Friday, July 28, 2006

In honor of the Harlot

Scout has some new yarn, which I couldn't resist. Check it out on her blog. And Susie, the Harlot's new best Peacock friend, has fresh, wonderful sock yarn. I'm lovin' it!

Stop By

and give Anna a cheery wave on her blog. She designs the most beautiful sweaters and socks and has the all-time cutest pet sweater EVER. To see it, click on her sidebar All my own work and then scroll to November 15, 2005 where you'll find Harvey, the best dressed kitty in the world. Let's cheer her up, shall we? Thanks.

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Purple Afternoon from Girl in the Moon on the Purple Afternoon CD
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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Want/Need Sharper Addis?

Check out Grumperina's post. Let's flood Skacel with emails telling them we'd like sharper Addis--for lace, for cabling, whatever you need!

What Would Vic Knit?

Go tell Bonne Marie of ChicKnits what you think P.I. V. I. Warshawsky would knit on a stakeout and be entered into a contest to win some cool Regia sock yarn.

Sock Wars--Yeah, Baby!

Yarn Monkey is hosting a murderous kind of KAL. Check out her blog for details.
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A New Swap--With Lace!

Be still my beating heart. Eve posted the alert for the Who's Lace is it Anyway? swap. I'm so in love with lace right now. Feeling the irresistable urge to sign up . . .

Project Spectrum Purple of the Day

Purple knitting going on here chez roux. And here's a purple book for you, because no discussion of purple would be complete without Harold.
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And I just had a (not-so original) thought: if Meg can post pics of cute animals, maybe I should post pics of cute guys. Her URL is CuteOverload.com, what could I call mine? Don't go all "Snakes on a Plane" on me (as Crazy Aunt Purl says); I just think we could use a daily dose of eye candy. And what's more, if you Google "cute guys," you will not get any heterosexual references. I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

I LOVE the memories you are sharing about favorite foods. Thanks so much.
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And I laughed at OSSP's comment about scary foods. Thanks for reminding me of having to eat lima beans, NOT! Now, do I need to get Dr. Phil to do some therapy? 'Cause I'll crack out the Prozac and Merlot right now if I have to--we'll finish this up right. While we're on the subject of favorites. How about your favorite word? Maybe you like how it rolls off your tongue or the picture it evokes in your mind. My friend Kerry and I collect words we like and words we don't. Moist is a word I do NOT like. Nasty is a word that I do. Care to share?

À la recherche du temps perdu

I had a Proustian moment this evening as I made supper. Marcel Proust is the writer whose snack of tea and madeleines prompted his theory of involuntary memory. Trying to wade through his books, either in French or English, would definitely cause one to be In Search of Lost Time (hence the post title). I digress; I took a handful of sunflower seeds and popped them in my mouth. (I do believe those are the food of the gods.) I was transported back to one of my earliest "food" memories--buying hot sunflower seeds from a nut cart and then enjoying them as we walked around the mall. I was in grade two or three at the time. Proust was right, something as simple as tea and cookies can send us back in time to a special place or a special someone. It made me wonder, what is your earliest food memory? Or your fondest? Dish. I'll get the tea and madeleines.
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And then when you're done sharing, pop over to Lynne's blog and take a walk down "favorite childhood books" memory lane.

This is not your father's church

Linkin Park Kazoo Orchestra I am not making this up. This is the special music from my church Sunday. The pastor is the dude on the right playing the kazoo. The two singers are brothers who are on the Creative Arts Team. All I can say is, Whodathunkit?

My Contest Update and Challenge

In honor of my 400th post (take a drink if you're playing Amy's game), I am hosting a contest. List 5 things you've learned about me from my blog. I've had several entries, but with hits from the Yarn Harlot's site, I'm surprised there aren't more. Come one, come all and join the fun! Saturday's the last day to enter. Thanks for playing! Some serious knitting going on today su casa. I am making a Small Felted Bucket Bag for my KSKS pal. Right now it looks like a scarf, but when I put it all together--wah-la! It will be fun. I may even try to do some unconventional dyeing. And if it bombs, we'll put it in the reject pile as #3 KSKS pal bag that didn't work. That's okay, eventually the right bag and I will find each other.

Another Contest!

Trek, of Grown Up Wonky Lace Socks fame, is hosting a contest. Become a subscriber to her blog through Bloglines, and your name goes in the pot (if I understood correctly). We'll just admit to ourselves that we won't win, because Chris always wins (must be her Chaos mojo), but we'll remain good-spirited in the interest of helping out a fellow knogger. Trek's shooting for 1000 readers, so let's help her achieve her goal. She's articulate and talented--good combo. Go Trek!

Just Found This

on Amy's blog: The Knitting Blog Drinking Game I'd be wasted just reading my own blog . . .

Project Spectrum Song of the Day

Purple from Whirlwind Heat on the Do Rabbits Wonder? CD.
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You Got Some 'Splainin' To Do

On the current cover of Knitty, there is a lovely pair of fingerless gloves. I saw some at My Sister's Knits, too, made up from the pattern in Alterknits. I fondled them several times because they were beautiful. But I must pose a question.
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Why? Why wear gloves that have no fingers? I grew up in Manitoba, so you'll have to forgive me for not being able to wrap my mind around this particular article of clothing. Isn't the purpose of gloves (or mittens for that matter) to keep you fingers warm? And if your wrists are cold, can't you just wear long sleeves? Fingerless gloves just seem like an article of clothing where the essentials aren't covered--something like a shirt with the chest cut out or pants with no bum. Are they purely ornamental? Are they for people afraid to knit fingers? I want to know. Can anyone enlighten this Northern girl?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Calmness

I passing along an email my mother sent to me. By the way, thanks for your thoughts and prayers for her, she is convalescing well after her hip surgery. I would hazard a guess that if I really did this, she wouldn't be laughing quite so hard . . . I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished." So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a bottle of Kahula, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel. Please pass this on to those whom you think might be in need of inner peace. THANK YOU

My Fifteen Seconds of Fame

Stephanie, aka The Yarn Harlot, did not have the same issues with posting pictures today that I did. She blogged about her visit to Chi-town and, if you look closely at second last picture of her post, c'est moi! I have to make the obligatory comment that I hate the picture of me (and all my chins). It shows me that a life of fame is probably not my destiny. The Yarn Harlot has even been to Brandon, Manitoba where my family lives. Home of the Wheat Kings and scarce little else. Of course, we did host the Canada Winter Games when I was in grade ten in 1979 (we even got off school for them), and my dance troupe and I performed at the opening in front of the then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau by soft-shoeing on snow shoes. My other brush with a famous Canadian. Ah, fame, she is fickle, is she no? As to knitting content, I'm frogging Branching Out for the fourth (?) time, so I can't discuss that painful subject. I've cast on for a fun felted bag for one of my pals because my sewing skills are laughable. No really, they are. Pictures to follow. And check out Mim's website 'cause her to DIE FOR patterns are all on sale!!! She rocks. I'm so going to knit one of her shawls one of these days (when I graduate from Branching Out), and I'm so using some of Susie's yarn.

I Meet the Yarn Harlot (and Other Happenings on the Way)

***Look for this if you want to skip my VERY long intro and just read about the Harlot. Sorry the pics are so big; I transferred them in from photobucket, and I don't know how to resize them. Yesterday was the day! I grabbed my packages (to pay it forward as Mama-E suggested), took my Yahoo!maps directions and headed for Beverly "Also known as Beverly Hills--The community, once part of Washington Heights, was annexed by the city of Chicago in 1890". It took me almost two hours to get there because of faulty directions and construction on 95th Street, but I gave myself plenty of time. I found a parking spot right by the 99th Street Metra Station. Walden Parkway has the cutest little grouping of stores (pinch-its-cheeks-cute), and My Sister's Knits is no exception.
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I should have taken better photos of the store, but I'll leave it to you to visit Carol (who is a nurse) and her one-year old store with its bright yellow paint, vintage posters, and "Don't make me get my flying monkeys" sign. As an aside, why are so many nurses also knitters or yarn-shop owners? My guess is that they decided to use sharp needles for humanitarian reasons rather than inflicting pain or, more likely, they had to find a productive use for sharp needles or some doctors or patients were going to get stabbed in the eye. My DH says knitting is all about channeling anger; maybe he's right. Anyhoo, I waited in the LYS for the arrival of the other redhead who was meeting me there. She walked in, and is it weird to say that I already felt like we knew each other and were friends, so it was like getting together again? We shopped a bit, exchanged gifts
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(She gave me a COOL pin and scrapbook!! I gave her red Cascade Fixation yarn and Trek's Grown Up Wonky Lace Socks pattern which I'm dying to make), got directions to the "talk" and decided to stop at the coffee shop across the street to wait for the Harlot. Off to Cafe Luna.
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Cute little restaurant. Remember Phoebe's sister, Ursula on Mad About You? Well, we had her last night. I'm not making this up.
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Bonnie ordered a strawberry salad. About ten minutes later, the waitress comes up to her (there were about four people in the cafe) and said, "Did you order the strawberry salad?" Bonnie said she did. Ursula: "Well, we don't have any strawberries." Bonnie: "What else is on the salad?" It had been so long since she ordered she could't remember. Ursula: Blank look, goes looking for menu. Bonnie tells her she'll have the salad anyway, and several more minutes go by. Waitress returns with Bonnie's salad (minus the strawberries). She looks at me. "What did you order?" Me: "Chicken salad." Ursula: "Oh, yeah." She goes in the back and returns about ten minutes later. "Did you get your chicken salad?" Me: "Not yet." Wondering who was supposed to bring it to me--the chicken salad fairy? Finally the chicken salad arrives. Meanwhile, Bonnie and I have struck up a convo with other pilgrims on the road to the Harlot. The lovely and talented Tammany and her talented and handsome husband Matthew. I'm sure they'll share their challenges in finding Beverly on their respective blogs; it was a treat to meet them. They experienced the Ursula as well.
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Bonnie and I had a lovely time getting to know each other in spite of the Ursula and B's blown-out flip flop.
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We decided to order some coffee to go, because it was getting close to time for the YH to speak. B went and ordered and paid, and about ten minutes later, Ursula came over. Ursula: "Did you get your coffee?" Bonnie and me: "Um, no, not yet." Again, the coffee fairy? Huh? On to the next adventure: finding the park district building where the Yarn Harlot would be speaking on the second floor without the benefit of Air Conditioning. (Maybe I'd get to see the unintentional country singer hair).
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Bonnie was barefoot, and we admired the beautiful homes on the street.
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We arrived, heard laughter, and knew that SHE had begun speaking. We found a seat, Bonnie pulled out her Jaywalker sock, and away we went. What can I say about Stephanie that hasn't been said? Funny, incisive, naughty, approachable, did I say funny?, real. I looked around the room at the women (and 1.4 men) and I felt a part of something really special.
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I noticed all types of knitting going on--socks, lace, entrelac scarf, what looked to be an MDK bib or warshrag. No sweaters that I could tell--too hot. The Harlot showed us her Knitting Olympics sweater (even the inside). FABU. And then people started asking her what else she had with her--a little bit (no a lot) prying into her life like she belongs to us. And she assented with such grace. What I walked away with is several funny replies to how much yarn I have, a couple of willie warmer jokes, and a sense that we all love this thing called knitting because it loves us--it connects us to ourselves and each other and nature and life itself. I learned something from seeing SP-M in person that I haven't learned on her blog: She lights up a room with her smile. I'm not sucking up (okay, I am, but I really mean it). I hear the smile in her writing and catch it in some of the pics on her blog, but it's power-packed in person. She finished her talk, headed back to the yarn store, and we followed after, chatting with some other knit-friends.
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We met up with the spinning/knitting whiz/cutie pie Sarah and her lovely mom, Mary. Sarah comes from a family of spinners/knitters (mom and grandma). She also works at Knitche and shared some great info on the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival held on Mother's Day weekend in Lake Elmo, MN. What better way to spend Mother's Day? Bonnie and I walked back to the LYS and got at the end of the line, out the door and down the sidewalk. I wish I had a picture of the young man who walked by across the street and couldn't stop staring at us. You could see his mind going, "WTF?" Very funny. I amused myself by watching others knit and taking pictures of the scenery.
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The 99th street station was built the same year Beverly was annexed to the City of Chicago and is still operational. Someone was selling TSF buttons, so of course I bought one. My nefarious plan to be at the end of the line worked until we were almost up to the Harlot's table, but the sweet girl who got in line behind us agreed to go ahead--she didn't have my agenda. Almost to the YH! And we chat with this nice young lady (forgot to ask her name), another red-head, who works at Nina and was helping Carol out because Nina and Carol are friends. Bonnie's beautiful daughter, Natalie, who saw our fellow RH at Nina pronounced her "cool." I agree.
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***(Welcome to those of you who bailed on the rest of my witty writing.) And now the moment you've all been waiting for--drum roll please--we advanced to the front of the line. After the lady making argyle sock pirate jokes, after the other RH climbing up to the top shelf and almost knocking the books off, there she was. Check out Bonnie's post for the pic I took of her with the Harlot. Then it was my turn. I gave her the yarn that Susie made.
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She opened it and loved it (and remembered Susie--that woman has an amazing memory). I was overjoyed to hear her say she has been looking for the perfect yarn for the Peacock shawl (we all know it and want to make it, don't we?) and now her search was over. I was almost in tears.
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And then, you aren't going to believe this, the Yarn Harlot stood up (ignoring the phone that had rung 700 times--her teenagers calling to ask her where the blue pants are--from another country?), grabbed her camera, handed me Susie's yarn and shoved something into my other hand. I looked down. It was THE sock!
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I touched THE sock. I held THE sock. The one that Peter Elkas (yum) touched, the one that has adventured with SP-M all over creation. My work on earth is done. Okay, that's a bit over the top, but if Stephanie posts pictures on her blog of her day in Chi-town (she did), I'm the one with the goofy smile on her face (and the double chin, gak.) Bonnie and I left My Sister's Knits (Carol throws a great party and has cool business cards)
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and headed north to Lincoln Park. What a beautiful drive! I wish I could have taken photos of the city as we drove toward it and into it. Cellular Field, the Sears Tower, I love Chicago. I dropped Bonnie off at her cute brownstone in Lincoln Park. I'm definitely going back because that is the cutest section of Chicago. Then home, which took forever, because seven lanes of traffic had to merge to one on I-88. I was so hungry after that, I did something I haven't done in forever, I hit the drive-thru at McDonald's at 11:30p.m. I decided not to feel guilty because the premise of the Yarn Harlot's talk was that knitting is a sport. And if knitting's a sport, that makes me an athlete. And if I'm an athlete, I need to build up my strength, don't I?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Project Spectrum Cartoon of the Day

Here's a blast from the past: Grape Ape. Could a cartoon be stupider?
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Sunday, July 23, 2006

We're Off to See the Yarn Harlot

The wonderful Yarn Harlot of ON. Woo hoo! Tomorrow is the big day! What knitting shall I take? What shall I wear? I'm so nervous!! Phunkyknitter and I get to meet the Yarn Harlot! And I have a surprise for her too. I'll tell you, but don't tell her. Shhhh! It's a secret. Here's what Susie made and I'm delivering. To die for. (By the way, stop by and wish Susie quick healing for her sore back.) I am making the big sacrifice in not keeping it to myself. May the YH knit with it in joy and peace and make it the thing of beauty that it deserves to be. I'm so looking forward to meeting Stephanie who inspires me in so many ways, and I'm also looking forward to meeting B, the Phunkyknitter, whom I've come to know through the knog-osphere. What a wonderful thing to make friends through the internet and then get a chance to meet in person! I'm so happy! I even have a babysitter for my son (who is NOT happy--thinks he's too big--thinks he wants to come with me--NOT!). And my baby ABC left me today for at least a week to go stay with her cousin. I'm feeling a little lost without her. Just like I felt last week when my boy went off to camp. He's back, and is it possible that he left a little boy and came back a big one? I think so. Thanks to those of you who are leaving answers for the contest. I'll keep it open until Saturday to give more of my 2.3 readers a chance to respond.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Lending a Hand

Check out Dorothy's blog (thanks for the link PBnJ!) and see her GORGEOUS yarn. She is giving some of it away in a contest for helping out some friends in need. It's wonderful to have a passion which can be used to help others, isn't it? So much better for the world than cheek-chewing, n'est-ce pas?

400 posts!

I saw that my last post was my 400th. Huzzah me! In honor of my prolificosity, I want to have my first contest. So here it is. Tell me five things you've learned about me from reading my blog (if you know me in the three-dimensional world, you have to use info only from the blog too).* And don't try to butter me up with "divinely beautiful, incredibly talented, should be married to the guy from the Rowan book." Yes, those are true, but you need just the facts, ma'am. Post them in the comments section or email me wolindaATmacDOTcom. I'll take all entries, put them in a cup and have my loverly assistant (aka ABC) pull a name out. Let's end the contest on Tuesday, July 25th, AYH (After Yarn Harlot). The winner shall receive a skein of yarn of my choosing. I must dig through my stash to find the perfect one. I promise it won't be Red Heart (don't have any) or Fun Fur (unless you like it). Or, if you aren't a knitter, I shall find some swag to brighten your day. And thanks to all of you who leave commnents. You truly are the highlight of my day. I love each and every one of you and count you as friend. Here's to 400 more!!! **Please mom and fam, no Bay City Roller stories or any of the family jokes of stupid things I've said and done. Remember I'M the one with the blog, and I can and will find unflattering photos of you to post on the internet.

Thought for the Day

There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost. Martha Graham, quoted in Leigh Radford's book Alterknits.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Chicago Sights--It Was Magnificent, Thank You

Yesterday was the long awaited trip to American Girl. My niece L, my sister-in-law, ABC and I celebrated L's tenth birthday in fine style. It rained on the way into the city from the 'burbs, but the sun came out just as we arrived in Chicago. We parked in one of the city's many garages, came out, went 'round the corner, and there was American Girl! We were thrilled. We shopped, then walked around Michigan Avenue stopping at the fountain by the Water Tower and (my favorite spot) the Fourth Presbyterian Church. The girls were thrilled with it and took tons of pictures. I'm so glad for churches that leave their doors open as sanctuary--for the tourist seeking historic gothic architecture, the hurting heart seeking peace or the homeless person seeking a quiet place to rest. Our next stop was the Hershey store where Miss ABC won a free cupcake for being the loudest. Hmmmm, there's a surprise. Let's reinforce that, shall we? Then we jetted back to AG for a birthday tea. What a fun time! And L, whose party it was, bought ABC a doll. What a nice cousin and what a fun day! Thanks, L and K!