Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Coffee Swap!

My package arrived from Amy! I was completely overwhelmed by the goodies. So overwhelmed that I hit post when I loaded the photo instead of draft like I intended!! My package included:
  • Candlelight Coffee House Blend and Caramel (from our SnB meeting spot in SA)
  • Texas Chewie Pecan Pralines
  • Double Chocolate Crisps
  • 2 Biscotti cookies
  • Creamy dark chocolate cookie
  • White chocolate amaretto cookie
  • San Antonio coffee mug wtih 3 different flavors of Kona coffee
  • Handmaiden sea silk yarn in Amethyst
  • Stitch markers in the same color as the yarn
I took the yarn to SnB tonight and practically had to handcuff it to myself to keep the girls from *stealing* it!

Amy, thank you for making my first swap so memorable and thank you for having this special package on a day that was really sucky!

Thank y'all for the thoughts and prayers. I just can't talk about it right now. I'm not sure if I could even form the words to talk about it. Big Boy and I are fine, but it affects my family and therefore affects us.

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Please Pray!

For those of you who believe in prayer, my family needs your prayers! I may be absent for a while but I will be back as soon as my head stops spinning and I can gather a clear thought.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Bleeding Over Here

I finished Monica last week. I washed it in a little Euclan and laid it on a towel to block. Yesterday I went in to admire my handiwork and there it was… bleeding. Actually, it was more that the color wicked up into the ruffle. I had been afraid of bleeding so I blocked the ruffle up. Like this... It didn’t matter. I have rewashed it several times in hopes of the teal washing out. It didn’t. So, now I am left with a few choices. None of them terribly appealing.

  1. I can remove the ruffle since it is knit separately.
a. After removing the ruffle I can wash the hell out of the teal portion to remove the excess color and then knit another ruffle in white and attach.
b. I can knit another ruffle in the same teal (if I have enough) and make a one-color piece that isn’t quite as cute.

2. I can try to dye the whole garment and hope it over dyes and does not look like a huge mess. This options terrifies me.


Last night at SnB I frogged Icarus (this was after I ran out of yarn for the top of Crumpets and spilled beads all over the floor). I have decided to make Eunny's Print O' The Wave Stole. I'm a little scared!

I have some sad news on the baby bird front. Yesterday I noticed that the nest was empty and then I saw a little bit of fuzz in the plant. The fuzz was moving so I left it alone hoping that mama bird would come back to rescue the baby that had fallen from the nest. Later on I checked it again and baby had turned itself around so all I could see was a little leg. Today I checked and the little leg is in the same position as yesterday and all does not look healthy in there. I don't know what to do about the, um, corpse. Personally, I'm not eager to touch it. Ack!

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Memory Lane

In the past few weeks I have spent a lot of time thinking about my childhood; the good, the bad, the ugly and the down right insane. I was reading Joan’s blog and her topic took me down memory lane. Do you know what a Fiddlehead is? My mom and my grandfather loved fiddleheads. They would head to the river together to pick them and then we would have them at dinner. Well, everyone but me would eat them for dinner. They always had them the same way – butter and vinegar. The article Joan’s blog entry refers to talks about many recipes for fiddleheads but we were havin none of that fancy eatin in our house! Even better, my Grammy eats dandelions.

It is amazing the things we remember from our childhood that makes us wonder what our parents were thinking. Piglet and I were cruising through the children’s section at Barnes & Noble and I saw books that I loved as a child and it brought back memories. My parents were really strict about a lot of things. I had read most of Judy Blume’s books when my mother found out that several didn’t meet the standards of her friends and from then on they were banned. Of course she didn’t bother to read the books before banning them. I didn’t read a lot of the classics (except the Laura Ingalls Wilder books) because they were the books of the heathens. So, I read the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. I owned them all and read them many times over. Children today have so many more opportunities than I had. We didn’t have Borders, Barnes & Noble or Amazon. We had one bookstore in town and I don’t think it had “story time”. We had one public library but we didn’t use it because libraries were for hippies (I grew up in the 70’s) and poor people. We were neither. My elementary school had a library – it had most of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

I grew up in a small town and my parents grew up in an even smaller town. I am grateful that I got the hell out of dodge! But, it has made me more aware of what we do for and to Piglet and it has made me more understanding of the ignorance that comes from living in an isolated state.

Thinking about growing up started me on another search. I have a high school reunion this summer. I won’t say what number but it is definitely into double digits. It led me to find old classmates on Classmates and Myspace (ack! I felt dirty just going there. If the police are reading this, I am not looking for a prom date!). I never did find anything on my reunion but I don’t know if I would go anyway. Many years, states, jobs and friends later I still feel intimidated by the popular kids. I was not one of them. What would we talk about? “Remember when we…” I didn’t have that with most of my classmates. Most of my friends were at church. I knew a lot of my classmates my whole life but didn’t go to school with them until high school. It was weird being the old and new kid all at the same time. It was a small world. Kids didn’t just move in and out of our town. By high school they had been in school together for nine years. Truth is, I don't really care what any of them are up to. I hope Piglet gets to be in an environment that holds old friends but opens to new ones without question.

We are going home in a few weeks. Home to a world that rarely changes. Home to a place where people are fascinated that we don’t live there (and our town has more than one stop light). Home to a place where I lived most of my life but I don’t look or sound like people who have lived there most of their life. Home to a parent who remembers events totally different than I even though we were both there. Home to a house I didn’t grow up in. Home to a place that isn’t really home.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Done That But Not That

Here is a super cool Meme that I saw over on Jen's blog. It is fun to see the progress I have made in my nearly four years of knitting.

  1. Afghan (in crochet)
  2. American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
  3. Baby items
  4. Bobbles
  5. Button holes
  6. Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
  7. Cardigan
  8. Charity knitting
  9. Continental knitting
  10. Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
  11. Darning
  12. Designing knitted garments
  13. Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
  14. Drop stitch patterns
  15. Dying with plant colours
  16. Dying yarn
  17. Entrelac
  18. Fair Isle knitting
  19. Freeform knitting
  20. Fulling/felting
  21. Garter stitch
  22. Gloves
  23. Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
  24. Hair accessories
  25. Hat
  26. Holiday related knitting
  27. Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
  28. I-cord
  29. Intarsia
  30. Jewelry
  31. Kitchener BO
  32. Knitting a gift
  33. Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
  34. Knitting and purling backwards
  35. Knitting art
  36. Knitting for a living
  37. Knitting for pets
  38. Knitting for preemies
  39. Knitting in public
  40. Knitting items for a wedding
  41. Knitting on a loom
  42. Knitting smocking
  43. Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
  44. Knitting to make money
  45. Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously I actually did this on one circular simultaneously, but I don't see that as an option, so I'm adding it here.
  46. Knitting with alpaca
  47. Knitting with bamboo yarn
  48. Knitting with bananafiber yarn
  49. Knitting with beads
  50. Knitting with camel yarn
  51. Knitting with cashmere
  52. Knitting with circular needles
  53. Knitting with cotton
  54. Knitting with dog/cat hair (technically I have not used a yarn spun with dog hair but dog hair gets knitted into every garment. Baxter likes to spread the love!)
  55. Knitting with dpns
  56. Knitting with linen
  57. Knitting with metal wire
  58. Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
  59. Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
  60. Knitting with silk
  61. Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn
  62. Knitting with soy yarn
  63. Knitting with synthetic yarn
  64. Knitting with wool
  65. Knitting with your own handspun yarn
  66. Lace patterns
  67. Long Tail CO
  68. Machine knitting
  69. Mittens: Cuff-up
  70. Mittens: Tip-down
  71. Moebius band knitting
  72. Norwegian knitting
  73. Olympic knitting
  74. Participating in a KAL
  75. Pillows
  76. Publishing a knitting book
  77. Purses/bags
  78. Rug
  79. Scarf
  80. Shawl
  81. Short rows
  82. Shrug/bolero/poncho
  83. Slip stitch patterns
  84. Slippers
  85. Socks: toe-up
  86. Socks: top-down
  87. Steeks
  88. Stockinette stitch
  89. Stuffed toys
  90. Swatching
  91. Sweater
  92. Teaching a child to knit
  93. Teaching a male how to knit
  94. Textured knitting
  95. Thrummed knitting
  96. Toy/doll clothing
  97. Tubular CO
  98. Twisted stitch patterns
  99. Two end knitting
  100. Writing a pattern
I counted and I have accomplished 54 of the 100 items and have another 20 I would like to do. The one thing I love about knitting is you can learn as much or as little as you like and still be a knitter. I think any hobby should be whatever you want to put into it. No one should pressure you to make it more than you want.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Oh Socky Socky Now - Project Spectrum Wednesday

I’ve been a little lax in the Project Spectrum department so here is a little colorful goodness for you. I hope the glare of the white leg doesn't blind y'all!

This is my sock. Just one. I don’t have second sock syndrome with this yarn, I just have no time syndrome. Seriously, I love this yarn. It is Jitterbug by Colinette. It is by far the best sock yarn ever. It is soft, stretchy, and does not split – ever. It has spoiled me for any other sock yarn. I tried on this sock and it fits like a glove – something that hardly ever happens with my handmade socks. Ever more, it didn’t lose its shape. When I took the sock off it sprung right back into shape. As soon as I finish the second sock I will post all of the gory details. I think the second sock will become my traveling partner when we drive to visit the in-laws and out-laws in a few weeks.

I love the Jitterbug so much I bought two more skeins at the LYS on Sunday. The color is Florentina.

And, here is the beginning of the new little Crumpets with beads. It is really cute! I really like this pattern and I REALLY like it with the beads.

I have a new link in the sidebar. All of my 2007 works of art are going to be added to a second blog as well. The blog will be dedicated to FO’s. It was getting to be too much of a pain to add each individual piece in blogger. Mac offers us limited blog capabilities for free so I decided to use it rather than sign up for another option like Flickr.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cheep Cheep

We have babies! There are several little fuzzballs in the nest. I assume all five eggs hatched but it is really hard to tell since they are all piled on top of each other. When I peeked the other day there was just a little fuzz and a whole egg. I gave them a few days undisturbed and checked again today. After I took this first photo I did a little yard work and then came back to see if I could get a better look. Can you see it? A little, tiny, yellow beak! Honestly, I’m not one for birds – they can’t be potty trained (I have been used as a potty one too many times.) – but it is hard to resist that perfect little nest and those fuzzy little heads. I feel for the momma bird – feeding five noisy kids, bathing five noisy kids, and trying to give attention to five noisy kids. Can you tell it has been a rough day? The dogs have four legs that is twice as many as the child. That makes three dogs the equivalent of six children. Then there are the needs of the two-legged child. I’m exhausted!

To top off my day the knitting hasn’t been too pleasant. Mostly because I lack the ability to read directions (it is clear I am not cut out for home schooling). I had worked two and a half rounds of Crumpets when I realized that I screwed up the previous round. I tinked. Then as I was restarting round two I realized that I had also screwed up the previous round. I tinked. Two rounds. 186 stitches each. If I keep screwing up the little girl won’t get to wear this until NEXT summer.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I wish a happy Mother’s Day to all the women who are mothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, stepmothers, used to be mothers, want to be mothers and those who are mothers to children with four legs instead of two. I even wish a happy day to those who had the courage to stand up to society and admit you didn’t want to be a mother. It is 4:30 a.m. here on the east coast and I have started my Mother’s Day early. Piglet decided sleep was not for him last night and now he is asleep and I am wide awake. So is Annabelle. Baxter is getting in some snuggle time. It is going to be a L-O-N-G day.

So, what are y’all doing for Mother’s Day? I get to spend the day doing motherly duties. Big Boy left for BFE Saturday morning. So, no breakfast in bed, no spending the day reading on the deck while Big Boy does the dishes and diapers. The LYS is having a Mother’s Day sale so Piglet and I are going to head over there and then have lunch somewhere. The little guy bought me a gift certificate to a day spa! There are so many choices on the menu that I can’t choose where to start. I think I need a pedicure before we head out on vacation and will book a massage for when we return. After a week and a half of driving and visiting family I am going to need it BIG TIME!

In knitting news… I think Icarus is headed to the frog pond. I love the yarn and I love the pattern but I do not love them together. I just can’t get into the pattern. I think the next pattern will be done holding two strands together because this yarn is so delicate I a constantly worrying about a dropped stitch or accidentally knitting two stitches together. Elann has several new shawl patterns for FREE and a couple of gals have even started a KAL. Last night I cast on for Crumpet’s #2 and so far it looks really cute with the beads.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wally World Excursion

I went to Wal-Mart tonight. Anyone who knows me knows I hate shopping at Wal-Mart. It is not a political statement but an elitist one. I should probably be ashamed of saying that, but I’m not. It isn’t about poor vs. rich; it is about class vs. no class. I generally prefer Target because it is clean, well organized and well, has a clientele that doesn’t have to be told to wear shoes! So, why did I go there? Because they have this! Christine gave me the idea on Thursday and apparently she got it from Jenny. It was way cheaper than the one at Knit Picks! I have to figure out where everything is going and then make the labels. It is for holding my needles and whatever.

This afternoon I spent over two hours stringing beads for the Crumpet's dress. A little bit later I was laying on the floor with Piglet when Calvin hit me with his squeaky dog toy. Somehow Squeaky Dog had become tangled with the yarn that had the beads on it and he was on his way through my house! Fortunately I was able to save the beads but Squeaky Dog did not have as lucky a fate. He is in the process of being disemboweled as we speak!

Oh, Jayne asked who Phil Spector is. He is big time music producer. He has produced such hits as "To Know Him is To Love Him" and "Da Do Run Run" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".


Friday, May 11, 2007

I'm Hooked!

I’m hooked… Jayne gets sucked into the black hole known as Etsy and I have been sucked into the black hole known as Court TV. The Phil Spector trial is going on and it is like watching a train wreck or Cops – I am thoroughly disgusted and yet, I am compelled to watch while we eat lunch and Piglet naps. Now, I realize you have to be “unique” in order to cut it in the entertainment industry but this guy left unique with his hairstyles and moved on to creepy, bizarre and psychotic with his lifestyle. He spends the entire day staring; I don't think I have ever seen him blink. Occasionally he looks over to the camera and it is eerie. It is like he is looking directly into my living room. How anyone could date him, marry him or raise children (he has two adopted children whom he would lock in their bedrooms!) with that freak is beyond me. The part that gets me are the women who still love him despite the fact that he held a gun to their head and held them hostage in his home! Sheesh! Some of them continued relationships with him after. HELLO! I can tell you with 100% certainty that should Big Boy ever do such a thing the relationship will be over. Big Boy, are you listening?

Thank you all for the comments about Piglet and his cuteness. I do not read him these comments because he already has a big head, literally.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Stash Enhancement

On Friday afternoon we were privileged to see the Prince’s motorcade as he made his way to Norfolk. Here is the start of the motorcade (Big Boy suggested that the Prince was riding a motorcycle with the troopers)…

Here is the motorcade…
This photo made me really miss Texas and the wide open highways!

Here is the truck we nearly owned. Big Boy is fond of tailgating…

During our trip to DC this weekend I did a little LYS shopping and stash enhancement. The store had a display of the Monica tank from Knitty and it was just too cute to pass up. I picked up some blue and white Cotton Fleece – it isn’t pictured because I had already balled it and cast on for the top. I also picked up a few shades of brown Cotton Fleece to do a sweater for Piglet. The other stuff is an order from Elann and it all has a plan (so did everything else in the stash when I bought it!). The red will become another Crumpet’s dress, but this time with beads. The Austermann Mayfair Color will become the Turtleneck Tube Vest from Fitted Knits. The Highland Silk will become the Cozy V-neck Sweater from Fitted Knits. I have wanted the Ribby Cardi pattern for a while now. I have plans to make it with a button band instead of a zipper – unless someone wants to sew in the zipper for me :-)

And now what ya’ll have been waiting for… Piglet’s five month photo.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Project Spectrum

I went out to water my fern the other day and this is what lay before my eyes. A little nest with five tiny eggs. I 'm not sure what type of bird the momma is because she flies off whenever I approach, but she is small and beige with a little bit of cream on the tips of her feathers. The eggs are a blue/green color. I hope they do not hatch while we are away this weekend because I really want to be around for the big event.

Today I am mailing off the hats and socks for the Afghans for Afghans program. They have extended their deadline so you still have time to get in some goodies and use up those half skeins languishing in your stash.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Seems I Hate to Seam

I seamed the Angelina today and I was reminded, again, why I hate seams. I always have an easier time on one side of the garment than the other. The sleeves were an issue unto themselves. Next time I have a pattern for a garment knit all in one piece with the sleeves cast on increments I am going to follow Nona Knits idea for short row shoulders. I have some bulk under the arm and some areas that look a little weird but I don’t think anyone will be looking under there. I will try to flatten it when I block. Yeah, when…

I apologize for being MIA for the past few weeks. Sometimes I just have to take a break and hang by myself. Do you ever get tired of people? I often find myself wishing I were home with my dogs and my knitting. I already find myself explaining bad behavior to Piglet. I get frustrated with the junior high behavior of adults. Why is it we can be nice to someone in private but when our friend’s show up it is a whole different story?

Several things happened last week to bring me to contemplate the level of crazy in the world but this one takes the cake! I received an email from someone inviting me to join a new local knitting group and telling me about a “new” LYS. She assumed I didn’t know about the store because I do not have a link on my blog. She signed her name. I emailed her back telling her that I would not promote the “new” store because I had a bad experience there and have heard from many others about their bad experiences. I then received an email back asking about the experiences and a rant about supporting our LYS if we want to continue having them. (Frankly I would rather support a WHORE HOUSE that gives good customer service than a yarn shop that doesn’t. Ooops, that will get me a ton of spam) She went on to say that she has never met the owners but the partners are all very nice and I should tell the owner about my experience. Anyway, I started to get a little curious and well, you know what happened to the cat… I googled the email address. Whaddya know… the email address goes back to the LYS! That sneaky, sneaky____ (you fill in the blank!). This whole exchange was not some well-meaning, concerned customer it was the owner. She would have been more likely to get my patronage back (ok, not really) if she had just been honest from the start: “hello, my name is ____ and I own ____ and I am trying to get my name out there. Would you be willing to add my link to your blog?” Would this have been so hard? I still would have said no but not based on my bad experience. I recently found out that she went into another LYS and approached their customers about coming to her store. UGH!

Some good happenings… Benne has started a blog. A fascinating blog. She raises ducks and her stories about the Momma ducks, surrogacy and ducklings are sweet, exciting and sometimes a little sad. I love the photographs! I like to tell Piglet about the ducks.

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