post about hell was another digression from what I started to tell you. I was going to liken knitting to Dante's Inferno. Once in, Dante and his guide (Virgil) traversed nine levels of Hell (and its 34 sub-levels). Isn't knitting like that? Not hellacious, but like Dante's guide leading us deeper and deeper in until there's no escape. We are forced to spend eternity knitting, knitting, knitting. Each level was seemingly so innocent. "Just knit this one scarf, it'll be fun!" Then it was "Why don't you take a class to improve your skills?" You were getting further in, and you didn't even know it. Much like the prey eaten by a snake, it doesn't know it is being ingested until it's too late. Then came the need, not want, need for more. "I have to buy this yarn, this pattern, these needles, this bag." Further and further in. You learned different ways to cast on, didn't you? Then it was new stitches, new gauges, new projects. Your first sweater, your first felting. The day came when the ladies in the LYS knew you by name. Now they think of you when certain yarns arrive. They start making your coffee when you hit the door. You've run out of places to hide your stash from your family. Boxes from eBay and KnitPicks and Handpaintedyarn arrive daily. The credit card bills grow and grow and grow. You sleep less. Who needs sleep when you can knit? You want someone to invent a way so you can eat while you knit. Or knit and knog concurrently. You make friends with strangers online who share your passion and you feel perfectly justified to feel knitted garments of passersby on the street (like people used to touch your belly when you were pregnant). Further and further in. You say yes to challenges that never interested you before. Things you actually deemed ugly and mocked others for wearing. Fair isle sweaters, Aran cabled sweaters, Intarsia, and socks. Yes you did. I know it, because my story is yours. You buy a swift and a yarn winder. Then roving and dye. You learn to spin, like some throwback to prairie days. You attend conferences. And your collection of knitting paraphernalia grows and grows. You join clubs and secret pals and swaps so you can have more, share more and learn more. You sniff yarn. You turn up your nose at acrylic. You don't mind handwashing anymore. You become a whiz at knogging and posting photos. You check other knogs daily and are disappointed when your peeps don't dish. Your Amazon wishlist is full of knitting books, and if someone doesn't buy them for you, you buy them yourself. You show up at author signings bearing your UFOs and FOs. You leave "lessons learned" in chat rooms. Further and further in. In short, there's no escape. You are fully and firmly esconced. Maybe today it's level one--a scarf, a handbag. But before long, my pretty, you'll be down here with the rest of us--knittting like we're on fire for eternity. But unlike Dante and the denizens of Inferno, we'll be loving it.

The Nine Levels of Me

So much for being honest. My family and friends could have told you that I am lustful, wrathful, gloomy and violent. Like Eeyore with a shiv. The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Test P.S. Unlike Dante, I don't believe in Purgatory. Check these out to see why: Luke 23:43 about Paradise and Luke 26:19-31 about Hell.

I'm really not on drugs, I promise

I just realized that this is my eleventh post today. I'm not on drugs, I promise (well, no illegal ones anyway). I'm starting to wonder if those bipolar ads on TV are directed at me. Lithium, lithium, ah yes. Where's that DSM-IV? They have one online, you know. I'm off to self-diagnose. Wish I had a prescription pad.

Now I HAVE to buy the book!

Those reckin-fleckin' (as Yosemite Sam says) ladies over at Mason Dixon Knitting have finally roped me in. I could resist the baby kimono (no neo-nates on the horizon), I could withstand the dishcloths (barely), I tore myself away from the mitered square blanket, I crawled sobbing from the log cabin, but darn it y'all! You didn't play fair; you put felted boxes in your book. I'm lost; you had me at "felt." I have to order it, probably today. It's all your fault. You're heartless, and I love you.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This picture is from the Mason Dixon website (5/9/2006). I hope that's not stealing. If it is, I'm sorry. I'm not stealing bandwidth; I promise! I'm buying the book, and soon I'll have my own sweet boxies to post.

Nancy Maia--Paper Artist Extraordinaire

A while back I challenged my family and friends to send me photos of their creations. No bites. Either they a) delete my emails as spam, b) are too busy to email me pictures, c) want to hurt my feelings, d) don't want to share their craftiness with my 2.3 readers (hi mom) or e) aren't crafting? Only one cousin replied: the lovely and talented Nancy Maia. She is married to the handsome and debonair Steve (whom I always had a crush on as a kid :) Reports are that she is a world-class quilter. I haven't seen her quilts, but I'm longing too. She's also an avid reader, interesting conversationalist, and of late a Paper Artist. She sent me four pictures of her current work. Love Nest Hand made paper sculpture by N.Maia Howes, juried into papr show, SMFA, April.2006 Vessel II Nest box Nest box They are stunning! I'm including her descriptions of the work, so I can do each of them full credit. From her email: "The first two are from a nest box series I did a couple of years ago. There are 7 of them and are about 5"x5". I still have hopes of making individual copper shelves for them and hanging them along with a print that I bought that compliments them. The third piece is the second vessel I made covering a wire armature with very thin hand made kozo paper. It is very delicate and a bit mysterious. It was featured in a juried show at a local museum last year. I would like to do more of these and have been encouraged to work LARGE. The fourth is self explanatory. It started out as fulfillment of a class assignment and then told me what it was. Tomorrow is my last paper class of the semester. I have been playing with another bowl shape that evolved from a failed project. It is a sort of "feather your nest" piece and involves Hershey's kisses among other things. I am hoping to set up a paper studio in the empty bay in our garage for the summer and do some work on my own." Isn't she amazing? Can't wait to see more from her. Yay, Nancy Maia! Thanks for participating! Tell me your favorite N. Maia sculpture, and I'll tell you mine!

Not Even the Yarn Harlot Can Save This One

I'm not one to be catty, but the Yarn Harlot's latest project Grenyrn is just scary. I expect it to show up soon on You Knit What? She should be thankful it doesn't fit. Just because you CAN knit something doesn't mean you should. I was relieved to see that not everyone on S P-M's website was sucking up. And what's up with the name? What is a Grenyrn anyway? Something from Beowulf? Reminds me of a line from Men In Black when J and K are talking to the wife of the guy invaded by the alien: "Yeah, and you're better off 'cause he never appreciated you anyway. In fact, you kicked him out, and now that he's gone, you ought to buy some new clothes, maybe hire a decorator or something... 'Cause DAMN!" Nobody says it better than Will Smith.

Thank Goodness I Have Only One Girl (or It's Starting Already? She's only Nine!)

Last night a boy called my daughter. Three times. Needless to say, her father made very pointed comments about being a pistol-packin' member of the NRA. Actually he told her to tell the boy he was cleaning a loaded gun. When I observed that you aren't supposed to clean a gun when it's loaded, he said, "Exactly." Ah, I caught the manic look. It was probably in my eye too. And last week she brought this home: We made her return the ring to the teacher, and the teacher even had a class meeting about the inappropriateness of sending love notes in third grade. ABC was mortified that I would embarrass her that way but I think it's the parents' job to be the heavy in this case. I think she's safe, though, because she and her brother spent about a half an hour mocking the bad spelling in the love note. No guys have a chance; you might be cute, but if you can't spell? Fuggedaboudid. In a sick way, I'm kinda happy. If you tell anyone, I'll deny it. But it gratifies my ego (?) to think my daughter is cute enough to get phone calls. I'm sure I'll be sick of them soon enough, but for now I'm a little glad that others agree with me that "every little thing she does is magic." Except for forgetting to clean the litter box and never cleaning her room and throwing clean clothes in the wash. Better now. The reality check helped.

The Knitting Doctor

I frequent a certain office every Tuesday. And each week I seem to have a different knitting project. Each week my allergist (whose office it is) oohs and aahs at my projects. Last week, she asked me to teach her to knit. Why not? We set up an appointment, and yesterday we met. I brought Clover Bamboos size 13 and a couple of skeins of Noro Kureyon for her to choose from and written instructions printed from the internet. I cast on twenty-two stitches for a scarf for her, showed her the knit stitch a couple of times, and off she went. She took to it like a fish to water--talking and knitting at the same time. No mistakes and perfect tension. Nice to feel like a wonderful teacher, although I knew she was the reason it went so well. She's taking her knitting with her on a flight to California this weekend. I hope the airlines allow wooden needles. Like any knitter would waste a perfectly good needle stabbing someone or some other such nonsense. They should know better. The only person in danger would be a terrorist (or an airline official) trying to take my needles away from me. Look out. Bad pics, I know. She was so speedy, I couldn't get a good shot!

Smokin'

Yesterday, I finished checking email, closed my laptop and prepared to depart for the day. I heard a weird sound. Looking over, I saw the cord of my computer emitting puffs of smoke, right where it joined the computer itself. I acted quickly (shockingly), unplugged the cord from the outlet and then from the computer (no shocks, shockingly). No fire, thankfully, and a quick check of my laptop showed all systems go. All I was out was a cord. I'm glad I was home, because what would have happened if I hadn't been? Perish the thought. The whole house might have been lost. And saddest of all, my computer. :( I hope I'm not that shallow, but the thought of losing everything on my laptop made me realize I need to backup my data. Yeah, put it on my list. Went and bought a new cord/adaptor last night. Figured it would be thirty bucks. It was ninety. Ninety!!!!!!! And what could I do? I couldn't say no. I plugged it in as soon as I got home, and the new unbent cord is cooking with gas, baby! I'll be more careful this time, I promise. I won't break the cord by dropping the laptop on the floor anymore or letting my cats or my kids do it either.

Wham Bam! Knit you, ma'am

As I hit the knogger circuit last night (can't think of a knitting metaphor for it--coffee not kicked in), I came across a blog with a button boldly proclaiming this knogger was NOT a secret pal. She also claimed to be her own best pal with another colorful button. Intrigued, I followed the link. It led me to the explanation. This knogger knitonepurltoo said "For the record, I'm in favor of all kinds of Internet surprises, and I begrudge no one their treats, but I want to see your knitting. That is the burning question in my mind when I read your blog: what are you knitting, and what can I learn from you? For that reason, the photos of Secret Pal packages are not quite as interesting to me as the things people make with what they receive." Point taken. I read on and put that thought on the back burner. In the middle of the night I was awakened by the smell of cat poo, as I am every night (yucky but true--they use the litter box in my bathroom), and I realized the toilet was leaking again. As I cleaned up, the stew of my thoughts came to a boil. I knew what was bothering me about the knogger's comments. She has a right to her opinion, but I humbly challenge it. Here's why. If knitting is like sex (yay to both), then asking to see only my knitting and my stash is like yarn porn. "Show me your clapotis, and I'll show you mine." Strike up strip-tease music here--and here is my fair-isle bag (wolf whistles), my felted nested Moebius bowls (cat calls), my Noro Lizzy cardigan ("Show it all, show it all, baby!"). What I'm looking for is more than that. In the olden days, ladies met together in craft circles and, using the modern term, "stitched and bitched." It was a chance to be creative in community. It's wonderful in our culture of isolation to see the rebirth of these types of groups. We were not meant to be alone. So when I read your knog and I see that you've posted a picture of your kitty for the seven millionth time, I smile because I love my kitty too. I'm happy that you love your kitty. I weep with you when you tell me that your son was diagnosed with autism, and I say a prayer for him and for you. I wonder how your mother's surgery went, because my mom's surgery is coming up soon. I laugh at your children's antics, because your children are wonderful, just like mine (most of the time). I cheer when you score some outrageous merch at Goodwill, because you are my bargain-hunting soul sister. I high-five you by email when you receive an astounding gift from your pal. I want to know what books you're reading, what music you like, what movie you watched last night as you frogged that sock for the fifth time. I rage when someone stalks you at your office, because I want you to be safe and sound. You are my cyber friends and family--not imaginary like some airbrushed centerfold (in Vogue knitting)--you're real. And you are more than your knitting (although that is a HUGE part of who you are). The knogger further asked the question, "What can I learn from you?" I want to learn how you did that very cool cast on that looks impossible or how you managed to make your felted bag stand up when mine flops over like a bum on skid row. But you have so much more to teach me than that. How do you juggle life and craft? What inspires you? Why do you knit? How has it helped you as a person? I'm looking at and listening to more than your knitting, I'm seeing and hearing your heart. So stand outside and peer in the windows hoping for a peep at the lovely WIPs or come join the club (and hence the lives) of the knoggers--ladies and gentlemen--the needles are poised, the coffee's hot (just cream for me, no sugar, and can you make it the temperature of the surface of the sun?), the gossip is juicy, the creative genius abounds, and the joy is unspeakable.

Bragging Rights

Behold: my daughter's first published work. I think I can take a moment to be proud of her. Hers is the money joke.

Mother's Day Gift

I'll post the Mother's Day gift I made for my mom now. She should have received it by now (although with Canada Post at the helm, that's probably wishful thinking). So if you've haven't seen it yet, Mom, don't peek. I'll not be accused of being a secret-teller like someone whose name shall remain secret (small flower growing on the moors of Scotland) but I've forgiven a long time ago. It's my self-designed Berocco Plush shawl. I hope it keeps you warm as you go to the hospital for your surgery and that it reminds you that you are loved and prayed for each and every day. Here it is modeled by ABC, should be long enough to cover your keester. :) I knit my MIL a Homespun prayer shawl, but I'll have to post a picture later, because I forgot to take one of the final product. She loved it.

Ain't that right, Eggah?

How sad is this? I can't find the USB cord to my digital camera in all the clutter of my house, so I had to take the memory card out of my new camera and put it in the old camera because I know where the USB cord for that one is (on the floor beside my bed). It reminds me of a childhood fear. My grandparents had a neighbor whose house would send a feng shui-er into cardiac arrest at the front door. I never saw inside, but I was told the house was completely packed with stuff--stacks of newspapers so big and high that there was only a narrow path through the entire house. What made it worse is that this eccentric (albeit harmless as I recall) neighbor (distant relation?) and I shared a birthday. I trembled that I was doomed by our shared natal day to become the hermit-like packrat he was. Our family has birthdays that group in threes, and we take a rather perverse pride in it--like we had any control over it. Needless to say, my shared birthday was a topic of delighted teasing, much to my prepubescent chagrin. And here I am, thiry plus years later, looking through the feng-shui nightmare that is my living space. It appears that I can't outrun my destiny, because if I tried, I'd probably trip over the USB cord lying on the floor.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Project Spectrum

I went over to limedragon.com (my sp8) to read her archived blogs and get to know her a little better. I found this little gem on her site: Lolly Knitting Around's Project Spectrum. Lolly has challenged her readers with a color-a-month theme. Sounds like fun, so I'm in for May. It'll be an extra challenge since I'm trying not to buy yarn (and I've seen several knoggers doing the same--I've gone 10 days without buying yarn. I even have some yarn to return! I should get extra points for that.) May is green month, and I can count my fair isle bag (picture to come soon--I need to finish the liner and take a picture) because it is a chartreuse green and purple. Not sure I like the colors as much as when I started, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out over all. I'll have to muddle on what green yarn I have. Oh, I remember now. It's a secret, though. More later. Guess I'm passing on whipup #5. The theme was "yarn." I had some ideas, but I allowed my other projects preeminence and here it is AGAIN Monday night with everyone in bed but me. I do get tired of knitting in the loo. But I was glad to hear my mother relate that she used to hide in the shower to get away from us four screaming children. It's hereditary; I can't help it--escaping into the bathroom. Always good to be able to blame your weirdness on your parents. :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Secret Pals!

I have received my Secret Pal assignments, both for Secret Pal 8 (hereafter known as SP8) and One Skein Secret Pal (hereafter known as OSSP). Both of my ladies are incredibly gifted and creative. Check out my OSSP at her blog Big Sky Life. If you stop by her blog tomorrow, May 15th, wish her a happy birthday. But remember not to tell her my name! She probably already knows because I am an secret email moron. But it's not like my name is a household word. I received my SP8's name and blog today. Read her blog at lime dragon. She's a big-time sock knitter, and since I just got my first skein of sock yarn today and cast on the stitches for a cotton sock using this pattern: Simple Toe Up Sock, I'm looking forward to her expertise. To my One Skein spoiler--Thanks! for the Hoops and Yoyo card! You can find them at Hallmark. My kids and I go to the free e-card part of the Hallmark site just to giggle at the Hoops and Yoyo cards. So you are off to a great start. :) To my SP8 spoiler, I'm looking forward to getting to know you, too. This is going to be a hoot :)

Happy Mother's Day!

First and foremost to my beautiful and talented Mum. You are amazing and wonderful, and I love you. And to all you moms out there. It's not an easy job--often thankless and a pain in the neck. But what you are doing is the most important job on earth. I salute you. Now take a break from your kids and do something for you, because you can't get water out of an empty pitcher. :)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Whiplash Week #4


whipup
The theme this week is "Chic to Classic." Huh? I thought to myself and went on my way. I looked at a couple of the entries and got a little closer to comprehending the theme, but still nothing rang a bell. I guess this week would be a pass. Then as I sat knitting on a shawl that I'm dying to get done so I can move on to the next project, it hit me. Make a reversible bag--one side classic, one chic. Now I'm trying to adhere to the UWIH philosophy (with the small exception of buying yarn for the fair isle class I'm going to take and bidding on just a TEENSY bit of yarn on eBay), so I looked in my stash and found some Lion Boucle I had planned to use to make a checkerboard bag. New plan. I knit two rectangles--one solid colored, the other variegated with random fun fur blocks, stitched them together, added handles I had bought for the same project and a cute button I had in my stash. Voila! The Cla-chic bag. And it's not even two o'clock in the morning! It's only ten p.m. I confess it took me most of the day, but I'm pleased with the outcome. Now back to watch all the Law and Order:SVU Season 7 episodes I downloaded from iTunes. Ah, Eliot Stabler, yum.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Madly

trying to finish several projects which shall remain unnamed until after Mother's Day, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Went to my beloved LYS yesterday and met the winner of the patron trunk show. (I didn't win, but that's okay; I got a coupon!) She and her friend are lovely knitting ladies, and we fell into conversation and laughter as naturally as breathing. They convinced me to sign up for the Fun with Fair Isle class. I already bought my bam boo yarn--Emperor's purple and Carolina green. I'm already checking out fair isle patterns because we are supposed to design our own, and we'll be learning the two-handed method. Here's a fair isle bag I want to try when my confidence level about fair isle is a little higher. Mellowtrouble.net is a wonderfully visual site. Great pictures.

Longing Fulfilled

After years of longing, I broke down. Fifty dollars was not too much. And he is with me again. Archibald Rutledge, poet laureate of South Carolina, and his complete collected poems: Deep River. I can't find a couple of the ones that I'm longing to read, but this one felt like coming home. Wounds and Waters There is a healing for your wounds of war Where wildflowers in their timid beauty weep By quiet waters; in the awful sweep Of ocean's orchestration rolled afar. The silvery bells of streams will set ajar Windows to your recovery. The deep Silence of lakes will bring white sails of sleep, Bearing the racked to where the rescued are. But if the wounds be love's, they go unhealed By rain on scented pines, or the laughing run Of rivulets through forest, glen, or field, Or mystic mountain lakes in the setting sun, Or ocean's wild old melody. They yield Only to Lethe and Oblivion.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Questionnaire

Here are my SP8 answers. 1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love merino that felts well, like Malabrigo. I love handspun/hand-dyed. Like most knitters I know, I'm not an acrylic fan. 2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? A cardboard box in a dresser (sad, I know). 3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I learned to knit in college, but I stopped for about twenty years. I just recently returned to it with a vengeance. I'd say I'm an advanced beginner or intermediate. 4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Amazon 5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Euphoria by Calvin Klein; spicy, cinnamon-y, clove. 6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? All of my teeth are sweet tooths. :) I love dark chocolate, Skor bars, York Peppermint Patties. 7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I sew occasionally; take pictures; love calligraphy. I do not spin. 8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) All types of music, mostly Contemporary Christian. Yes my computer plays mp3s. 9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? I think colors are mood-based, but I'm always drawn to cobalt blue. Yarn-wise, I'm drawn to bright colors right now (maybe because it's spring, and the world is puddle-wonderful). I do not like teal. 10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Two kids, one Yorkie, three cats. 11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? All of the above. 12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Right now, I'm really into Moebius and felted items--mostly bags. 13. What are you knitting right now? Two shawls, a top-down tease, and a mitred triangle felted bag. 14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes! 15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Circular and aluminum (Addi turbos, yum). 16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?Both. 17. How did you learn to knit? It's scary for me to admit that I don't remember, but I'm sure my mom taught me. 18. How old is your oldest UFO? I think I have an unfinished one in a trunk from 1985, but recently, two or three months. 19. What is your favorite holiday? Tough question. I love Christmas, Easter. I love holidays in general. 20. Is there anything that you collect? You can never have too many books or cool dangly earrings. 21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have books on my Amazon wishlist; I'm dying for some Handmaiden SeaCell yarn, love Malabrigo or yarn like it, think it's impossible to have too many Addi Turbo needles, and don't have any subscriptions. 22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Continental knitting, lace, socks, fitting. 23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Haven't tried socks yet. I wear a size 6 or 7 depending on the style. 24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) 11/14

Thursday, May 04, 2006

You say fugly, I say funky

The ladies over at You Knit What? have it right on most of the time. But I already had this little guy in my UFO pile when I read their post about it. I think mine turned out cute, and I even lined it. Well, we can't be right all the time.

Who's Sari Now?

Here's an UFO finally done! In the spirit of UWYH, I declare May to be FWIS (Finish What I Started) month. Yesterday I worked like a whirling dervish (do they actually work?), and completed several niggling loose ends. Here's my biggest accomplishment. This is not your grandmother's purse, although the shape is very vintage. For the liner, I used fabric that I bought a while ago to make my daughter a purse. Then we ended up buying her one from the now-defunct LizzyRose store. Great store. What took me so long to finish this bag was feeling stymied about how to stiffen it and close it. I ended up using plastic canvas on the bottom and sides and tucking the liner around it so it wouldn't stick out through the yarn. The bag is made with recycled sari yarn knit on the bias. Very fun to make. I machine stitched the liner to the plastic canvas (it can be done!), and then hand-sewed the liner to the bag. Yeah, it looks like monkeys did it. I just won't look too closely. I finished with a magnetic clasp and a decorative button to cover the backside of the magnet. I just need a button for the other side. Feels good to finish a UFO and have it turn out so well.

Reinvented

Here's the new and I hope improved LKF bag. I cut the handles and stitched them down. Currently I'm using lovely hand-made needles from nevada-jade on eBay. (Her yarn is gorgeous too. I'm saving it for a special scarf or a secret pal gift. Shhh! Don't tell.) I may end up using dowels, but it's knitting needles until someone's eye gets poked out. I also took off the celtic knot and sewed it down again so it was flat. Note to self: don't stitch down only the edges because it pokes out in the middle, felts unevenly, and is quite unattractive. Things to learn for next time. I will make the bag MUCH taller. It was twelve inches unfelted, and now (after two washings) it's 5.5 inches. I'll try to figure out the right way to do handles, too.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The New Buttons are Here!

The buttons for my top-down cardi have finally arrived. They are great! You need some of your own, and I have just the answer. Knitche, Knitche, Knitche. Here the kitties help me unpack them. Charles tasted and decided they weren't yummy enough to eat. But they are definitely eye candy! One I had to buy because it was too gorgeous to leave behind. It awaits just the right project.