Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Meet Pod!

Last night this guy surprised me with an Ipod for our anniversary. He has had one since they first came out but I never thought I would want one. Then, I joined the gym and started thinking that I might need one. I am not always able to get a treadmill or eliptical with the personal tv screen and if I am there in the afternoon, Dr. Phil, Oprah and Jerry Springer just don't help me to stay one - in fact, they make me wish I could fall off and get caught in the machine! Of course he has spent the day adding songs for me. I am a soundtrack junkie. Mostly 'cause I hate to listen to the same person for an hour but also because it gives me a chance to sample new kids on the block. I develoved a thing for Keith Urban thanks to the "How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days" soundtrack. I've never been a big country & western fan but lately I seem to like their songs. Maybe it is because a lot of what is played on the radio today is crap. Let's face it, guys like Aerosmith, Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi have to keep going just so guys like NSync can't take over the world. I'm still trying to figure out who told Brittany and Jessica they could sing :-)

In between playing games of Solitaire on my Ipod I did manage to do a little knitting. I finished off the hat that was supposed to go to Ms. Hannah. Ummm, it fits me. The pattern said it was for a newborn so I cast on more stitches to make it fit a 3 year old. I tried washing it to see if it would shrink but no go. So, I am giving it to a 21 year old girl (yes, the hat is really cute for any age) instead. If she doesn't like it she can pass it to her 16 year old sister. I have more of the pink yarn so I will make another one for Hanny and go smaller this time. The pattern is the Anna hat from Jimmy Beans Wool.

I am also making one in the same yellow yarn that was used for the baby sweater. I think it will make a cute hat for a little one.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Quote

I love quotes. I am starting my Friday Quote of the Day today. Actually, this one is from yesterday but still thought provoking..."The intelligent man is one who has successfully fulfilled many accomplishments, and is yet willing to learn more." Ed Parker. It reminds me of a former boss - he had accomplished much in his life and yet he still had a quest for learning. I loved doing research for him He would see a sign and wonder what it meant or what the business did and he would have me research it for him. I learned a lot from him. He never treated people badly - he didn't believe in talking down to anyone despite their status in life in comparison to his. I probably would have stayed longer if the two assistants over me had been more like him!

The Olympics are nearly over - YEAH! I am so tired of making bears. Remind me of this in two years when the summer games start. Here is a photo of the bear family...

They turned out pretty cute, I think. Much better than the first one I completed :-) The other night I started on a hat for SOS kid No. 3. It will match a sweater I finished last month (but still haven't sent). LOL! Anyway, I was working on it at lunch the other day and somehow screwed up. I figured out where I had messed and fixed it in the row. Well, turns out I had actually made the boo-boo somewhere back a few rows. Either that or I hadn't screwed up at all and the fix was really the screw up. Didya get that? So, I had to frog last night and start over. This yarn is really designed for a size 9 needle but I am using 7 so that it will have a tighter stitch and be a little warmer. After all, they do live in the frozen tundra otherwise known as Maine. Mrs. SOS's mom emailed yesterday and asked if I missed the snow. Didn't even have to think about that one - yesterday I went to lunch and thought it was a little chilly out - IT WAS 75.

We are having rain AGAIN! Actually, it is just dreary. I hope the rain holds off until after dinner. We are heading to Ruth's Chris for our anniversary dinner and I don't want to be sopping wet. This is what a rainy day brings to our household...AnnabelleBaxter

Pretty good life, doncha think? Baxter likes to lay under my chair and keep my feet warm. Annabelle likes to guard the front windows from intruders, stray dogs and butterflies. Calvin likes to be outside enjoying the cool weather.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Just had to share

Elann has a new wool coming today. It is lightweight and superwash! I am only $7 away from getting my $50 coupon so I think I will order just enough to get me over the edge and then reorder tomorrow. I love the Oriental Red for a Clapotis which will go to a friend. I have also ordered a scarf book which should be arriving this week and I think this yarn would make some fabulous scarves. I could knock out next Christmas with one order. I am near my 3000 yard goal for the Yarn Rangers so I think this order will be acceptable. After all, it is 202 yards per skein at $3.98 each. Can't beat that!!!!! The friend is rarely the recipient of gifts as the mostly go to her children. I think she deserves something nice since she has managed to raise three, happy, healthy, well-behaved, drug-free, Christian children. Not an easy task since one has been argumentative since birth.

Back to work I must go. It is only 10:21 a.m. and already I am dreaming of 5:00 p.m. Actually, I am dreaming of lunch. For some reason I have been craving milkshakes for the past two days. At Yoga last night all I could do was think about a chocolate shake from Mickey D's. Since I only had $0.50 to my name I drove home, cleaned out the change jar and then drove to the Golden Arches around the corner from my house. Is that desperation or what?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blog is fixed

Somehow I screwed up my blog. Don't know how...didn't touch anything. Since work is a little slow today (ok, I am screwing around and not working) I decided to try and fix it. After copying all of my links and deleting the last post I reloaded the template. Turns out I didn't need to do all that! I just needed to make my photos smaller. Go figure. When I took out the photo of the baby sweater it all went right. Now I have to reload the photos from yesterday but will have to wait until I am home. Lesson learned!

Last night I finished sewing the last of the bears. Glad the Olympics are almost over 'cause I sure am bored with that project. I made this guy on smaller needles and he didn't felt as well. Since I was running low on yarn I made him a striped scarf. I did manage to get his ears to curl in though. Since his nose didn't felt much it is a little big for his face. These bears are truly unique!

While waiting for Sasha Cohen to FINALLY skate last night I cast on for a hat to make the sweater going to the 3 year old. The pattern is from Jimmy Beans Wool. It was written for a baby so I just cast on an extra 20 stitches so that it will fit a 3 year old head. It is such a cute pattern. I am doing it in Plymouth Encore since I don't think my friend is up for caring for the Lorna's Laces used in the pattern.

Rain Rain Go Away

It has been very cold and rainy here for the weekend. While I realize that we need the rain, I am ready for it to move on. Plus, I doubt the drizzly stuff has had much affect on the water levels. Our house has one major flaw - they put carpet right up to the back door. It doesn't matter how many feet you have, it is going to get messy. We have tried extra rugs but our door is very well insulated and the seals go all the way to the floor. We have tried outside mats but they just get wet too. So, I have towels spread on the floor to try and catch at least some of the feet coming through. You see, my Annabelle is part pig. We always knew she was mixed and finally figured out it was PIG. When she was about 3 months old she figured out that water was a cool toy. There she was at 40 pounds, playing in her swimming pool when she realized that water should not be contained. She managed to pull up on the edge of the kiddie pool and dump all of the water onto the ground. She would then get her big brother and her foster brother to chase her all around the pile of mud. She stayed with a friend one weekend and managed to pull the plug out of their Little Tikes pool, spilling water all over the yard. Then, she got their two German Shepards to chase her through the mud, with the plug in her mouth. When we picked her up, she was black!!!!! Our friends had already bathed her the first two days but gave up after that. Thankfully it was a quick drive home. Our only girl is a tomboy and the two boys are prissy! Calvin hates getting his feet wet and Baxter likes to groomed. Go figure.

With all the yucky weather over the weekend I had time to do a lot of knitting. I finished bear No. 3 but I still need to stuff and sew him. I also made him a striped scarf. Then, I made a poncho for Caleigh's American Girl doll (although she has about 8 of them, so I guess I need to make more) and I dyed some yarn in Kool Aid and I think I will use that for doll sweaters.
The yarn is neat grape and ice blue colors. I am thinking of using them together actually. Oh, please excuse the ghetto fab-u-lus way of drying the yarn.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Even bears need to be warm

As Franz was felting yesterday I was thinking about how cold it was outside and glad that I don't live in Maine, where the bears are going. That thought led me to making them some scarves. Here are the boys, posing with my Baby Baxter. I screwed up the red one during the sewing process. I accidentally left the stuffing hole in the front instead of the back. That meant I had to turn him around making his ears "not quite right". Then, as I sat down to sew on his extremities I realized that I had used all of the red yarn on the scarf. I found a small ball of Gjestal that is a similar color but I can see the difference. Sorry the picture isn't better. Baxter was too busy watching me. When he finally looked at the camera he got up, knocking the bears to the floor. Baxter is the best poser we have. Annabelle is too curious about the camera and thinks she must protect us from it by licking it. Calvin just doesn't care. He doesn't care to please us - in fact, we were put here to serve him. Here they are - we caught them during a moment of sleep.



We are having very stange weather. On Thursday it was near 90 and yesterday and today have brought freezing rain. I am sooooo ready for spring. Bring on the heat baby.

Friday, February 17, 2006


It doesn't take much to thrill me these days. My co-worker just got back from Acapulco and she brought me this great bag which will now hold my knitting stuff. I have a basket for ongoing projects so this will serve as the travel bag.

I always knew that you get more flies with honey but this week I proved it. I ordered business cards nearly a month ago from Office Max. They were only supposed to take 5-7 business days. Needless to say, 3 phone calls and 1 stop in later, they still weren't here. Finally, I got through to someone who cared about their job. He not only got them to me in 2 days but also gave me 20% off for my patience. If I had yelled and screamed at him, I likely wouldn't have gotten anything but a hard time the next time I went in.

I also had a problem with the florist this week. The flowers my husband sent for Valentine's Day had drooped by the next day. When I contacted the florist I found out that they had changed suppliers and had experienced a lot of problems with this particular rose. A new arrangment showed up yesterday with a card of apology and the arrangement is ever better than the one DH picked out. If I had been nasty to the clerk I probably would have just gotten a few roses tossed onto my front stoop.
First Flowers
Second Flowers

But, back to the happy stuff. I ventured to the LYS yesterday in search of a pattern for a bolero/shrug. Well, they didn't have much in the way of patterns but they did have this great sock yarn. I have been eyeing it for a while and finally broke down and purchased. While I was there I asked about the famed Eucalan and was told that they no longer carried it because it would just get lost in all the stuff they have there (amongst the books from the 1960's which are still for sale).
Isn't it pretty! I also picked up some of these...

In the world of dogs mine had its ups and downs yesterday. On Wednesday I was contacted that Annie, a former foster dog, had run away from home. She had run off into the woods with her leash trailing behind her. Her family had combed the woods all night long. Annie is special in that she has battled Demodex and its treatment for nearly a year. She also has a horrible flea allergy and was obviously abused at some point. Yesterday I drove over to their house with the plan of trapsing through the woods calling her name. I pulled into the driveway and could see the dogs were outside. As I walk up I realize that there are in fact 2 white heads staring at me. Annie was home! However, as I am standing there, one of those big white bodies hoists itself over the fence and comes running at me. Now, I am not the least bit afraid of dogs, but I have also never encountered a 110 pound dog protecting its home! I start telling Lacy to go home or else I am going to call her mom. I head to my car and call her mom who starts laughing at this whole scene and tells me that Lacy will in fact, go right back where she came from. I drive home thinking it is a good day. I have treasures, I have flowers, I have business cards and I still have time for the gym. Wouldn't last, wouldn't you know it. Another call that another Pyr has gone missing this time near a very busy road and without collar or tags. I put in calls to the necessary authorities and spend the night worrying that Manny has found his way on to a ranch and been shot (yep, they do that here). Today I contacted a matching agency and what do you know...a local vet who also has Pyrs has picked one up along the road and has him at his office. However, I can't go get this dog because...I have never seen him and won't know if it is in fact Manny. So, here I sit waiting for his foster mom to call.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Meet Hans

Olympic bear No. 2 is complete and I have named him Hans. The little green bear is now named Pea since DH says he looks like pea soup. This bear has turned out a lot better since I figured out the directions. Thanks to Yvette for patience and guidance in that whole shoulder thing. Thanks to Hillary for help with the arms at tonight's SnB. At one point his arm was coming out of the front of his ribcage (that's if he had a ribcage). Someone asked what exactly was in my coffee :-) Bear No. 3 was started at lunch today. I have not named her yet; it will come to me eventually. She is going to be done in burgandy bagged wool from Elann. I am anxious to see her take shape.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What the...?

Yep, that is what people will say when they see this little treasure. This is my first Olympic Bear. Yes, he is jacked up. The pattern was a little tough to understand and even our resident expert at SnB was confused. I am working on bear No. 2 in some of the bagged wool from Elann. This guy is going to be felted in hopes that will provide a little forgiveness to the maker. I have this guy propped against a wine glass for the photo and really, he looks like his maker had been dipping into the wine glass during construction.

I have also managed to finish the baby sweater for baby SOS. I hope they like it. If you look closely you will see that I need to work on A) carrying multiple strands of yarn and B) seams. It's all a learning process my friends...all a learning process.

"What the...?" also applies to a conversation I had today with a worker at the LYS. Keep in mind, I have a long-running love/hate relationship with the LYS. I love the owner but hate that they refuse to enter the 21st century. I love that they have nice yarns but hate that they are not open nights or Sundays. Most of their employees are, well, let's just say, experienced in life. Anyway, I called looking for Eucalan and here is a replay of my conversation with the Octogenarian who answered.

Me: Yes ma'am, do ya'll carry Eucalan?

Octogenarian: WHAT?
Me: Do you carry Eucalan?
Octogenarian: No, we don't have that brand.
Me: Well, do you carry another brand that is similar?
Octogenarian: Similar?
Me: Yes, another brand of wool wash that is similar to Eucalan.
Octogenarian: No, all we have are some brands of the Superwash wools.
Me: Ok...

How can someone work in a yarn shop and not know about a wool wash. Needless to say, I will not be spending the $2.00 on a tank of gas but instead will spend $5.00 on postage.

I wish I could say that the stupidity ended there today but then my boss showed up so it really was just starting. I was already cranky from amassing a total of 2 hours of sleep last night so I was finding it hard to not throw things at him. I have been on Naprosyn for 3 weeks now for tendonitis in my shoulder. Seems as though this little pill which bring much relief also has quite a few side effects, most of which I have experienced. The strangest is the "dream abnormalities". I have had the strangest dreams for the past week. Last night's ended with me waking up while kicking my dog/husband (they all sort of blended there). Thankfully, neither one seemed to care. I don't think I will be tackling bear No. 2 tonight - it's off to dreamland for me!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

It's not your parents coffee

Today I was waiting in line at the Starbucks and looking around at all the folks drinking coffee. I was thinking about how cool it would have been to have a place like that while I was in college. My town had a 24-hour truck stop and I never would have thought to go there and study. It also got me thinking about how our parents always told us that coffee was a "grown ups drink" and that it would stunt our growth. Of course they took our coffee away while allowing us to eat paint chips, ride in a car without seat belts and talk to strangers on the street. In the grand scheme of things, coffee seems pretty harmless and not quite the rite of passage our parents had thought.

Oh wait, I'm supposed to be talking about knitting. Let's see, I found some little buttons for the baby sweater (of course I forgot to buy camera batteries while I was out) and will pop those on tonight. They are little yellow flowers - pretty cute if I do say so myself. I started my Olympic project last night - a bear. The body of the first one is done and, well, it is a little strange looking. I hope that the addition of a face and arms will help. I also meant to get stuffing while I was out but forgot that too. Ok, Charley was in the car so my trip into the fabric store had to be short and sweet.

Speaking of fabric stores...they had some ugly ass stuff in there! The beautiful fabrics were tucked into a corner and the hideous stuff was right up front. Maybe they were hoping someone would steal it :-) They did have the best button collection that I have found yet.

Let's hope I am able to publish this. Blogger has been down for the last 2 times that I have logged on. UGH!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Oh Baby, Oh Baby!

I finished up the baby sweater yesterday and wanted to take a pic but the battery was dead in the camera. Wouldntcha know it! I ventured off to the H.E.B, our local monopoly, oops, I mean grocery store, only to discover that they had t-shirts, underwear, pots n pans but not the kind of battery I needed. Since the temp was dropping and the wind was not, I decided to forgo a trek to the Target, even though it was just a few stores down. I will have to send DH there tomorrow. The sweater is just darn cute, if I do say so myself. It is done in Knit Picks Shine & Shine cotton on size 6 needles. The pattern is from Knitting for Babies. I still have to search for buttons but I think I may just order them online, especially since I have another sweater looming on the horizon.

So, what is everyone knitting for the Olympics? I have cast on a bear from the book noted above. I plan to make an entire family of them. Should be easy since I am almost halfway done with the first one in just an hours time. I have a lot of small amounts of yarn to use up and this will be just the solution.

I'm not a big Olympic watcher (watching someone go head first down a hill of snow doesn't do it for me!) but I do watch the opening ceremonies and the ice skating. IMHO, holding someone over your head while balancing on 2 thin blades is a true talent. I have been watching the Today show this week as they are live from Torino and I have to ask...WHO IN THE HELL CAME UP WITH THE HAT WITH BRAIDS ATTACHED! The Swiss Miss girl called and she wants her hair back. Al Roker tried one on this morning and he looked an overweight Rasta. NOT a good look.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm in a triangle kind of mood

I finally did the stitching on Triangle last night. Oh my aching fingers! If you have ever tried to sew into felted fabric you know what I mean. Honestly, if we forced Sadam to do that he would give up Osama on the first pass through. Oh great, now someone from the NSA is going to read this and come looking for me. But, I digress (which I tend to do a lot these days). After stitching the top I realized that there was no way in hell I was stitching the straps as called for (oh, who am I kidding, I knew all along I wasn't going to do that). I really tried to make Mickey look like a flower and be of some use but it just wasn't cutting it; besides, that would have meant a lot more stitching for me. Instead I just used my little button and put it in the center of the bag so it would show up. Not too shabby even with the elf feet. After viewing Susan's the other night I realized just how badly I had screwed up the bottom. At 9:30 on a Sunday night I decided to try and make it right. I stitched up the corners the best I knew how (afterall, I don't sew!!!) and ran it through the wash for a 4th time. Fortunately it didn't shed any more fur because the bag was close to being bald! It did shrink a little more on the top but I blocked it on a shoebox to stretch it out. I think I will use it tomorrow!

So, I have been searching for a great baby hat pattern. Yep, easier said than done. Most patterns call for some sort of wool or are a frilly (or old ladyish) bonnet. Who are these people? Most babies are too sensitive for wool. Have they never heard of a baby being born in the summer? And, the "bonnet" idea is just too 1940's for me and most of my friends. This is for the 4th baby of a good friend. She doesn't have time to handwash baby clothes! This poor girl barely has time for a shower each day! Some days she actually lets her kids play in the mud puddles at the end of the street just so she can have a few minutes of peace and quiet. So, I have nixed the whole hat idea (and booties too because I have yet to find a child who will keep them on) and am making a few stuffed bears out of the leftover cotton yarn. Just so the older kids don't feel left out, they will get some larger bears out of scrap wool yarn and perhaps I will felt it. I have decided that this will be my Olympics project (unofficially). I will be seaming the sweater tomorrow since I am not working. I have to have daylight to see the stitches - yes, I know that bifocals are right around the corner.

Speaking of working. Have you ever noticed that just when you think you are doing a good job someone yells at you. Or, when you think you are royally screwing up, no one notices? Been that kind of week. You see, I am a secretary at a large engineering firm who happens to have the CEO from hell. I occasionally fill in for his assistant since she sits right across from me. I have been her helper for 2 years now. Anyway, she is on vacation this week and fortunately so is the Big Cheese. However, vacation has not stopped him from calling me 3x a day to ask "is anyone looking for me?". Let me stop and tell you something - NO ONE IS EVER LOOKING FOR HIM! He only gets calls when he makes them first! But I love the people who suddenly think they are important because they are asked to handle a task for the CEO. One lady has the job of setting out coffee on Friday morning and you would think she had been asked to serve coffee to the Pope!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

FO's in the house

And a UFO too! I finished up Wavy yesterday. I was nearly done and managed to stay awake until midnight last night to finish it. Of course, I will not be wearing it anytime soon as it has been in the 70's here. A few specs on this little darling... I used Blue Sky Alpaca sport in 2 different shades of pink/purple (2 skeins each) which I purchased at Hill Country Weavers last fall. They also have it at our Yarn Barn but not the same shades. Needles were size 5. This yarn is yummy! It knits up so nice and soooo soft. Their color selection on this yarn is incredible-27 shades!

I am also nearly finished with the first of two baby sweaters. This little one is due to arrive in May so I decided on a cotton from Knit Picks. This is my friend, Kim's fourth kid - yep, you read that right. It is supposed to be a girl but we all know how that goes. I really like the yellow/green combination. The pattern is the Harvard Stripe Sweater from the book Knitting for Baby. I may have a problem with the sleeves though. When I did the decreases for the front they ended up longer than the 10" called for in the pattern. I just made the back a little longer to match the fronts. Now, in doing the sleeves I am worried that I won't have enough stitches to match the armholes. Not a huge deal if I don't - I can always take out the bind off and increase a few more times. But, I won't know until I start to seam. Anyway, I did it on size 4's and 6's, in a garter stitch. And, of course I still have to add the button band on the front and neck. I am hoping for sleeve No. 2 today as well as finishing the backstitching on Triangle.

Friday, February 03, 2006

It's a Brenda Kind of Day

I was driving around yesterday thinking that it was the exact kind of day my mom always loved. Bright, sunny, warm; the kind where you open the windows and drive with the top down; the kind where you think everything in the world is going to be ok; the kind that gives you hope for spring and you feel renewed. She died almost 14 years ago but days like yesterday and today make me realize she is still with me, just in my heart. I was reading a magazine the other day and the article was "Are you like your mother?". I started thinking and realized that I am a lot like her but I am more of the person she always wanted to be. I am independent, able to take care of myself, I know when to stand up and when to stay back and I know who I am. I have a husband that I love, but he doesn't define me or control me. I have goals and I don't let anyone tell me that I can't accomplish them. We are very different in one category - housekeeping! My mom vacuumed nearly every day and now my husband does it once a week. I sit here looking at dust and it doesn't really bother me; she would have running for the Pledge!

On to knitting news. I finished the Triangle bag. Well, sort of. I felted it 2x last night and this morning decided that it needed one more go. Here it is blocking. I had seamed the bottom corners into the bag as instructed but they didn't hold and popped out about 5 minutes into the first wash. I will have to tack them again after it dries. I am a little disappointed in the way the Cascade 220 felted. It is quite hairy. I've never had yarn felt so hairy before.

Now, you might ask why Mickey Mouse is in this photo. Well, that is the flower after felting. I am glad I bought the cool button at Hill Country Weavers. I think it is going to be very cute once it is dry but not as cute as Susan's. At least now people at Stitch n Bitch won't make fun of us for dressing alike.