Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lady E yarns

I've been reading Two Pointy Sticks for a while now but had forgotten that she dyes her own yarn. She posted a new yarn yesterday which led me to her yarn selections. HOLY CRAP! The question isn't "which one should I buy" but "why can't I get 10 of each"? So, I need some advice on which yarn to buy for the Lady Eleanor Scarf. Click here for the list of colors.

My choices are: Estelle, Mont Blanc, Scheherezde or Ariadne yarns in: Cornish Pixie, Emilie, Firey Sunset, Summer Berries, Little Cayman, Water Lillies, Coco or Tender is the Night.

What would look best on a fair skinned, blue eyed, blonde chick? Ariadne is a fingerling weight so I would probably have to hold two strands. The original pattern is 800 yards of a chunky weight yarn. I will probably need a lot more to get it wide enough. I really want this to be lightweight because I just don't like heavy around my neck.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday

Several months ago I tried to join Self Portrait Tuesday but never received login info from them. I tried again yesterday with no success. So, I will just do this on my own.

This is a picture of the person I hope to be like when I am old. This is my paternal Grandmother – Gram. Everyone calls her Gram. I think her daughters-in-law have always called her Gram. Even her kids call her Gram when they are trying to get her attention. She has not had an easy life. She married young, her parents died when they were in their 40’s, her sister had a nervous breakdown at 17 and has been committed for over 60 years. My Grandfather was mean to her and finally divorced her after 50 years of marriage. She has four sons and one daughter; my dad is the second oldest. Her “Bunny Boy” and my Uncle Phil are her two favorites. Their farm was foreclosed leaving my Grandfather to go work on the railroad and Gram to take a job at the French’s mustard factory. She went to work at 50 years old; the first time she had ever worked outside the home. Growing up she wasn’t the Grandmotherly type – I didn’t spend the night with her, or play Barbies or color but she would make a point of baking for me. She made kick ass molasses cookies and homemade bread. She would have it coming out of the oven as I got home from school and I would devour a whole loaf before dinner. Gram is now 87 years old and doesn’t bake bread anymore because she can’t knead the dough. When she was in her late 70’s she remarried and this photo is of her wedding day. He died five years later giving her the best years of her life and a bunch of money (something she had never had before!). She was in a very bad car accident about two months ago and broke her elbow in five places. I tell you all of this to get to the root of who she is. She never complains. She never has a bad day. She was thrilled to have had five great years with George, not sad because he was gone. When she had the accident she was coming back from the nursing home. She goes there every week to sing to the “old people” and cheer them up. She was sad that she wouldn’t get to play her guitar for a while but didn’t mind the rehab center because so many people came to visit her. She calls my dad early in the mornings because she says she is too busy to call during the rest of the day. She is down in the lobby of her apartment complex visiting with the residents. She won’t walk to church with my Nana because Nana won’t wear pantyhose anymore and it embarrasses Gram! I have her cookie and bread recipes but they are written in some form of hieroglyphics with words like pinch, dash, and dab and they call for lard and oleo. Besides, I could never make them well enough to live up to the memories they bring.

Monday, June 26, 2006

We're Not Worthy

I hyperventilated this week when I found out that Yarn Harlot would be coming to Hill Country Weavers in July! Then, she replied to a comment I left on her blog and I flat passed out! Now I know what you are thinking…”why would a person who lives in the 7th largest city in America be so excited about driving an hour to the 16th largest city to see a knitting author? Surely she has had a famous knitting person at one of the ten yarn stores in her city.” Um, that would be a big, fat NO! I think someone famous was there about two years ago; I doubt they even know who Yarn Harlot, Mason-Dixon or Wendy is. While our one yarn store is great for the basic yarns like Encore, Cascade 220 and Lamb’s Pride, I have yet to see anything there that jumps off the shelf, into my arms. If I want a brown yarn – it’s the place to go. If I want a pink variegated silk yarn – I head north to Hill Country Weavers. HCW is where I am reminded I have a budget but just don’t seem to care. It is where I pull out 20 different pink yarns and wonder if I can justify 10 skeins of each. And, it is where the staff says, “oh, I used that yarn to make this cool ____ “(you fill in the blank) and the item is so fantastic you suddenly find you want to make one for all of your friends even though the yarn is $20 a skein. Sadly, I have yet to see something on display at my LYS that I want to make. So, on July 29 a group of us will head to Austin to bask in the glory of the Yarn Harlot and drain the savings account. I think I might explode by July 29 ~ ARE WE THERE YET!

This weekend I tackled Entrelac. I figured I should learn the technique before I spend a whole bunch of money on yarn for the Lady Eleanor wrap. The technique is awesome. And incredibly easy! I practiced in worsted weight wool but I think I will go with a smaller weight for the Lady Eleanor and then just add in a couple of extra repeats. I contemplated using a couple of different solid colors but I’m afraid it might look like I am wearing a patchwork quilt. I think it would make for cute scarves though. Here is my swatch -

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Meme

Janna tagged me with this Meme today:

Is there a song that you hear on the radio or from an old CD that immediately carts you off to a summer of your past, either way far away or pretty recent? One where you can hear the first few notes and feel the emotions you felt on the day the memory was happening? Then post an account of the memory along with the song's lyrics.

All morning I tried to think of a song or album that brought back memories. I had finally decided that nothing would compete with Janna and Susan’s selection. Then, on my way to the LYS a song came on the radio and it all flooded back. The Barry Manilow Live album! Yep, that’s right kids. It was my very first “secular” album. I think I got it in 1979 or 80. I was raised in a very strict Christian home where the only non-Christian music allowed was Elvis (my mom was still rebelling against her own strict parents and Elvis was King). My cousin bought me the record for my birthday that year. I played in on a Hi-Fi, stereo system that was the size of an organ and worked a turntable, 8-track tape and radio (oh yeah, we were hip!). The other song that came to mind was “Your Kiss is on My List” by Hall and Oates. It came out in 1980. On that Thanksgiving, my cousin invited me to go with her to visit our aunts in Connecticut (we lived in Maine). I felt like such a grown up even though I was only 11 (my cousin was 21)! That song played several times on the way there and back. I don’t remember but I think the Ford Pinto had a kick-ass stereo. Now I am tagging Bri and Suzann with this Meme.

So, I trekked to the LYS today to look at yarns for the Lady Eleanor. The four ladies working offered me help, which is no small feat. I checked out the Silk Garden by Noro but decided that it is a little too rough for me and I didn’t care for the color ways offered at said LYS. I have decided to use something with a wool/silk/cashmere blend or a combo of any two of the three listed. Brooks Farm Four Play covers it in a variegated; I just wish I could see the colors in person. There are several other companies who produce solids in the same blends. I think any combination of the three would be so soft and luxurious to wear. My silver spoon and I will make a decision soon.

Since DH is off this week we hit the movies. Today was The Break Up. I thought it was very funny. Vince Vaughn is adorable and Jennifer Aniston was great. While she may never get an academy award, she has proven that she can hold her own without Brad. And, hopefully she would never exploit her child for a big paycheck.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

When the Going Gets Tough...

The tough turn to her two best guy friends...

And, when they don’t cut it, she goes here...

But, who can stay sad when you have this...

This weekend was devastating. Long story short, our birthmother changed her mind. She decided to raise her baby, herself. We have gone through a huge range of emotions – anger, sadness, and finally realizing that we can’t change her decision so we have to move on. Maybe we were just meant to be a part of her life for a short time for some reason; maybe there is a lesson we are supposed to learn (but we are still working on that one!) about ourselves. So, we start over, waiting. We do get the time back with our agency and when I talked to them today they said they had activated us last week and had sent out profiles already.

I got quite a bit of knitting done this weekend. Here are some photos of the accomplishments: I finished the back on the Vintage Cardigan. Yes, those are candleholders keeping the top in place. I don't happen to have Ken and Barbie to help.

Cast on the Moebius. I used the Annabelle and Beatrice cast on posted by Alice Trumann over at Elann. I finally figured out to cast onto two needles to make the cast on flow smoothly over the Denise cords. The yarn is a mohair boucle from Cherry Tree Hill.

Oh, I also did a little work on the Fiery Bolero for my SIL. I really hate the Luna yarn but the finished product is so pretty that I suffer through it.

And in between, I frogged the Balloon Scarf. After one repeat I decided I didn't like it with the yarn. Now I am thinking about the Cables (also from Scarf Style). I also started and frogged the edging on a little girl's sweater, about three times! I am also thinking of making the Lady Eleanor. I’ve noticed a lot of people are using the Noro Silk Garden. I think this is one pattern that needs to be in a variegated yarn. I would prefer something without mohair – it is always itchy for me and gets into my eyes – maybe Four Play from Brooks Farm Yarns. Hmmmm.

Since DH already had vacation this week, he is hanging out around the house with us. We will probably just catch up on our movies; it is just fun to be together.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's a good itch

I am itching to cast on something new. I went to the LYS today and got a few ideas but didn’t buy figuring I had something in the stash and a free pattern lurking somewhere. I had contemplated this poncho from Sirdar. It calls for 7 skeins of yarn for the size to fit a 2 year old but at $8.95 per skein I decided I could somehow do it cheaper. I think I will do a hooded sweater instead with the Sonata from Elann along with this yarn from Knit Picks. Would a little girl like this sweater? While at the LYS I also checked out their book selection. I am going to order a Debbie Bliss book but from Amazon because it is way cheaper.

I recently acquired the Moebius Cast On instructions and I think I will use the Cherry Tree Hill boucle to make a Moebius. Not for me of course. Maybe MIL? Christmas?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Good Vibrations

Sometimes the best way to have a good day is to get showered, put on the make up, put on your nice clothes and get out of the house. After a little funk I did just that today. I picked up a couple of gifts, a few bags of groceries and some cards. Hallmark was having a deal where you get a Beach Boys CD for $7.95 when you buy three cards. Well, who can have a bad day with Beach Boys on the stereo? They will also make great tunes for Pod and get me pumped at the gym. I was getting a little bored with the songs I have on there now. I headed to the grocery store armed with coupons for a free $5 gift card, and money off formula, pacifiers and wipes. What pops out of the register but more coupons! Woo Hoo! The guy behind me wanted to know what he had to do to get coupons he could actually use. He also thanked the clerk and I for our smiles and said it made his day. I had a couple of problems with the gift card and when I apologized for taking so long he said it was ok because it was better than going home to sit (kind of sad, huh?).

When I got home I had an email from our counselor at Catholic Charities in Milwaukee. She said that our birthmother is still only one centimeter and she is still due in two days (ain’t gonna happen kids!). She said our decision to wait until next week to head out was a good one. We had been so stressed over our trip out there. Our counselor at Lifetime had told us that not being there for the birth may affect her decision to let us adopt the baby. Well, without a scheduled induce or c-section, there was no way we could guarantee that we would be there for delivery – DUH! We had been under so much pressure to be there for the birth. Well, when we tried to buy our plane tickets the prices were near $800! By waiting until next Monday we only had to pay $200 each. Our birthmother talked to her counselor today and was indifferent to us being there. She completely understands. We had come to the conclusion that if she changes her mind it will have to do more with her desire to parent and less to do with us not being there to help push. Many factors go into reclamation and we can’t control any of them. Makes me want to send the email to our Lifetime counselor and say “Na Na! I was right!” but that would be completely childish and they tell me I am supposed to be beyond that.

I have overcome Second Sock Syndrome and started a mate last night. I really like the yarn and may look for more. It is a wool/cotton blend and I think it might make some cute baby stuff. I am having a hard time finding knit patterns for cute boy things. It is just discriminatory, I tell ya!

Friday, June 09, 2006

I'm Back

I'm back from the house hunting trip. Actually, I've been back for a few days but I have been so busy I haven't had time to blog. On Wednesday I met Susan and her Boogie for lunch and then headed for the grocery store. Yesterday was house cleaning (LOL! DH said he did it while I was gone!) and an inventory of my Boyd's Bears. I didn't realize I had THAT many! In between DH and I had to go over all the houses I saw and neighborhoods we could afford - that narrowed the list considerably! Good news - we can afford the house in the landfill; bad news - it smells over there.

I did have a little free time so I made my way to two yarn shops. Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg was nice, but not what I had expected. It didn't have the selection I was hoping for but it did have a nice sitting area for looking over books and patterns. I also hit The Knitting Corner. It is a nice little shop with a good selection. They had some yarns I had never heard of. In shopping at other stores I have decided that if my LYS would get a new coat of paint, rearrange the yarn and hire salespeople younger than 80, it would be the best store around. I had a long wait at airports during the trip home and I managed to get in a little knitting. I worked on the balloon scarf and only screwed up one row! I'm still not sure if I like the pattern but it will go on.

When I got home, my copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting was waiting for me. I had ordered it from Amazon because their price was almost half that of the other stores. I haven't had the chance to look it over yet; I want to make sure I have plenty of free time to become totally engrossed.

Friday, June 02, 2006

On the road...

Greetings from Virginia. I am here in Hampton to do a little house hunting and try to figure out where we might want to live. It has been a LONG day!

Last night we got a call that our birthmother had gone to the emergency room because she wasn’t feeling well. All is ok and she is dilated one centimeter. She doesn’t think she will go until the 15th of June! We were up until midnight trying to figure out what Charley will do should she go into labor before I get home (the baby’s stuff is all laid out for him to put in a suitcase). 4:30 a.m. came very early!

Today more legal wrenches were thrown at this monkey. I am ready for this to be done! I am trying to be careful in voicing my frustration because some think I am not grateful for this baby or not considering birthmother’s situation. That certainly isn’t the case; however, this should be the happiest time of our life and all these side things just keep sucking the joy (not to mention the life and money) out of us. If I hear one more cliché, someone’s getting a kick to the head!

The best “here’s your sign” moment of the day…I picked up my rental car and the girl said, “Your car is in space A32. That’s 32 spaces back.” Ummmm, thought that one was pretty self-explanatory!