Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Harlot in Austin

Ok, there are several but only one is ho'n it out for yarn. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee made her only 2006 Texas appearance at Hill Country Weavers yesterday.

The San Antonio contingent consisted of Susan, Janna, Enid, Amy, Claudine (still blogless, we'll convert her yet), New Kim, Mary, me and a special guest...Ken.

Ken lives with Susan and came sporting handknit shorts (that were lowriding!), a scarf and no shirt. It was a consistent 105 so we are not sure why Ken was wearing his scarf! Here is Ken paying close attention.

The Harlot was witty, well-spoken and very down-to-earth. She patiently signed her book and smiled for photos for several hours. Here I am with the Harlot. I left my fancy warshrag in the car so it didn't get photographed with the famous sock.

I also need to mention the fantastic staff of Hill Country Weavers. They went out of their way to provide fantastic customer service. They even provided snacks, cold water and BEER. They never seemed to lose their cool, even when 100 knitters filled the store! We were so impressed that we went back a second time after lunch! When I was checking out I mentioned that I was moving and they offered to ship any item once I am settled. Yet another reminder that life as I know it is about to change

Ah, LUNCH! We dined with knitters from Houston and had a great time just hanging out. I have to say that Austin mexican food just isn't the same as San Antonio's mexican food. And I do believe I had the world's smallest margarita.

The highlight of lunch was when Ken, with the aid of Janna decided to spend his lunch with Amy.

When I looked a few minutes later, Ken looked quite comfy! Try explaining that to hubby..."um, yes honey, the day really was about knitting...see...I have yarn to prove it!". Fortunately he knows me well enough to not be surprised by anything anymore.

I do have stash enhancement to show but decided to save it for another day.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Meme

Since two people have tagged me with this I guess I have to do it. Here goes...

5 Things always in my purse:
  • Sunglasses

  • Wallet

  • Keys to the other vehicle

  • A minimum of 5 lipsticks (Mac) with matching liners

  • PDA

  • 5 Things always in my wallet:
  • Driver's License

  • Military ID card

  • American Express card (don't leave home without it!)

  • 2 debit cards and a Nordstrom card

  • Business cards - mine and others

  • 5 Things always in my refrigerator:
  • Diet Coke

  • Butter

  • Flour tortillas

  • Lemon juice

  • Red peppers

  • 5 Things always in my closet:
  • More shoes than I care to count

  • Clothes

  • Dirty laundry

  • Bins for sorting out clothes for donation and throwing away

  • DH's clothes (I actually have two closets and one is just for off-season so his stuff will fit into the big closet, that way he doesn't wake me when he gets dressed.)

  • 5 Things always in my car:
  • Insurance &registration

  • Lawn chairs in the trunk

  • A box of old floppy disks (I didn't have a CD burner at work)

  • My drycleaning card

  • Dog hair!

  • 5 Things always on my desk (these apply to both work and home):
  • Post-It notes

  • Flags

  • Paper clips

  • Various bins for things I'm working on

  • Scanner (at home)

  • People I'm tagging...Suzann. That's it. Everyone else I know who blogs has already been tagged. Oh No! We've become inbred!

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Frog Soup Anyone...

    The girls at Stitch & Bitch helped me with my decision last night. The Vintage Pink Cardigan was never going to fit. I had reworked the pattern for the 36" chest but with that 2" of negative ease and my bodacious ta-ta's, it was just going to be too tight. Maybe with a sports bra...or an ace bandage... I frogged this afternoon and it really didn't hurt as much as I anticipated. I love this yarn and I have to find just the perfect pattern. I was looking at this pattern today but their smallest bust size is 40". Not there yet; give me a few more years. Maybe I can pick up a new pattern when I hit Hill Country Weavers this weekend!

    Off to pick up Baxter at camp. When I left this morning he was peeing on all the rocks and trying to figure out how I got on the other side of the bars.

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    M-D Kimono

    I finished up the Kimono on Sunday and the bib this afternoon. Aren't they cute? They are from the Mason-Dixon book.

    Yarn: Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep. It is a cotton/wool blend and yummy to work with. I didn't use a whole skein for the kimono so the bib is the last bit of that skein and a few yards from a second one. In all it was less than 300 yards.
    Needles: Size 6 (I think. I put them away before I wrote it down.)
    Size: Well, they are one size fits all.
    Pattern: Mason-Dixon Knitting. There is only one quirk with the kimono pattern. Since you are casting on for the sleeves it makes sewing the seams a little more difficult. You know, you are working along and suddenly you are two

    rows from the edge because of the increase. UGH!
    Notions: The buttons are from Jo-Anns and the iron on butterflies are from Michaels. The button on the kimono is not a real button, there are actually snaps underneath. I thought it would hold on better than the ribbons. I did buy some super cute ribbon though. I couldn't figure out how to get it sewn into the seams when I was not doing the seams on a sewing machine.

    Monday, July 24, 2006

    Booby Check

    Ok girls, this is your friendly reminder to do your self-exams every month. I had my very first mammogram today and have to say - not nearly as scary as I anticipated. It hurt less than the sinus headache I was sporting that's for sure. You even get pretty flowered nipple stickers that you can later use to impress your significant other or clients - whatever suits your lifestyle. The technician told me that the clinic is getting new machines that were designed by WOMEN! Imagine that! They have curved sides so you don't get poked in the armpit and they even have a curved face shield. I think a great Project Runway challenge would be to design prettier hospital gowns. Even in makeup and high heels one still feels frumpy in the cape that has been worn by others! The good news is, the lump I found is just a cyst. The bad news is, I will have to put up with them recurring until menopause. The doctor offered to aspirate the cyst for me and I informed him that I had very little up there and had no desire to remove what little I do have. If that fluid is helping me fill out this A-cup bra, I'm leaving it. My husband asked why I didn't want a needle put into my booby and I sugested he let me get one of my small needles and stick it in his testical and then he could tell me his opinion!

    I do not have photos to post today. I did finish the Kimono and it is quite cute. I still have to sew on the *fake* button. The bib is blocking and will get a matching button along with iron on butterflies. I have also finished one warshrag for MIL and am on the third repeat of a second one (did that while waiting around for the Dr. this morning). Throw in some fancyschmancy soap from Nordstrom and she will be as happy as a pig in mud. Hopefully I can get both gifts in the mail this week and then finish up the little girl's sweater. The more I think about it the more I want to frog the Barkarole sweater and use that yarn for something else. It is so soft and comfy that I think it needs to be something I am sure will fit vs. something that is questionable.

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    K is for Kayne

    Ok, the ABC Along is actually on "O" so I guess the title should be "O is for Oh thank goodness Kayne won" or maybe "Oh I can't believe what a bitch Vincent is". Kayne's dress wasn't just any ole party dress but a real life elegant ball gown. I could tell he was in his glory but also a little nervous about losing and looking stupid. Vincent should be shot just for considering epaulets on a ball gown! Laura's dress was beautiful but not glamorous enough for the Ms. Universe pagent. I realize that Malan's dress was a disaster at best but I truly felt for the guy. I think he was arrogant as a defense mechanism. I think he is the kid who never fit in anywhere. If you watched him with the group - he always looked like he wanted to be a part but didn't know how. I thought the pairings were interesting - upscale Laura choosing ghetto FAB-U-LUS Michael; sophisticated Malan choosing snowboarderwithanosering Katy. I've signed up for Tim's podcast and I can't wait to see how the rest of the season plays out.

    Oh, wait you came here for knitting...let's see...the kimono is washed and blocking. I didn't use a full skein of Cotton Fleece so I thought I would make a hat. Well, I'm taking it apart and making a bib instead. My friend is not the cute, girly, summer hat type. Function is the name of her game. I think I will put eyelets into the bib to match the kimono and then I will run a ribbon that matches the one on the kimono. I think I will look for satin ribbon instead of grosgrain since I am going to weave it into the eyelets. I hope the FO is as cute as the picture in my head.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Fiery Bolero

    The experiment will be over starting tomorrow after the gym. Not only has my hair felt heavy and stuck to my head but my face has felt oily. I swear even my eyes felt greasy. This has lasted about as long as my "no shaving" experiment. I don't care what anyone says, I could feel the hair growing on my legs and my legs felt heavier.

    Oh, the baby due belongs to a friend. Apparently she is already here and this kimono won't be needed as it is 90 in Maine this week. Maybe she can use it on a doll when she gets older. Oh Well.

    Finally, the bolero is done. Just in time for SIL's birthday. I think I like this one better than mine because the ribbing isn't stretched from the heavy trim. So, here are the details:

    Pattern: Fiery Bolero from Interweave Knits Spring 2005. Size 32". Should fit unless SIL has gained 30 pounds this year.
    Yarn: Luna from Elann. About 5 1/2 skeins in Regal Orchid.
    Needles: size 3 and 4
    Overall, the pattern is very easy but the yarn is a pain in the A**. It is very slippery and hard to keep on the needles.

    This morning I decided to clean out a couple of boxes - you know, the ones that only get touched whenever you move. Well, I found photo albums and other memories. It was fun to look back at baby pictures of kids heading to college this year. It does make me feel old when the kids I babysat are now having kids of their own. So, I'm sitting here wondering how much that face lift will cost!

    This article was up for discussion on Elann a few weeks ago and I decided to give it a try this week; after all, my only excitement will be the fingerprinting at the gun shop and I doubt they care! Well, today is day one and so far I'm not liking it. I think I should have skipped the product today since I still have yesterday's Sap Moss, Volumizing Tonic, Styling Whip and Hairspray. I did wet my hair with warm water (ok, I saturated and scrubbed like I was using shampoo) but it just isn't the same. SnB gang, if I smell a little musty by Sunday, just let me know.

    Monday, July 17, 2006


    Here is the Moebius. I finished blocking yesterday and had DH take this photo. He wanted to take more but it was about 80 in the house and this thing is MOHAIR! Here are the details:

    Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Baby Loop (Mohair Boucle).
    Color: Brown with a dark plum streak. You can't tell it is variegated unless you hold it to the light.
    Yards: Not sure. I had a skein with over 900 yards and I didn't even come close to 1/4 of the skein. The center of the ball hasn't even softened yet, let alone caved.
    Needles: Size 10 Denises. However, I held two together to get the cast on loose enough.
    Pattern: Moebius from Cat Bordhi. But, the cast on is the Annabelle and Beatrice from an Elann post. I have no idea how many rounds I did. I would knit until I was bored and then purl until bored. With this yarn you can't really see a pattern unless you are up close and personal (and no one gets that close to MIL) so I figured it didn't matter. This is going to be a Christmas gift for MIL.

    I have been thinking about which projects to take with me during the move and which need to be finished prior. I have decided that the cabled scarf will be a good one for the move so it is now on the back burner. I started the Kimono from Mason-Dixon last night since the baby is due to arrive any day now. I am already up to the increases for the arms. I am using Cotton Fleece from Brown Sheep - very nice! I have also picked up some Sugar and Cream for a Warshrag for MIL's birthday. Nordstrom has fancy soap on sale right now too! I would like to do the hand towel but Euroflax is a little expensive. The Canapone from Elann is a better price but it would have to be doubled so it would still cost the same as the Euroflax. Our LYS carries the Euroflax but not many colors and Canapone still has some great shades left. I could just buy two skeins of the Canapone and make a smaller hand towel but I'm afraid it will be too small. Oh, what to do....

    Yesterday I broke down and swatched the Silkdream from Lang. I had put it off knowing I would want to make something ASAP once I touched it. I was right! OMG, they nailed it when they called it dream. I have washed my swatch and IF I can get the right gauge I think I will buy more to use for the Noro Shrug. I think I may have been moaning and drooling as I knit because DH kept looking at me funny.

    Folks have been asking about Baxter's day at camp. Well, he got an A+ on his report card. The first thing they asked... "when will Baxter be back?". He made a new friend and he kept all the other dogs calm. There was a spot for "I had a crush on _____" but it wasn't filled out-I think they had all boy dogs last week; typically Baxter is quite the Ladies Man. He also played with the little dog no one else would play with. AND, he slept two full nights without barking! He was sent home with homework which I have worked on but DH has not (can you tell who the softie is in this house?).

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006


    I just purchased three new patterns from Knit Happens and I can’t wait to get them! Soon to arrive is the Femme Fatale from Alchemy, One Cable Vest from Blue Sky Alpacas and finally a kids hooded sweater pattern that ranges in size from 12 months to 6 years. The Femme Fatale is done in mohair, which I totally hate but the pattern looked so cool I just couldn’t resist.

    Today is a big day at our house – Baxter has gone to camp! Ok, before ya’ll start criticizing me for being a spoiled yuppie (got that title when I bought the Kitchen Aid mixer and the Krups coffeemaker), there is a strategic plan here – TIRE THE BOY OUT! Baxter has a brother and sister who refuse to play with him; therefore, he sleeps all day long and barks all night. He doesn’t just bark; he talks to himself and it echoes throughout the house, likely due to the empty space where his brain should be. We are pretty sure that he has imaginary friends! Baxter won’t play with humans – they are for snuggling and petting. He loves other dogs. So, we are willing to shell out $20 a week to get one night of sleep. I dropped him off this morning and he didn’t even look back. New people were willing to pet him; what more could a guy want?

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    Self-Portrait Tuesday

    The theme for July is “Me As…”. I had several ideas such as “me as a crazy person” or “me as someone who disregards the speed limit”, but I couldn’t adequately take a photo of that. So, here is “me as a child at heart”. We were living in Washington DC when the new pair of pandas arrived. The region was so excited; everything was put on hold as we awaited their public appearance. For the first several months the pandas were kept away from the public eye, but you could watch them online via their webcam. Every night we would climb into bed with the laptop and watch Mei Xiang and Tian Tian before falling asleep. Now, their baby Tai Shan is a year old. We had an anniversary during the time the pandas were making their appearance and one morning I came out to find this guy sitting in the driver’s seat of my car, with a Happy Anniversary note. A more sane person would have taken the bear inside before heading to work but I have never been accused of being sane. I put him in the passenger’s seat and fastened the seatbelt around him and headed off. All day long I had employees coming to my office asking if I had officially lost my mind. Imagine my husband’s surprise when I pulled up to the house that night with Tian Tian riding shotgun. Please excuse the photo -I'm crazy but not derranged - it's the best I could do taking it myself. And, here he is modeling for me.

    This is the Fiery Bolero. There is an end in sight!!!! I just have to pick up stitches for the edging and do a few rows of ribbing before seaming. YEAH!! The yarn is Luna from Elann.

    Here is the little girl’s sweater. The pattern is from Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and the heart is from Style Your Own Kids Knits. The yarn is Diwa from Filatura Di Crosa.

    The Vintage Cardigan still has a way to go. Here is the back and the start of the left front. The yarn is Austermann Barkarole. This yarn is so delish. I can’t imagine why they discontinued it.

    The Here & There Cables scarf is done in Highland Wool from Elann. This pattern is so easy. I think my “niece” will like it.

    The Moebius is nearly done but I didn’t think it would photograph well with the bear. It will get its own spotlight when the time comes.

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    I get by with a little help from my friends!

    I hit the LYS yesterday and picked up a few items, mostly out of guilt. When I was in there last weekend they had a shrug on display, made out of Noro Kureyon. I inquired about the pattern and no one seemed to know where the shrug came from. They took my number and I headed home to search the www. On Friday I got a call from the owner telling me that the pattern was there and it was free. She said that the representative told her that it wasn't in any sort of pattern book but he had a copy he could fax to her. I did a little research of my own and found that the pattern IS in a book, Noro No. 18, to be exact. So, I felt a little guilty. My guilt produced a ball winder, a skein of Lang Silk Dream (just one to play with before I invest in 10 of them!) and some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece which will become a baby kimono from Mason-Dixon.

    I have been knitting! I am up to four squares for Warming Grace. I plan to wash and block them some day this week. I think they are really cute. I have made progress on the Here and There Cables scarf as well as the sweater for a little girl. Since I wasn't sure if the lace mohair would stand out in the intarsia heart, I decided to use a lifeline in case I had to go back. It is my new bestest knitting friend. Why haven't I tried this before? I only had to rip back about four rows but I was able to pull out the needles and just rip. In the end, there were my stitches, waiting patiently and orderly, to be put back on the needle. I have also been reading Yarn Harlot's latest book. Ummm, I'm a Martha knitter :-)

    Please Lord, let our house sell soon. Actually, I am torn. I don't want it to sell because I love my house and neighborhood and don't want to leave. But, if it doesn't sell we will be homeless in VA. Actually, Charley will be homeless because the dogs and I will head to my parents house to hibernate for the winter. Seriously, I would have to go back to work full-time and sell some organs in order to make two mortgages. Does Costco sell Top Ramen by the case? I might have to take up only washing my hair every six weeks like in this story from London. Anyway, I am tired of showing the house. I am tired of washing nose prints off the windows ten times a day. I am tired of taking the dogs for a ride and returning to discover the people are just pulling up. I am tired of nagging my husband about picking up his toys. But, mostly I am tired of having total strangers traipse through my home!

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    Warming Grace

    A few days ago I was perusing the web looking for Knit Alongs and came across a blog for Warming Grace. The little face that stared back at me drew me in to read further. A lady in Canada started collecting 5" x 5" squares to make a blanket for her neice who is undergoing chemo. Her neice was so thrilled she asked for a blanket for two of her friends. The group now has over 200 people knitting these little squares and the coordinator has a goal of 20 blankets. So, I got out my yarn, needles and books and started making squares. So far I have completed two. I did some swatching tonight but my finished product in no way resembled the flower in the book so I frogged and will try again tomorrow with fresh eyes. I have added their button in the sidebar under "Cool Things to Join". If you get a minute, take a look at the site and sign up. This is something so quick and easy and yet sooo appreciated. Think about all the single skeins of yarn you have hanging around.

    Even Calvin joined the fun by modeling the squares for me. Don't worry, they haven't been washed yet! Once they are clean they will go into a hairless bag.

    Annabelle thought she was helping. Oh, she always thinks she is helping!