Thursday, June 29, 2006

On the Horns of a Dilemmmmmma

(Mask forgetting how to spell a word by making it cutesy.) Okay, so do I join the Hip Knits clubs? I don't go to night clubs, so I'm joining all these knit clubs. Great way to meet girls and yarn, not such a hot way to meet guys. Not that I'm looking, I'm just sayin'. Kerrie has the cashmere club: Each month members will receive one skein of cashmere hand dyed especially for the club. The skein of will weigh approx 100g and can be either lace, sock or aran weight (this needs to be specified when you first place your order, tell us that you either want the same weight yarn each month or any combination that you want! If you do not specify you will get sock weight yarn) and will come with an exclusive pattern available only to club members. Woo Hoo. The standard cost of 100g cashmere is £15.00 plus postage. HipKnits cashmere club members will receive 3 x 100g skeins of cashmere for £40 including postage (UK and Europe) and £45 including postage (Rest of World). That's $82.27 for three skeins or $27.42 per skein. Not a bad price as I check it out. She also has a silk club that's opening up in a few weeks. Decisions, decisions.

HP 7 Redux

Totally unrelated to HP, I've had a migraine every day this week. Do you think putting my head in a vise would help? Seems like a good option to me right now. Okay, sorry, I'm done complaining. Thanks for your Harry Potter thoughts. Here are mine. If they bore you, okay. We can't all be scintillating. I agree with Mo. I think that everyone could stay alive in Harry Potter and the story would be just as wonderful, maybe more so. The only disagreeable one I'd kill off might be Percy, but he's just pompous, not evil. Hopefully he'll outgrow that. I love all the Weasleys. Can't kill Harry, that doesn't even make sense. She can't be that existential. Wizarding life sucks and then you die. Yikes. I don't want her to kill off Snape; he's not the bad guy. He's just misunderstood--a little greasy and bitter, but misunderstood. I can't dish on my theory because Lisa hasn't read book six, but JK can't kill him off. Secondly, the characters are so intertwined with the actors in my mind now, and I LOVE Alan Rickman. There is no other man on earth (with the exception of Jean-Luc Picard) who has more perfect diction. I'm a sucker for perfect diction. And I can't hate Lucius (I call him Luscious) because Jason Isaacs makes my old lady heart go pound pound. What is it about guys with long blond hair? Give me Legolas and Lucius any day. She can kill off Draco. I give her permission. I love McGonagall too--both the book and the Maggie Smith version. No one is as hootily perfect as Dame Maggie. She was quite a looker in her day. And I LOVE her in Gosford Park. I realize that I have gone off topic, but the line between the book and the movies is so hazy. Somebody must have put a spell on it. Gotta run, the kids are yelling at me to go to the pool. We've been indoors most of the day. Can I wind up my yarn vomit from my frogged project and hold it carefully enough to get to the pool without disaster? Stay tuned.

To Knit, Perchance to Dream

I'm not dreaming, I'm awake! And check out what I'm seeing! I bought this yarn on Saturday at Susie's Etsy shop. It came Monday. She's amazing. The yarn is gorgeous. And she has more which I may not be able to resist. She's also listing several excellent knitting resource books on her blog and on De-Stash I wish I had touch-o-vision on my computer so you could feel how soft this yarn it. Thanks, Susie!

Spin Out!

Cara's Spin Out project to raise money for Heifer International ends tomorrow. She has re-upped the goal several times. Now the goal is $14,000. Wow!!!!
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And she's about $200 shy. That's only like 8 skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn we need to say no to in order to help out people who have so much less. I finally sent in my donation (making sure the check wasn't rubber). Can't wait to see how well it turns out. Triple yay to Cara who, by the way, will be in Chicago the weekend of July 15th.


For Chaos and all our feline friends, and for us too. Curiosity may have killed the cat; more likely the cat was just unlucky, or else curious to see what death was like, having no cause to go on licking paws, or fathering litter on litter of kittens, predictably. Nevertheless, to be curious is dangerous enough. To distrust what is always said, what seems, to ask odd questions, interfere in dreams, leave home, smell rats, have hunches do not endear cats to those doggy circles where well-smelt baskets, suitable wives, good lunches are the order of things, and where prevails much wagging of incurious heads and tails. Face it. Curiosity will not cause us to die -- only lack of it will. Never to want to see the other side of the hill or that improbable country where living is an idyll (although a probable hell) would kill us all. Only the curious have, if they live, a tale worth telling at all. Dogs say cats love too much, are irresponsible, are changeable, marry too many wives, desert their children, chill all dinner tables with tales of their nine lives. Well, they are lucky. Let them be nine-lived and contradictory, curious enough to change, prepared to pay the cat price, which is to die and die again and again, each time with no less pain. A cat minority of one is all that can be counted on to tell the truth. And what cats have to tell on each return from hell is this: that dying is what the living do, that dying is what the loving do, and that dead dogs are those who do not know that dying is what, to live, each has to do. ~Alastair Reed

Thanks for your prayers

Those of you who knew my mom was having hip replacement surgery. She had it yesterday and is recovering nicely. I'm so thankful! She's been waiting a year and a half, so when she didn't do the Canadian health care system a favor and die, they had to give in and fix her hip. (Don't get me started.) My parents even considered spending retirement savings and flying to India or Belgium for the surgery. But we can put that behind us now (grinds teeth) and pray for her speedy recovery. I selfishly want her to be better so she'll come to the family reunion in Maine coming up in August. It just won't be as fun without her. And we want to go yarn crawling (without the walker). Love you mom; you rock (and not in a rocking chair kinda way)! Here's my cute mommy on the right pictured with her equally cute sister, Eunice, who also had hip replacement surgery. Curse those Lilley hips; I have one too.

Check out my buddy Mo

Who makes 37 look good. Her darling pillowcase dress is featured on's June 28th posting! Yay, Mo!!!!
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Project:Colorswap June Package is Here!

I was delighted to return home from schlepping kids around to find this awaiting me: I happy-danced it into the house and opened it right up. My Project:Colorswap package from my pal Cecily! (love that name) She probably has the best blog name I've ever seen. Despite moving, having to work, and the sweltering heat of St. Looie, she put together a most amazing spread of blue which I will share with you now. You know how you save the best for last and build to the climactic moment of a package-sharing? It's really hard to do when everything in it is great. First, the kitchen goodies (aka--you can never have too many): blue potholders (good, all mine are a hundred years old and have been set on fire several times), poppyseed muffin mix (YUM!), and popsicle makers (again, YUM!). Next, storage aids: the cutest jean tote bag ever (just the right size for a portable knitting project), a straight needle holder (to corrall those rolling loose in my dresser) and envelopes (which I am always needing). Next, the sweetest little blue flower beads. They are the perfect color. I love them. My favorite color of nail polish. My friends and family will be relieved because I'll use it instead of chartreuse; I call it "cadaver chic." Socks that Soar! My heart soars, Cecily; you thoughtful lady! Can't wait to try this out. Malabrigo! (No explanation needed, right folks?) Scout Swag! Cecily is not only beautiful, smart and talented; she reads minds as well. I've been drooling over Scout's swag since I signed up for Knit Sock Kit Swap. It's soft and perfectly wonderful. Can't wait to use it. And I, self-crowned Baroness of Blue, must bow and relinquish my crown to Cecily, the Empress of Blue. She sent FIVE CDs filled to the brim with blue music of all shapes and sizes. I am undone, happily so. And she included a handwritten description of the songs, some of which her choir sings or are composed by a family friend. Talk about an audiophile! I am delighted with the CDs, Cecily. Well done. You are wonderful, my friend. Thanks for making the whole month of June blue--in a good way.

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Platform Blues by Pavement on Terror Twilight CD
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Long Gone Lonesome Blues by Sheryl Crow on the Sweet Home Alabama Soundtrack
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Harry Potter 7--Place Yer Bets

J. K. Rowling announced that two of the main characters of the Harry Potter series will die off in book the seventh. She's even hinting that it might be Harry. You know what I have to say to that? Balderdash. She will never kill off Harry. She's already the richest woman in Britain, does she really need to string us along to get more followers? That said, her ability to string us along is WHY she is the richest woman in Britain. More power to her; she actually earned it. So, place your bets. Who will she kill off? My money's on Ron Weasley, for one.
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Although he's probably my favorite. And one of the professors--McGonagall maybe.
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Fade to . . . Purple

It is almost time fellow Project:Spectrum-ites to pass the torch from blue to purple. I'll be blue for blue, but purple has powerful potential. In honor of blue's fading to purple, let's brainstorm. Not just music. All things blue. Name some blue movies. Blue books? Blue tv? Blue food. Blue drinks? Anything blue that you love (or hate). Me first: Blues Clues (love that Steve)
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Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Black and Blue by Counting Crows on the Hard Candy CD.
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(Thanks, Cecily!)

Monday, June 26, 2006

I Could Have Blogged All Night . . . And Still Have Blogged Some More

So much to tell you, but it would behoove me to spend some time with my family and actually do some knitting. So just a tidbit. My Project:Colorswap June package is here from Cecily! Can't wait to show you my wondrous goodies. Tomorrow! (and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time). Name that quotation if you will.

A Little Sunday Afternoon Reading

I plopped down on my bed on Sunday, opened my laptop, and joined the blogosphere. I caught up on several I hadn't visited lately and, through Trek Along with Me, I found some great new ones. So first a huge THANK YOU! to Norma and Margene for leading us on this trek. I'm meeting so many great folks. I appreciate each one of you (or youse or y'all). Here are some I read: Always love Chris and her boo-boo kitty Chaos And Deb who rocks and knits at movies. Love that. Engineer Anonymous trekked all the way to Boston. Colorway 66 and her pattern are da Bomb! Last, but definitely not least (in fact longest), I found Lisa. She's the knitting nurse from Colorado. She's hosting a contest on her blog to answer ten questions from previous posts. I got sucked in by the prospect of free merch, but I stayed because of her excellent photography, wonderful wordsmithing and gorgeous knitting. I ended up spending the whole afternoon with her and left feeling like I'd made a good new friend. Gotta see that baby cardigan she knit for the Olympics--gaw-jus!!!!

Secret Pal 8 is Great!

First rate! Crosses home plate! Okay, enough already. When I returned home from Glittery Folks on Frozen Water (last post), there was a package awaiting me. Much to my delight it was from my Secret Pal!!! She has been taunting me (in a nice way--neener, neener, and such--I'm secret and you're not) with my ignorance of her identity. So this package included clues (and cool stuff). Look with me, will you? Jinx, the bomb-sniffing cat is on the job (actually looking for treats to abscond with). The package passes muster, and I'm given the paws-up to look further. He did try to take the ribbon, though. I said it was too pretty to end up as a cat chew toy and hid it from him. SP8 sent me a book of poetry by John Ashbery. She even sent some clues as to how to read him. This is where the rubber will meet the road and my soi-disant intellectualism will be found out. When I can't converse about his poems without babbling, she'll know I read People magazine not Slate and watch reality tv instead of PBS (Okay, I'll admit to People, but I don't watch reality tv. If I'm going to watch tv, it's going to be with a healthy dose of out-of-the-closet fiction, not soi-disant reality. Oh, and I rarely watch PBS unless I get stuck watching Arthur with my kids. Arthur's better in French too; see below.). Sorry, I just have to keep saying soi-disant because it's one of the three or four words I remember from my French major in college. It means "so-called." Isn't it prettier in French? I digress, she also included rainbow-colored ribbon, yummy tea, some ornate silver buttons both lush and cute, a color card with clues as to her identity (she's in a picture on the Yarn Harlot's site from YH's visit to Mass.) and a very cool circle journal. It's a two-way journal which you fill out and mail to a special person who also journals in it and returns it to you. Hence the circle. Love it. Then I had a moment. Who in my life could I send it to who would actually fill it out and return it to me? Most of my friends are like I am--procrastinators. Who is special enough to share this incredible gift with me? Aha, I know. sp8, will you be my Circle Journal buddy, too? Thanks. I love everything in my package.

I Spent Saturday with the Stars

Although you wouldn't know it 'cause all I got were really bad photos. I took Miss Skaty McAxelpants to see Champions on Ice at Chicago's United Center Saturday. It was a beautiful day, and we arrived in plenty of time. I was a little concerned about parking far away and having to walk through that area of town with just we two suburbanites, so I sprang for the good parking. And I'm not making this up. We parked right by the Michael Jordan statue, well in the second row of parking spots. We entered the United Center, after Miss Skaty got herself interviewed by two handsome Japanese men for Tokyo TV. We both flunked the test about who won the women's gold medal in skating. We knew it wasn't Sasha, and that was so four months ago. They reminded us that Shizuka Arikawa was the gold medalist, and that we'd be seeing her skate that day. No problems finding seats in the semi-nosebleed section. Then we sat and waited for the show to start. I knit (believe it or not they let me bring my DPNs in), and ABC watched impatiently for any sign of Michelle Kwan. We also bought a t-shirt; I'm such a pushover. They had the cutest skate skirts, but the logo was right on the bum. I cannot stand words on the rear end of clothing; no kid of mine in going to have Champions on ass. Then the show began, and we were treated to two hours of phenomenally fun skating. Such a different atmosphere than in competition. And when the woman from the gold medal pairs fell on her tush right at the end, she just smiled and got back up. It was good to see hometown boy Evan Lysacek and Peoria native Matt Savoie. We loved every moment of it--especially Michelle and Sasha. And of course Tanith and Ben. And I love Evgeni Plushenko. All good. I won't even bore you with my blurry nasty shots. But Skaty McAxelpants thought it was great and is still raving about it. She's all set to be an Olympic medalist. Maybe then we'll get the VIP seats.

Chappysmom Aces the Exam!

Well, almost. Check out Deb's post of June 24th. She turned the heel for her second Trek Along with Me sock at the movies. Did you hear what I said? AT THE MOVIES! In the dark! And she only made one little teeny-tiny booboo which is eminently fixable. Can I get a HOO-RAH for that girl?

Thank You!

Thanks to each of you bibliophiles who shared some suggestions for getting my reading mojo back. I've got some old favorites to revisit and some new favorites to explore. I'm finding in this knogger community such a wealth of kindred spirits; it's a wonderful thing. I've added some of my new friends to my sidebar. Visit them; I know you'll find them as inspiring and entertaining as I do. And for Chris and Chaos, here's Velvet showing you what manly dignity he truly has: and Charles showing he has no dignity at all.

Party Like it's (Shire Reckoning) 3054

Okay, that made me laugh. I crack myself up. Last Wednesday, I was invited to a party hosted by my lovely neighbor Adrianne. Since I foolishly forgot my camera, I shall be at her mercy to share photos with me. I'm sure she'll oblige. She held a Lord of the Rings party--the marriage of Arwen and Eragorn. As much as I'm loathe to give Eragorn up to Arwen, it was a lovely celebration of friendship and beauty. The party took place at Danada House with excellent catering and stunning flowers, shown here ill-photographed by yours truly. Then she finished off the evening with a reading from the Lord of the Rings. I felt like I needed an appropriate gift for the occasion, so I attempted (and succeeded) at knitting a wire bowl from Simple Knits with a Twist. I should be hearing from WETA Workshop any day now since I know how to knit chain mail.
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See the basket in the bottom right-hand corner? Well, mine is sort of like that. Of course, I forgot to take a picture. I'll have to pop by Adrianne's house for a photo shoot.

Catching up

Now that I have finally recovered (again) my lost camera cord (my house isn't that big, I think the cord hides itself), I can recap last week. Knitting progress: Frogged Jaywalker number two. Too many booboos. Instead of starting it, I put Tropicana on the needles with Mama-E's Maybelle sock yarn. I'll have to rename it Wave O' the Sea or some such name. Here's a peek: Innit cute? Next, I worked on a project for my dear friend Kathy. It's the Top-Down Tease from Knitche. It's been on the needles and off the needles more times than I care to count. We finally had a confab about it and decided we both didn't like the look. Too open a weave. So back to Knitche and the drawing board for a solution. Also on the needles (different ones, of course) is my second lace project made with Fiddlesticks Country Silk from my darling sp8. The pattern is the Branching Out lace scarf from Knitty. It had to be put on hold for easier, less concentration-needing projects to take to the umpteen swimming classes I waited at while Kid 1 and Kid 2 improved backstroke and freestyle.

Happy Birthday Shoutout

Here's a super big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my friend Mo of lemongardenia and froy and olo! She's a wearer of many hats--gifted artist, wife, mother, business owner, friend, gardener, estate sale scorer extraordinaire. And she wears them all with amazing grace and style. Please check out her blog today and wish her a HB. She's even having a contest! Or check out her store and buy some wonderful stationery. You rock, Mo! And you and your little missy still have a standing to visit American Girl with my little missy and me. And if I get out your way, please include me on one of your incredible treasure hunts at the thrift store.

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue by Jill Hennessy of Law and Order and Crossing Jordan fame on the Crossing Jordan CD.
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Friday, June 23, 2006

Teaching Boys to Knit

The Daily Herald newspaper of Kane County, Illinois carried the story of Wool and Company's "KnitOut on the Courthouse Lawn" during the Swedish Days festival in Geneva, Illinois. Undaunted by the rain, they moved indoors and, from all accounts, had a rollicking good time. My favorite part of the story though was this: At a table in another corner, knitting teacher Sharon Lynn of Geneva got advice on how to instruct boys from Neil Edmondson, husband of Lesley Edmondson, owner of Wool and Co. “Tell them to stab it, choke it, rip its guts out, and throw it off the cliff,” he said, accompanying each verb with a movement of his needles, resulting in a completed stitch. You go, son.

In Which I Answer the Question You Have Posed

Alright, I have to assent to the consensus. It's not reading (for prizes anyway) if I'm looking at pictures or scanning knitting patterns. That doesn't seem fair--age discrimination or reading level discrimination. If I were three, you'd count a Carl book as prize-worthy. But I digress, some of you, my worthy 2.3 readers have asked me what I do read when the reading mojo is upon me. And so I shall answer you. Favorite books (in no particular order)-- Anything by C. S. Lewis, but especially The Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy George MacDonald books, especially Lilith and Phantastes and Diary of an Old Soul Christopher Paolini's Eragon and Eldest Holly Black's Tithe J. R. R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings trilogy The Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and subsequent books. I have an autographed copy of A Wrinkle in Time from the summer when both M.L. and my dad taught a summer session at the same university. (Isn't my dad cool?) I have to confess that I have never enjoyed her dialogue (always felt stilted to me), but I love the premise of the stories and the characters. Meg was my hero, and the boy she ended up marrying whose name escapes me was wonderful too. Anything by Jane Austen, especially Mansfield Park, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility--oops, that's almost all isn't it? So many YA books--usually my first choice--Kevin Henkes' Olive's Ocean was lovely, Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates; Meg Cabot's books (she's just as funny and charming in real life too). Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones books. She had me at the joke about Mark Darcy standing aloof and brooding in the corner. Some more recent books that I've enjoyed (some are a little salty, but made me laugh or cry or whatever the appropriate emotion is): Dave Egger's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and They Shall Know Our Velocity David Sedaris's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim Augusten Burrough's Running with Scissors (I still feel sick about the dog-food eating part.) Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time When I was an angst-ridden teenager, I read all the obligatory mental illness and ennui books I Never Promised You a Rose Garden; Lisa, Bright and Dark, etc. I kept telling my dad about them, and he expressed an overwhelming lack of desire to know all the gory details. He told me that since he had worked in a mental hospital and public university (which are basically the same thing) he didn't need the fiction when he has witnessed the reality. I thought he was nuts (ha ha), but now that the sands of time have sunk much farther down for me--stories of abuse and adultery and the crap of life--which is most modern fiction just aren't my cup of tea. I read The Kite Runners for my book group. It was a powerful first novel, but I have to tell you that I felt sick the entire time I was reading it. You know, Cecily, I think your Jan Karon books may be just the thing. Something uplifting. Or, hilariously funny. So when the reading mojo returns, hopefully before Harry Potter 7, Eragon 3 or Lemony Snicket 13 come out, I shall find my way, as you've noticed to the fantasy aisle or the laugh-out loud funny aisle or the YA aisle because they've been my friends many a long year. And they're the kind of friends who don't mind if I set them aside for a day or a year or a decade. They'll be waiting when I get back.

To Knit, Perchance to Help a Friend Out

Snooze, a Northern Michigander (and by extension a lovely lady) has an Etsy yarn shop that I've been visiting and drooling over regularly. Today I visited her blog. She is selling off a bunch of her stash to cover expenses while her husband seeks employment. Read her story at To Knit, Perchance to Dream (love that name). And for one day only--Saturday, June 24th--she is having a 50% off sale at her Etsy shop! Her yarn is really beautiful. I know we're all trying to do Summer of Stash, but I'm digging into my pockets to help her out. And getting seriously wonderful yarn in the process. Tomorrow morning when my dog wakes me up at 5:30 (it keeps getting earlier every morning); I'm jumping on my computer and ordering yarn. Race ya.

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

One of my favorites: Ralph Covert Barnyard Blues on his Happy Lemons CD Kids music that a parent loves as much or more than the kids!
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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Here's a twofer Thursday because I missed yesterday. Sorry. Nutty day, and I'll tell you more about that later. The Theme from Hill Street Blues by Mike Post on the Favorite TV Theme Songs CD (Yes, I really have that one).
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and Hayley Westenra's Never Saw Blue on the Odyssey CD
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Happy Birthday Secret Pal 8

Please stop by Harriet's blog today and wish her a happy birthday. You can tell her that Secret Pally 8 sent you.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

In Which I Pose a Question, and You Respond (Please)

Okay, the previous post was a serious blast from the past. My ears are still ringing. I love that song. My question is this. Our library has a summer reading program, and you can win prizes for reading so many books (I think it's a prize for every four you read and comment on). I am so off reading right now except for knitting blogs and patterns. I checked out ten or twenty knitting books--do you realize how heavy they are? Reinforce those bookcases, folks. And I look at the pictures and read some of the text (but not so much all) and read the patterns (sort of). My friends, does that count as reading a book? I'm thinking it doesn't, but I don't get credit for reading all your cool blogs. It's a little bit of discrimination, I think. They have really cool prizes, too. I await your wisdom.

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Here's one I don't have on my iTunes, but I should. Scratch that, I just went and bought it. Come on, my Canadian friends and everyone else join in too, raise your lighters in the air for Chilliwack and Baby Blue on their Greatest Hits album (or whatever you call it now).
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Monday, June 19, 2006

What Does Your Birthdate Mean?

Your Birthdate: November 14
You work well with others. That is, you're good at getting them to do work for you. It's true that you get by on your charm. But so what? You make people happy! You're dynamic, clever, and funny. And people like to have you around. But you're so restless, they better not expect you to stay around for long. Your strength: Your superstar charisma Your weakness: Commitment means nothing to you Your power color: Fuchsia Your power symbol: Diamond Your power month: May
No one told me May was my power month! Put me on the CC list, dudes!

Project Spectrum Word Association

I bet we're all "memed" out. (I confess I had to look that word up because I had NO clue what it meant, and I still really don't--fancy word for a quiz? a toddler's way of saying "theme?") But here's an easy one. Lie down on the couch (with a drink or your knitting or both). I'll say a word, and you say the first word that comes into your head. Okay? Ready, set, go: Blue . . . Your turn, Lolly, Lynne and all other PSers.

My Dutch Sock Yarn Temptress . . .

Is at it again . . . here's Astrid's latest email: Hello dear customers, My new offer: SUMMER SALE: ALL LANA GROSSA MEILENWEIT SOCK YARNS NOW ONLY 6.50 USDOLLARS PER BALL ! And it takes only 1 ball to make a pair of socks. Included in this offer are: Mega Boots Stretch (6ply, 150 grams) Colortweed (100 grams) Cotton Fondo Cotton Fun Cotton Maya Inca Magico Multi Effekt MultiRingel Scala So definitely not old collections. This offer is valid till June 28th 2006. Combined orders also possible, so if you wish to order together with your friend, neighbour or sister you can save on shipping costs! If you buy a total of 19 100-grams balls, shipping costs priority insured are just 1.52 usdollars per ball. You will have a bargain! If you have any questions, please let me know, I will be happy to help you. Love from the Netherlands, Astrid. Xoxoxo Astrid's Dutch Obsessions Shall I build a house just for my yarn?

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Okay, I'm off to an earlier start today. Here's the song to get your toes a-tappin'. . .(drum roll pleaase) Blue by the Stevens Sisters on O Sister! The Women's Bluegrass Collection
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Have a bluegrassy day!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I'm My Own Grandma

I just read back over my 30 things about me. What a downer! She's dead; he's dead; they died. My family will attest that my dear Grandma at the end of her life had that to say of just about everyone. It became a family joke (shows you what kind of family we are, oops). So here are 30 more light-hearted things. Then I'm done, I promise. 1. I am good at making up nicknames. Everyone in my family has at least seven or eight given by me. 2. I would eat french fries everyday if given the opportunity. 3. My favorite part of the day is that first sip of scalding hot coffee in the morning. 4. I love the ping that tells me I have received email. 5. I love to hear my brothers giggle when they watch Mystery Science Theater 3000. 6. I'm going to have to knit really fast to make up for not knitting for twenty years. 7. I think my sister is one of the most beautiful women on earth. 8. I love to watch my daughter run and play. 9. I want to have a house on the beach someday. 10. I asked my son when he was little if there was anyone sparklier than he, to which he replied, "No." He's right. 11. My kids are hilarious, even when they don't mean to be. 12. I wonder about things--like who thought up cake? Or chocolate? 13. I talk all through movies. 14. I love to sing. 15. I love the anticipation of Christmas Eve. 16. I danced on snowshoes in front of the Prime Minister of Canada at the opening of the Canada Winter Games (I think it was 1979). 17. I am weather-impaired. Weather reports will not stick in my head. 18. I love the smell of rain. 19. I like children's books better than adult books most of the time. 20. I love red hair. 21. I love dark chocolate. 22. I wonder why sometimes watching sports makes me cry. 23. Nothing is more boring to me than politics. 24. I get the giggles at very inappropriate times, and I have a hard time stopping. 25. I have seen the movie Persuasion so many times, I think I have it memorized. 26. I think the ability to make people laugh is a bigger turn-on than looks. 27. I envision the rest of my life filled with writing and knitting. 28. I want to travel more. 29. I love my church. 30. I'm painfully shy (although no one who knows me believes that).


Kerrie at HipKnits is posting 30 things about herself as a celebration for her upcoming birthday. She challenged her readers (and tempted us with a prize) to share 30 of our own things. Here goes: 1. My birthday is November 14th. 2. I was eight days old when JFK was assassinated. 3. My mom remembers what she was doing when she heard the news. 4. I remember what I was doing when I heard that Elvis and John Lennon were dead. 5. I have lived in 29 different places (counting college dorm rooms). 6. I have two sisters (one in heaven) and two brothers. 7. I have a B.A. and an M.S. 8. I am a certified Montessori teacher. 9. I am not currently using any of those degrees. 10. I have a male Yorkie and three male cats. 11. My female Yorkie died a year and a half ago. 12. She was fourteen. 13. I miss her every day. 14. My parents and my siblings (except for one) live in Manitoba, Canada. 15. I miss some things about MB (prairie sunsets and sunrises). Not the cold. 16. I love Chicago, which is where I live now (well, a suburb of Chicago). 17. I have two kids, a boy and a girl. 18. Two kids is just right for me (most days). 19. I love to read. C. S. Lewis is my hands-down favorite writer. 20. Jane Austen is my second. 21. I have the coolest parents in the world. 22. I love Maine, where my mom's family lives. 23. I love Upper Michigan, where I used to live. 24. Six years ago, my whole life fell apart. 25. I lost my house, my marriage and my health. 26. Jesus is the only reason I am still alive. 27. I learned that I have the best friends in the world. 28. I learned that even though you wish it might, a broken heart will not kill you. 29. I still love my husband. 30. Knitting and writing are what keep me sane.

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Sorry it's so late today, folks. Technical difficulties threw me off my stride. Without further ado,
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Basin Street Blues/When it's Sleepy Time Down South Medley by Louis Prima on Casino Soundtrack (disc 2). Gotta love it--Joe Pesci. I amuse you? Oops, wrong movie.

Knit Sock Kit Swap Questionnaire

I'm never going to get that name right. But it doesn't matter! I have my Pal, and I'm going to visit her blog and learn more about her. Big shout out of Thank You! to Bev and Scout who are the hostesses with the mostesses for all their hard work organizing this cool swap. Here are my answers to the questionnaire: The Questionnaire: What are your favorite colors? Cobalt blue, sagey greens, bright variegated colors Are you a new sock knitter? Yes, but I LOVE it! How long have you been knitting socks? Five minutes, just kidding. Less than a month, I think. I have two finished socks (not the same pair). Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? For sock yarn, probably multi-colored What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn? So far I've tried only superwash wool, but I have some merino waiting to be knit. Merino is yummy! Where do you usually knit socks? On my couch or my bed, but anywhere I have a minute to knit. How do you usually carry/store small projects? In the smallest tote bag I have--a leopard spotted one like my Bengal cat. What are your favorite sock knitting patterns? I've tried two so far--Sally Melville's simple sock pattern and Grumperina's Jaywalkers. I've been downloading any cute free patterns I saw. I want to try lace socks. What are your favorite sock knitting techniques? So far, just top down with DPNs. What new techniques would you like to try? 2socks, 2circs, Magic Loop, toe up, whatever else anyone wants to teach me! Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting? As I mentioned above, I've tried DPNs but want to learn with circs too. What are some of your favorite yarns? Handmaiden, Malabrigo, Mama-E's, and my newest love Fiddlesticks What yarn do you totally covet? My angelic OSSP gave me my coveted Sea Silk, so my new yearning would have to be hand-dyed sock yarn or lace yarn or Handmaiden's 4ply silk/cashmere yarn. Oh, and how could I forget? Koigu sock yarn. Yummmm. Decadent, I know. Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? One I just found was Handmaiden's Silk/Cashmere anklets. But honestly I'm so new at this that I'd welcome any and all suggestions. Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? For sock knitting, I've used only Crystal Palace bamboo which has worked well. I'm itching for Addi Turbos in tiny sizes. Open to suggestions from a more experienced sock knitter! If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? I'd love to fancy myself something gorgeous and exotic, but more realistically I'm a multicolored sock yarn--soft, but stronger than it looks, just try breaking it with your fingers ;) Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? The only candy I won't eat is black licorice or that yukky lavender stuff. LOVE dark chocolate. What’s your favorite animal? cats and dogs Do you have pets? cats and dogs, hmmm, is there a pattern here? What are their species/names/ages? A thirteen-year old Yorkie named Gino who thinks he's a cat. An eight-year old black American shorthaired male cat named Velvet who thinks he's a human, or a dog, or whatever will score him food. And two one-year old male Bengal cats who think they are God's gift to everyone. And they are. If you were a color what color would you be? Something blue, like the sea, that changes with my mood. Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s).. A plain t-shirt that fits and isn't stained, dirty or too wrinkled--usually black. What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? That question is way too hard to narrow down! Lately, I am most taken with the place where the sky and land meet (isn't always horizon). Like the contrast of vivid green trees against a cloudless blue sky. Awesome. Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read. Another toughie! The one that comes to mind is "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” I love that one. Do you have a wishlist? I have a million, but one that's actually organized in one place? Check out Amazon. Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? Just a huge thank you to Bev and Scout for dreaming this up. It's a great challenge for me to (yikes, scary) design and make a bag (or to try to follow a pattern to make a bag).

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Another Yarn Sale--Help!

Snooze at To Knit, Perchance to Dream is having a sale at her Etsy shop. Her handspun, hand-dyed yarn is BEAUTIMOUS! And she's from Northern Michigan, so you have to love her. It's required. All her yarn is 20% off for Father's Day. What father doesn't need someone to buy yarn when it's on sale? Good thinking, I say! And all her yarn posted before April 19, 2006 is now 30% off. Resistance is futile. Just go buy the yarn.

World Cup Fever

I found this blog through Eve from Ontario shows us how to knit soccer balls. I think it would be great fun to figure out all the hexagons and pentagons. And, since Eve has given us such a cool pattern, let's us knitbloggers (aka knoggers) visit her blog and post our names on her Frapprmappr.

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65 on Europop. My kids love this song.
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Planning ahead for July Project:Colorswap

If you're a planner and you need purple stuff, check out this or this.


I had to know, and now, you can too. Definition of clapotis: A French term for a standing wave phenomenon associated with the reflection of an ocean wave train from a vertical surface, such as a breakwater or pier. A standing wave is a periodic vertical motion of the sea surface that does not propagate horizontally. It can be thought of as being created by the superposition of two identical waves propagating in opposite directions. Makes sense when you see the pattern, n'est-ce pas?

Friday, June 16, 2006

It's your turn!

Since memes are the new "it," I am totally borrowing this one from Cara and Kimberly: Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this in your journal so that I may leave a word about you. If you're a meme-er, have at it!

Cruise update

My daughter has invited herself to come on the cruise. She wonders why we might get dropped off in Vancouver (where's that?). Ok, Canadian family members, don't diss me. She wants the cruise ship to drop us off in Illinois. Ah, public school education, gotta love it. No child gets left behind, be it in Vancouver or Illinois. On that note, though, Erin sent a second email: Sorry..I forgot one thing... The ship that Patricia chose is very accessible for everyone. There are activities (that parents do not have to supervise) for children ages 3 and up and potty trained. So, that means...we parents all get a vacation too. The cowboy and D are coming with me! Let me know if you have any questions and spread the word!!!!! If any of yoy are podcasters...we would love to get on your radar and podcasts. Also...there are plans for Fall 2007 that may be closer to the Mama's home!

The two most beautiful words in the English language put together: Knitting Cruise

Mama-E has outdone herself. Not only does she create the kickin'-est yarn ever, but now she's planning a KNITTING CRUISE!!!!!! You read it right. Check out what she says in her email: Hey Everyone! I am so excited to announce the top secret project I have been working on..... Patricia, from CRUISE PLANNERS, has put together a little voyage for the die hard sock knitter! Check it out! I will be on board doing some demos and some rockin' SNB's! There are 2 other bloggers...who will be announced later.... in the works to join in and offer instruction! You will get yarn, instruction, a knitting bag... and.... excursions to the LYS in port. That's right.... a vactaion that enhances the stash! Here is the link for more info: Here is the cruise in a nutshell: (imagine LOVE BOAT THEME playing here!!!) Sea Yarn. Sea Socks. Sea Socks Cruise. Sea Socks Cruise and Yarn Expedition Knit yourself some socks for those sea legs while cruising to the wool laiden ports of the US. From LA to Vancouver we will explore fiber, color theory, and knit some socks. There will even be a few fun things along way. For more information, Contact Cruise Planners at 888-286-9827 Sea Socks Cruise Includes: FIVE night cruise onboard Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas from LA to Vancouver Meals Entertainment Knitting Workshops, including color theory and knitting socks Exclusive Knitting bag WITH Exclusive Hand-Dyed Yarn from Mama E's C*EYE*BER Fibers And much MORE Dont miss the boat! The cruise leaves on April 29th, 2007. Prices starting at: $475 pp* Pricing is per person, double occupancy and subject to availability. Oo-ee baby, oo-ee baby, won't you let me take you on a sea cruise? Who's in? I am so there!!!!!

Kitty Wonderfulness (otherwise known as "Dazzle them with cats, so they won't notice your lack of knitting content.")

Here are my beloved boys: Jinx and Jasper Velvet