Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Top Pals and Secret Chefs

I signed up for Secret Pal 8 today! I am very excited about this. It is so cool to meet new people from all across the world. I hope I get to spoil someone really cool. I kind of hope that I get someone who is NOT a yarn snob. It would be a great chance to turn someone to a yarn they have never used before or give them something they would not ordinarily buy for themself. Afterall, isn't that what gift giving is all about? If you haven't seen the results of SP7, check out Susan's blog.

Did you happen to catch Top Chef last night? I loved the part where they had to make an edible meal from the convenience store. The sign of a good chef is the ability to make a great meal out of very little. I love watching Steven's facial expressions - it is just like watching Andre on Project Runway. I don't really want him to win but I hope they keep him around just for the drama. Kandice nailed it on the head when she called him "a tool and a douchebag". I think Lee Ann is going to win. She is managing to fly under the radar - not winning or losing too many challenges. Runner up will probably be Tiffani as long as she doesn't have to cook for kids again!

That is it for today kids. DH is at a formal affair tonight so I have dinner, dish and dog duty. Annabelle is staring at me and grumbling which indicates that I am past due for the meal preparation. She is taking it out on Baxter's head! Oh, Baxter went to the vet today for his yearly exam and he had the best time. He was very intrigued by the whole sunroof idea! He is such a funny little guy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Oh Derek!

I have been trying to watch Regis and Kelly this morning finally had to turn it off. The guest co-host is the chick who is dating Derek Jeter. I LOVE DEREK JETER! He is so beautiful! But, I am now very disappointed in him. After dating Mariah Carey I thought he would have developed a little more class. While this girl is attractive, she is also the host of MTV's TRL. Oh Please! Why can't these guys find a nice attractive Doctor, Lawyer or someone with a few additional brain cells. Honestly, this is no better than Johnny Damon who ditched his wife for the stripper.

Yesterday I stopped by the Sephora to look at new perfume and I was taken back to my younger years. In college, I worked the cosmetics counter at my local JC Penney. In my small town in Maine, JC Penney was the best store we had. Our competitors were Sears and Kmart. Anyway, I tried a new one by Cacharel and was reminded of my favorite perfume in high school, Anais Anais. I started thinking about how the hicks in my town would just slaughter the name of that perfume. I heard everything from Anay Anay to Anus Anus. This was a town that horded bottles of Jean Nate and Chantilly after all. And they couldn’t even get the Jean Nate correct. Most of the time it was Jean Natee. Chanel was another big challenge for them. As you probably guessed, it was always called Channel. So, if these were challenges, you can just imagine what Estee Lauder brought. I still have to correct my father on a regular basis – especially when he tells people he has a Movadado watch. Needless to say, I won’t be buying him Tag Heuer anytime soon.

I realize that I don’t write that much about my knitting. I guess it is because my knitting just isn’t all that exciting. You will never find technical instructions on how to make a fancy schmancy sweater here. Call me lazy but I prefer to have someone else do all that for me. I do knit though. Quite regularly as a matter of fact. I did manage to get through 6 straight row repeats on the Clapotis this weekend. I also did a few rows on the shrug but the yarn is killing me. And, knitting on size 4’s is just downright tedious. The yarn has a gorgeous drape and sheen but splits more than the ends of a Tennessee mullet. I have decided that I am done with the baby blanket. I just need to knit a few more rows on it to bring the pattern back to the border and then I will wash and send off. The baby sweater is still on the blocking boards and I hope to get to it this week. I do need to go buy buttons and decide what color to make the edge trim. Since the baby is a boy I may go with the light blue since it was only used sporadically in the sweater and sort of blended in. See, here are the pictures to prove that I do in fact knit.


Baby Sweater



Thursday, March 16, 2006

To The Extreme

2 I must confess something to ya'll. When I do something, I do it all the way. No matter what it is. Crafts-I have a room filled with stamping, flower arranging, scrapbooking and now knitting items. I have not done the stamping, flower arranging or cross-stitch in 4 years but I still hold on; when I entertain, it is 5-star or nothing; bear collecting - again, I have rooms filled with bears. So, when I spend money, it is also to the extreme. I hate waiting for the things I want right now. This brings me to the sale at the Yarn Barn (no link, they don't have a website). Here are photos of my haul. The only yarn I actually purchased was the Blue Sky Alpaca in 2 different colors for a total of 8 skeins. If they would have had more I would have bought it (let's not get into why there wasn't more). These are 2 colors that are stash enhancing and will definitely be put to use - I hope before I get tired of knitting!

Doesn't he have the cutest face?

I also go to the extreme when I exercise. Not extreme sports mind you, I just don't know when to quit. I hate stretching because I want to get right down to it. Well, it paid me back today. I had to leave in the middle of my session on the eliptical because I had a charley horse in my ass. Yes, you read that correctly. I thought I could work through it but I decided to get off on my own before falling off and explaining to the very gorgeous guy who works there, that I could not walk due to a cramp in my ass! The laughter I got from my husband was enough to make me think about his reaction had he gotten the call from the gym! I did manage to walk most of it out and do the weights but it is back again. I do feel the only solution to this problem is for DH to order in some dinner, pour me some wine and let me finish off the Easter candy. Ok, I admit, I had a couple pieces of candy when I got home hoping it would take the edge off the pain. I am heading for the hard stuff though - Cadbury Eggs - Percoset for the soul!

My friend called on Monday to let me know the box of goodies had arrived and the bears were already making their way through the torture chamber known as the SOS kids. They are 6, 4 and 3! The sweater fits Miss H perfectly. Now that I have my new needles I can get to work on the shrug. I doubt I am going to be anywhere close to finishing the Clapotis by next Friday. Oh well, she is an understanding 21-year old. And, the new baby sweater can now be seamed as we know it is going to be a boy. Lots of work to do and not much time to do it. The realtor is coming tomorrow evening and I have to clean this sty, ooops, I mean house.

On the moving front... our lifestyle is going to be dramatically changed with that new mortgage. YIKES! The houses in the Hampton area are much smaller and higher in price - how can that be? Shouldn't you get what you pay for? DH's commander is trying to sell his place and it won't be available until summer. It is a decent size and built within the last decade. The price has just dropped to the higher end of our price range (much higher end!) and it is only minutes from base. We are having a friend do a drive by shooting this weekend. WITH A CAMERA!!!! Sheesh, we are not that kind of people!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Editor's note on yesterday's post

I think I should add... I was really wishing that Tim Gunn had run off with the purses from Daniel's collection. I was hoping they were buried with Al Capone and never to be seen again. Good grief those were hideous!

The other day I mentioned to the Elann group that I had lost a swatch of Austermann Barkarole. How I lost the swatch I have no idea but it is gone. Just Plain Gone! Well, I am now thinking that I must have ghosts in my house who are stealing my stuff in a plot to drive me insane. I have now lost my sunglasses. They were on my head yesterday while I was doing yardwork and they were on my head when I came inside. So, where are they now? Likely in a logical place like the freezer, pantry or laundry room. I am sure that I will find all of my missing objects when I unpack at our next house. Happens every time!!! Of course, living in South Texas means you need shades every day. So, I have been driving around with bare eyes, squinting at the sun and now I can see some crows feet starting. YIKES! I told DH that I need to go purchase a new pair because it will be cheaper than the Botox.

In knitting news...I have just realized that the new baby is coming in 2 months and I am not done with the blanket. I did really well finishing the bears and sweater for her siblings but now I need to get cracking on the blanket. My shrug is coming along but I may end up strangling someone with the Inox needles. They are way to slippery for this yarn and they are rough around the join that keeps catching on the yarn. I fully intend to purchase new bamboo ones when the LYS has its sale next weekend. If they don't have decent size 4 needles, they may be the ones who get strangled with the Inox. I am half way through with the increase section of Clapotis and I think it is going to be just the right width for a hip 21 year old. Oh yes, her birthday is later this month and I am no where near done. Oh well, 21 is the perfect age to learn that you don't always get things when you want them. LOL! I still haven't learned that lesson ;-)

Great new find (and it's not knitting related)...Rosemary potato chips. We discovered them at the Costco this afternoon. They are quite yummy and I could see myself eating the whole bag.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Reality Bites

Actually it doesn't, I just couldn't come up with a more creative title. I love reality tv. I like seeing how others live - call me voyeuristic but watching these shows has convinced me that I'm not so crazy after all. Let's face it, if these people will yell and scream at each other in front of the cameras, what do they do in private? And it shows the world that life isn't all Brady Bunch and Partridge Family!

I have read a couple of blogs that are upset about Chloe winning Project Runway. Not me. She was consistent throughout the whole show. Daniel was too but the judges put it out there - she is a business woman. She has a proven track record. Her line did teeter on 80's prom or Dynasty wear but if you look around - 80's fashions are working their way back! OH HELP! I had a hard enough time with the 70's coming back but now I think I will have to hibernate for a few years. I don't mind the preppy turned up collars or the layered shirts but if I see one "Flock of Seagulls" hairstyle, I'm outta here! Anyway, Santino played it too safe (although his stuff was gorgeous) and probably gave them the thought that he toned it down simply to win and then all hell would break loose. I think it was obvious they kept him around for the drama when their only other choice would have been André's cartoony eyes.

My new fav is Top Chef. I want to see a real fight break out in the kitchen. If one breaks on PR the most that happens is two guys stick each other with some pinking shears but on TC we could see some real damage. I love the crazy older woman who had no clue what she was making!

My other top favs - Survivor, Amazing Race, Dallas SWAT, Cops, Dog the Bounty Hunter and Blow Out.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Quote

Today you can go to a gas station and find the cash register open and the toilets locked. They must think toilet paper is worth more than money.
-- Joey Bishop

This one cracked me up because I remember going to gas stations and the bathroom was locked. Most of the time they were so filthy that it made you wonder why they bothered locking up. This was of course the 70's. Long before the days of nice convenience stores and full-service reststops along the highways. It was about the same time someone came up with the bright idea to put in pay toilets! Do you know how many times I would be doing the potty dance only to discover Momma had no dimes? Fortunately I was small and she would often make me crawl under the door. I guess she figured that some dirty knees was better than the alternative.

Knitting news...I have started another Clapotis and last night I swatched both the Luna and the Barkarole. I had already swatched the Barkarole once but have managed to lose the swatch. I am likely to find it when I unpack our crap at the next house. That always seems to happen. The Luna is going to become a shrug from IK Summer 2005. I am going to trim it in Karabella Roses. I swatched on the size 5 needles recommended but am short 2 stitches. Guess I will have to go to the size 4's. Only one only 4's are Inox. Using nice slippery needles is going to be hell on a shiny cotton yarn. I think I will start on them and then pick up some Bamboo at the Yarn Barn next weekend. Oh, yes, they are having a 25% off sale. There is only one catch - if it isn't on the floor they won't go find it in the back. I understand not wanting to take time to wind your yarn but if it means losing a sale... Oh well, their way of thinking doesn't compute with most of America anyway.

I have no idea what yarn I am going to buy. I need to be conservative since we will be making a house hunting trip in June. Plus, moving always costs us a fortune. Replacing all of DH's condiments is costly ;-)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

You heard it here first....

Well, we have our marching orders. We are due to report to Langley AFB on 30 July but DH’s boss is pushing us back to 15 September due to a project at work. We are always looking forward to the new adventure but it is difficult to leave behind our friends and home that we love so much. The most difficult part is finding a new church, hairdresser and veterinarian. Everything else sort of falls into place. The people who say they miss the “good old days” before internet and email have never had to uproot their life and leave behind everyone they know.

I am back in the frog pond. The other day while home sick I decided to cast on a wrap for my 21-year old niece. I struggled with the perfect pattern and finally found Tie One On from Knitty. They did theirs in Kid Silk Haze but I chose Filature Di Crosa’s Diwa in a light blue shade. It is a fingerling weight but not mohair. Well, last night while trying to watch The Amazing Race I screwed up. I missed a whole row in the pattern. Tinking was not an option since it would have meant undoing some BO’s and YO’s. When I really looked at my piece, I realized I didn’t like the way the pattern was working out in this yarn. So, I frogged about 20 rows. I think I will resort to my old stand by, Clapotis. How can I go wrong? It is a young, hip, fashionable pattern. Not to mention easy! I think that I will make it a little narrower so that she can wear it more as a scarf than a shawl. She lives in Maine so it will get more than its fair share of wear.

I have more Diwa in a magenta shade to use for a shawl for her mom. I have searched all over for the right pattern. I found a few that are pretty but much more complicated than I am willing to do. I could do them and probably have it turn out very pretty but I’m just not up for the challenge. Therefore, I think I will wait until the Elann contest winners are posted and make one of their shawls. I know these women have designed something absolutely beautiful and user friendly. I also know they will be able to help with the pattern if I totally screw up.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Quote

Tradition is what you resort to when you don't have the time or the money to do it right.
-- Kurt Herbert Alder

When I read this I started laughing! It reminds me of the line I hate most "because we have always done it that way". I have heard that at every job I've held and needless to say, I usually have some well-prepared speech as to why that is just a pile of bullshit! Change is good people! Thinking outside the box is what brought us to the personal computer, fax machine, and well, electricity! I have found that often people just keep on doing the same 'ole thing because they are too lazy to make the changes. How does this relate to knitting? Ummm...Oh, I know... changing the styles that are presented in magazines is what keeps new readers coming. Changing the yarns offered in a store keeps people interested. Offering patterns that are new and forward thinking keeps folks coming into your store. My local LYS is seriously lacking in that train of thought. Why would they have shrug or bolero patterns when they don't even have a cash register - yep, they still handwrite the receipt. They have books for sale from the 1970's. The covers are worn and torn and they are still for sale. I think it is time to retire those to the Smithsonian!

On a fashion related note, it seems we are going backwards yet again. I was visiting the Target today and what did my eyes behold...strapless dresses with the poofy bottom. You know, like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper wore in the 80's. UGH! If the lace gloves or Michael Jackson jackets come back - I'm outta here! But even those hideous dresses could not compare to the, um, well, fashion challenged lady at the Starbucks. Picture pink racer back tank top, plether pants purchased in petite so they would look like capris but really looked like high-waters, hot pink plastic jelly sandals and rhinestones glued to the arm to look like a tatoo. Good thing I didn't have my coffee yet because it surely would have come out my nose with the laughing!

There I go again, talking about everything except knitting. Maybe it's because there is nothing exciting on that end. I am still working on the baby sweater for baby D. I can't talk about it much because the mom occasionally reads my blog and I don't want to give it away. The stripe sequence is very cute though! I have finished the back and will start decreasing on part of the front tonight. Yesterday, I went through all of my knitting mags and tabbed the patterns I would like to make. I also created an Excel spreadsheet of the list and broke it down by Summer and Winter. I still have to go through the patterns I have printed out and list those as well.

I guess that is it for today. I am off to down a bottle of Advil and take a nap. No, not really, don't anyone call 911 on me...that would make me the talk of the neighborhood! I just need to get rid of the headache that I have had since Sunday. Apparently I am allergic to Juniper - now if I just knew what Juniper was I would be set.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Spring has sprung!

At least in San Antonio! Today was near 80 and so beautiful. My flowers are starting to come back to life (except the ones Annabelle laid on last year).

I finished the baby hat to go with the sweaterIsn't it just the cutest thing? I hope it fits! I am now working on a sweater for yet another baby. This one done in Only with a stripe of white, green, lavender, blue and tangerine. The yarn is so yummy and stretchy to work with. It will be very cuddly when complete. I hope the mommy likes it.

In other knitting news, I got in some of the Diwa I ordered last week. This stuff is going to be great to work with and difficult to part with. I also bought this great scarf booklet called "Knit for the Cure, Scarves of Hope". $1.00 for every book purchased will go to breast cancer research. The patterns are great and so is the cause.

Oh, and several of us are talking about going to the fiber festival in Dallas at the end of April. I am very excited about this. The only class I really want to take is on changing yarns for a project. I have a difficult time with this if it is something that really needs to have an exact gauge. Math is not my best subject.

I will end with an awwwww...this is Baxter and his dad. Baxter is a big snuggle bug and will use any opportunity to just be close.