Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!


Mimi and Sugar Bear with Santa.

So, the sweater. Well, good news and bad news. Really good news was that I finished all of the knitting on Christmas Eve Day. Thanks to my family for doing their own dishes after I made lunch, I began sewing on the first sleeve. Bad news is, I was unable to complete the entire piecing together of the sweater. Good news, however, is, I did put it over his head and low and behold the damn thing fits! Not sure why I consider this to be so remarkable, but for a first sweater, I think it must be. And it's really quite lovely. Me promises a picture just as soon as the sucker is sewn together completely AND the DH is in it.

Hope that whatever holiday you celebrated over the last few weeks and the next couple is/was fabulous! We had 11 here over the weekend (total of about 20 Christmas Eve) and it was a wonderful time. If I can keep my eyes open later tonight, I'll be sewing away.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Thank You's

I owe Linda an enormous debt of gratitude. And so here it is, THANK YOU LINDA! Yesterday, she came over with the kids so our kids could have a playdate and she picked up over 100 stitches for me on DH's sweater. We all know how much I love to pick up stitches. And she showed me how much easier it is to do this with a crochet hook. In addition, when I completely screwed up on the collar she was kind enough to then TINK (for those of you who do not know, it's knit spelled backwards, which means to un-knit what you just screwed up), probably around 400 stitches for me. All while I was working on the sleeve. Regarding the sleeve, I've done all of the increases and just have to finish in the 3 x 1 rib for the rest of it. I hope you will go look at her website as she knitted a Christmas stocking that is to die for. And all for someone she kind of knows. Linda is a gem.

Now, as much as I would like to stay and chat, I have a sweater to finish. Oh, and ignore any typos, blogger's spellcheck has been screwy for days.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

For the Love of Christmas

It happens to me every year. I think we've already established that I am crazy for Christmas. I love it. I decorate like a crazy person inside and out. I shop like a crazy person because I love to give gifts. I bake like a crazy person because, well, I love to bake. I think these are all fairly normal behaviors.

But, could someone please tell me what posesses people to go off the deep end with the Christmas attire?

I only wish I had my camera on me so I could take a picture of the woman sitting across from us at the restaurant tonight.

I was already in pre-barf mode when I saw that she had the goofy button-down snowflake and snowman vest. And then I saw the earrings that were Christmas lights. Gee, you'd think that would have been enough for her.

But, on the way out, low and behold, she had the Christmas socks on. Oh, and the Christmas charm bracelet. And yes, the sickeningly sweet penguin turtle neck. Are you getting the visual here? If I was Jewish, I think I would have run from her screaming, ahhhhhhh the Christmas people are coming to get me!

If this is your grandmother or your mother, it's time for an intervention. Get in their closets and get rid of this kitschy sh$$. No one wants to see it, it's frightening. If they must, let them wear their little earrings. Let them wear their socks. But the head to toe, schlock of crap is a nightmare. Help us one and all.

And while we're at it, let me share with you a little list my friend Lynn sent me today (I'm hoping to have all of them by the end of the season):

Top 10 Holiday Psych Disorders

1. Schizophrenia -- Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic -- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and
Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees
and.....

6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

8. Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna
Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy
- can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells Jingle Bells,
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle
Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells


PS. And yes, I am still knitting the second sleeve

Shoulders above the rest

The shoulders are seamed! I matched up the ribbing and everything front to back. Though, now I am looking at the instructions for the sleeves and (gasp!) there's math involved. Someone definitely should have warned me about the math. I would have been happy to knit him a vest.

I've got the second sleeve on the needles with a lot to go, but the girls have a playdate in the morning and I plan on taking advantage of the time to knit while I chat. Must finish sweater before company begins to arrive!

Any hints on sewing the sleeves would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Almost there!

Okay, well, sleeve number one on DH's sweater is finished. I have sleeve two, the collar and then the finishing to get done by Monday. I am starting to believe this might happen. The only concern I have, well, two concerns: I'm a little nervous about the crossover collar because a) I've never even done a sweater before, let alone a collar like this, and b) my favorite: I have to pick up a bunch of stitches to do it. My second concern is the actual finishing because I haven't done that before either and I am too late to get it to someone who really knows what the hell they are doing on this front. I have a feeling this is going to be a week full of prayer.

Especially when you consider that I am having almost a dozen of us for Christmas. So, I'm a little crazy. It's amazing how much I am actually accomplishing. I'm going to sleep for a week when Christmas is over. Sorry kids, mommy is having a nervous breakdown, you'll just have to play Ants in Your Pants by yourself for a little while.

Off to start sleeve number two!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Teacher Gifts


As promised, a quick shot of the teacher gifts. Hope they like them! I figure it's a nice little addition to the gift cards!

Sales Galore

Before I get going, let me just say, you may need to check back on this post because I will update it as I get notification of sales. If you have any you want me to post, just let me know.

First, for you Connecticut/Massachusetts locals, we have Marji's yarncrafts in Granby, CT. She's having her annual after-Christmas yarn sale for three days, December 26, 27, and 28. All yarn is on sale. Re-read it if you need to.

Webs in Northampton, MA is also having their year-end blowout sale. Bags and cones starting at $5.00. Plus a bunch of stuff at 50-60% off. The Sale runs from December 26th through January 2nd.

Simply Sock Yarn is having a 20% off sale on Interlacements Tiny toes and Toasty toes from now until the end of the year. And a pattern comes with each purchase.

Kaleidoscope Yarns is also having a sale, this time 15% off on Farmhouse Yarns Lumpy Bumpy. While supplies last.

And as always, Astrid is offering good deals. Right now, 10% off on all items. Just use Christmas as your code in the discount box. It's even valid on gift certificates! Way to go Astrid!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday knitting

Due to the fact that I am a fool sometimes, I forgot to take a picture of Sugar Bear's teacher gifts before I gave them. I basically knit up a washcloth each, with the homemade soap that I made with Linda and then added a little gift card. Mimi's teacher's are getting the soap and the washcloths, so at least I can show you those because I haven't given them yet. They are getting awesome gift cards that were a result of the entire class donating money towards one giant gift card. Hope they like it!

I have finished the front of Allen's sweater. (Eleni, do you know that Christmas is barely over a week away? Yes, I am aware of that. And you know that you are having 11 people at your house for Christmas so you are going to be pretty busy doing other stuff this week? Yes, I am clear on that also. So, you still think you might have a shot at finishing it in time for Christmas? Of course, I am going to finish it. Riiiiiiight). I'm doing the sleeves now and hoping for the best, I think that my balls are just big enough to wrap it almost finished. I've never had to do that before, but now seems like an appropriate time to start.

BTW Hope you enjoy Mr. Nipples, finally!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Come on, you know they want us to think it's nipples

I'm sorry, but I just can't get off this subject yet. At least now that two of you have posted, I can reasonably say, on this commercial, I have not lost my mind. I'm bummed, because I haven't seen the commercial since my initial post. And it's not yet made its way to You Tube, so I can't post the video. They do however have a whole bunch of crazy Mr. Nibbles comments on the Staples website. I just keep wondering how this made it past the censors? Cause there is NO WAY it sounds like nibbles. I only came to the conclusion it had to be nibbles because as funny as it is to hear nipples, those damn censors just don't think nipples and Christmas should be in the same commercial. I'm sure Jesus had nipples, but again, you can't say that publicly.

Can you tell I'm having just a little too much Christmas? Here's the thing . . .I've already been at this since the week before Thanksgiving. This is completely abnormal for me because I am the queen of the last minute when it comes to Christmas. However, this year, with Mimi in school, I have just a smidgen more time. Not a ton, but a smidgen that has enabled me to turn into my hidden desire . . . Betty Lou Who.

I wrapped a ton of presents the week before thanksgiving so I could give them to the people I was going to see at Thanksgiving. And I also did a bunch of those gift jars where you put the ingredients in the jars for some fabulous dessert and they just add the trans fat and have a holly jolly Christmas. Not to mention the Christmas crafting. I think my husband must be slipping me eggnog and I am just not aware of it. Because, seriously, I made popcorn garland for the tree. Maybe it's crack he's passing me.

We got the biggest Christmas tree we have ever had. I know this because I typically have more ornaments than I need and it's not so this year. I managed to get almost every single ever-lovin ornament on that thing. I ran out of lights at the bottom, and the popcorn garland, while not originally a necessity, became one, because I ran out of red beaded garland.

And the wrapping, my God, the wrapping. The wrapping could conceivably turn me into the grinch once and for all. I'm wrapping presents for my kids not just from us, but from my grandparents, my parents (my mom did a couple), and my aunt and uncle (who did volunteer to wrap, but they are coming up on Christmas eve and I just don't think it's a nice treat to make them wrap for my kids on top of a five to six hour drive from Virginia, call me crazy, but it's just not nice). The wrapping is endless. I have hope that I will finally get rid of all the wrapping paper I bought on the cheap that totally sucks. Because if there is an insult to injury on the wrapping front, it's having to wrap with cheap paper that rips as you cut it.

This past week alone, I baked approximately 15 dozen cookies. Plus another 4 dozen-ish tiropites (think spanikopita without the spinach).

My kids are in the Nutcracker this week. And God Bless their dance teacher, it's only an hour long because, well, I have to finish wrapping.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Staples commercial

Okay, I have to try to find a video clip, but have you seen the commercial with the reindeer? I believe that his name is Mr. Nibbles, but seriously, it sounds like Nipples which is just a funny word, I don't care who you are, it's funny. It's something about a guy looking for a present for his wife and Mr. Nipples recommends a laptop. Hysterical. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What fresh hell is this?

Here I am, minding my own business, at almost thirteen years old when they do this to me.


I was suspicious Wednesday evening when my food bowl and water were gone. Then, the family gave me extra love and attention as I went out the door with my dad to work. Except, we didn't go to work. He took me to that place I dread . . . the vet.

I had hoped it was one of those routine deals where they just check me out, but no. Not only did they remove some giant tumor on my butt, but I am now short my manhood. And to add insult to injury they shaved part of my ear to remove a cyst.

My dad has been promising me a Cal Gal, but no, instead he found himself a wife. Then, I thought I had a shot, and those small animals showed up, you know the one's that come out of the human's bellies?

And on top of it all, the one pleasure I have left, my ability to lick myself has now been taken away by this hellish collar.

I say again, I'm almost thirteen years old, can't they just leave me alone?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Reach out and touch someone

The following is a re-post of a reminder for you all! Yesterday was the first of the month, did you check your boobs?

One year ago this month, my friend Loretta passed away from breast cancer. She was 34-years old and she left behind a wonderful husband, a giving, loving family, and a handsome, bright one and a half year old son.

When I attended her funeral, I believe it was her husband who said that Loretta was one to always send cards to remember birthdays and anniversaries, or to cheer up a friend . In honor of Loretta, and the impact she has had on my life, I've decided to post this reminder.

Do you do your self breast exams every month? I didn't used to. Loretta changed that for me. I turned 31 this month, which, if I am not wrong, is the age Loretta was when she found the lump. In our thirties, we aren't recommended to have mammograms yet. So, the only way you are going to find a potentially harmful lump is if YOU are checking. Because once a year at the GYN is not enough. You have to check. You need to get to know your breasts so that you know what is normal and what isn't.

My suggestion is this. We all have palm pilots or computers with one kind of calendar program or another. Our lives are busy and we keep our most important appointments in these calendars. So, it's time to start reminding yourself to do you breast exam because this is one of your most importatn appointments. Most important to your families, and most important to me, your friend.

Please, after finishing this post, go to your calendar, and make a recurring appointment for the first of every month to "CHECK YOUR BOOBIES." I've always thought the word boobies is funny, so for me, I'll see the reminder AND get a chuckle. And here's my promise to you. For the next three months, I am going to post a little reminder email on the first day of the month to CHECK YOUR BOOBIES.

If you want to, copy thid post and send this to your friends, and make the commitment to them that you will remind them for three months. I'd love for this post to reach as many people as possible. If each one reaches one, there will be a lot more of us checking our boobies and potentially saving our lives.

Lastly, if you do not know how to do a self breast exam, please visit this website (love that google) and follow the directions or get your GYN to show you on your next visit.

I love you girls! Love yourselves enough to do this!

Friday, December 01, 2006

What ever happened to . . .?

I'm starting to feel like one of those episodes of "Where are they now?"

But, I am planning on getting back into my blog, mostly to stop all of you from emailing me with "are you dead?"

What a crazy month (yikes!) it has been. I think that once the Democrats took back the Senate and the House, I just shut down from shock. Joy, mind you, but shock none-the-less.

I think the best place to start for this "back to school" post is with the Holiday sales and knitting news. There are some great deals and info out there, so let me run them down as I have gotten them via email:

The new episode of MagKnits is up and running, you can find it here. I can't comment on whether or not it's great because I haven't yet had a chance to look at it (Linda and I made soap all day today, and I can't wait to take pictures to show you the results, but that's why I haven't had time!)

From the What the Fug file, I just want to share this unusual Berroco gem:
I'm not sure exactly how this warms your feet, other than once you put them on your feet are stuck in the same position for so long, they begin to develop their own brain to regulate their temperature.

As usual, Webs is having some closeout deals, this time on Tahki and Filatura di Crosa.

And, of course, Astrid has some deals going. All yarn kits have a 10% discount included in the price until December 5th. She has some other deals too, but basically, same great prices and service as always.

I have much more on all fronts, but I am running out of steam. I'm planning on knitting washcloths to go with the soap for the teachers of the kids and I am only on number one. Uh, yeah, 19 days until they get out of school....


EDIT: Kaleidoscope yarns is offering two Cherry Tree Hill Yarns at 15% off and they have the new Pink Denise needles that are a little pricier, but the extra dough goes to Breast Cancer Research.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Well, hello there

I haven't meant to be quiet this last week. It's not really in my nature, you know.

I have to give a much longer update around all things, but I just want to say briefly, if you haven't voted yet,

WHAT"S YOUR PROBLEM???

Get thee to the polls! I have it on good authority that there could actually be record turnout this year considering that it isn't a presidential year. Only you can help make that a reality. So get off your bahookie and go vote. Yes, you Republicans, too. Remind yourselves it's a privilege not just a right.

And of course, everyone wise up and vote Democrat :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!


Sugar Bear goes to a Montessori school and they do not celebrate Halloween for the little kids. But, now that she is a big kid in first grade, she gets to participate in Mystery History day. Each child dresses up as a famous person from history. Then they stand in front of the class and give the class three clues as to who they are and the kids try to get it right. I'm sure I have already told some of you who she is, but for those of you who don't know, can you guess who Sugar Bear is dressed as today?

I'll post some pictures of her in the "real costume" with Mimi later. Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 30, 2006

And, I'm out

I've had a wee bit of depression since I was killed in the Sock Wars on Saturday. I was killed by very nice pink socks, however, and I am released from having to knit that pattern again, so I shall not be bitter. Twas a good day to die. Will post a pic soon. I'm just too tired tonight.

Some musings on sock wars, though. I really enjoyed the idea of the Sock Wars. I found it to be remarkable that after I killed my target in Philadelphia, her target in the UK mailed her socks in progress to Philadelphia and then mailed them to me in Connecticut. Then, matching the gauge perfectly, if I do say so myself, I managed to duplicate the first sock and then off to the new target in Baltimore they went (the original target deserted in Canada).

And regarding gauge, I think I have complained perhaps once or twice how much I hate dealing with gauge, trying to get gauge, did I get gauge, I thought I got gauge, but no, no damn gauge. Oh, wait, I got stitches but not rows. Bottom line, I get it now. Because I got gauge, I could duplicate the sock that someone else, an ocean away had knit. And though they were originally for someone with size 9 feet, they were stretchy enough to fit the lovely size 11 where they ended their journey. I will no longer scoff at gauge, because gauge has become my friend. I understand now why I must. And just for a moment, during the beginning of each project, I will pretend I am a process knitter.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Winds of Change

I can't hear that phrase any more without envisioning a scene from Monsters, Inc. where the bad guy says, Can you feel it Wyzowski? It's the winds of change.

But, I digress. . .

The point of the post today is to remind you that there are only 11 days left until Election Day. Granted, this is not a Presidential Vote year. But, I hope that you will not let that keep you from the polls. If you aren't a democrat, the rest of this post will not appeal to you. My sincerest wish is that regardless of your party affiliation, you get out and vote, because we need to remember what a privilege the right to vote really is.

Now, on to the Democratic pitch. As I have mentioned before, one of my best friends works for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. She sent me an email today to help get the word out that it's time to get out and vote and more specifically some info that may affect you depending on where you live.

The DSCC is the—most —important organization for helping take back the Senate for the Democrats. We have to win six seats and we have a real chance but only if we get more people to volunteer in one of these three battleground states: Missouri, Virginia, and Tennessee. We donÂ't take back the senate unless we win one of these.

The DSCC needs to send 50 people to Missouri to help Claire McCaskill win her race against Republican Senator Jim Talent. The timeframe is Friday, November 3 -– Sunday or Monday, November 5 or 6. The DSCC will cover expenses for travel and housing.

We also need help in Virginia as Democratic challenger Jim Webb has a real chance to unseat Senator George Allen. The DSCC will bus people to Virginia over the next two weekends to the districts in most need. Likely you will be asked to make phone calls, knock on doors, etc. The Webb campaign needs all the help they can get.

Please consider helping either by volunteering yourself or by forwarding this to every friend or family member who might want to lend a much-needed hand.

If you are interested, please contact Beth Leonard, our GOTV (get out the vote) director at leonard@dscc.org.

Also, if you are interested, you can make a donation as small as $15 to the DSCC in order to help the cause. It's not a lot of money, but it is money that makes a difference in these final days. If you can donate more, then do it!

I think that in Connecticut, it looks like we will be stuck with Joe for more time than I care to think about. However, just maybe if we all make a conscious effort to reach just one other person and encourage them to learn more about Ned Lamont, or just make it easier for them to go vote, we can close the gap.

If you're happy with the way things have been with a Republican in the White House plus a Republican congress, you probably haven't even made it this far in the post. Regardless of my party affiliation, I just don't believe that one party should control all three places. This is the year that we can start to feel the Winds of Change, but it takes each one of us. If the election in 2000 showed us anything, EVERY vote can make a difference.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Get back on the meds, Rush

If Rush Limbaugh were any more of a pig, I’d shove an apple in his mouth and do the hula myself.

The old joke goes something like, what’s lower than low?

In this case, it’s Rush Limbaugh criticizing Michael J. Fox for, get this, exaggerating the effects of Parkinson’s Disease in an ad he has taped for a candidate in Maryland.

And then, had the balls to say, “Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting.”

Well, if anyone would be an expert regarding medication, it would be Rush.

Here’s the link for the advertisement so that you can actually see what this moron has the gall to criticize.

Limbaugh apparently apologized later on, but, really, does that even matter? But, oh wait, it doesn’t matter because then, he shifted his position again and criticized him for using his illness to campaign for a politician. Yeah, cause you know those Republicans, no way, they would “pull” something like that.

I’ve seen the footage of Fox testifying before Congress on multiple occasions in order to get them to wise up regarding stem cell research. He bobs all over the place. It’s painful to watch. Every time DH and I see him on screen and see the effects of the disease, we have commented how it seems to be progressing rapidly. And we’re laymen sitting home just watching TV.

But Dr. Neurology Limbaugh, he’s the one who really has the lock here on what’s really going on.

I think the real question is, WHO is lower than low?

Darfur

Sunday evening as I watched the 60 minutes piece on Darfur, I thought, "When will we finally care?"

There are two and a quarter million refugees in Darfur, many of them children and we don't care.

At least, 400, 000 men, women and children have been killed and we don't care.

This is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, and we don't care.

When the villages are burned, literally to the ground, and the women are subjected to gang bang raping prior to being murdered, we don't seem to care.

When the children are gunned down by the soldiers as they try to flee the villages, we don't seem to care then either.

And we certainly don't care, when they dump these poor people, men, women and children into mass graves, often in the water supply, where they can never return to mourn their loved ones or rebuild their homes.

When are we going to care? When are we going to say, this is genocide, and though these humans are half a world a way, we have to do something? When are our leaders going to stop turning our heads to this genocide because the Sudanese government is supposedly providing intelligence in the "war on terror?"

It's easy for us to sit in our comfortable homes and not care. It's easy for us to get wrapped up in daily life and not care.

But doesn't it come down to the old cliche "If not us, then who?" Because, there is no one else. Look at your husband or wife or child and think about someone just coming into your home and taking them by force, making them disappear from your life forever. Only if you are lucky will you live to miss them.

I want to hear from our elected representatives and those who are trying to get elected that it is time that we all care.

And by chance, if you care, please consider getting involved. Tell the President and your Congressperson that it is time to establish a no-fly zone. It's time to increase humanitarian aid, while ensuring access for aid delivery. It's time to strengthen the understaffed and overwhelmed African Union peacekeeping force already in Darfur. And finally, if nothing else, it's time to push for the deployment of a strong UN peacekeeping force.

If you want to educate yourself further, please consider visiting Save Darfur. Once you know, you will have to care.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

2nd Assassination in progress

I got socks today from my kill's kill. They went from the UK to Philadelphia to me. Well, I should say, sock. She knitted the first sock of doom for her target and now I have to knit the second and get it off to her target in Canada. I thought she was only a size 9 but, man do these socks look huge! And I wear a size 9! No time to chat, must get knitting!

Friday, October 20, 2006

FO


No, that's not what it means, it means finished object. As in this hat that I finished for Sugar Bear. Next, I will be making one for myself and for Mimi. But for now, just this one in Opal Flamingo. I love that the ponytail sticks right out of the top so neatly. And, that she wore it all day at school, even though the weather didn't really call for it. Linda has a great idea for doing one for pigtails, which would work a lot better for Mimi. Now I just have to work out the how.
Now, if I could just get that heel of the sock to cooperate. Perhaps tonight.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ah, Halloween


I just want to know, who is it exactly that dresses up their infant as a whoopie cushion for Halloween?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Knit notes

Okay, first Kaleidoscope Yarns has the Denise Needles on sale until October 20th for 15% off. I use mine all the time. Though, I do confess, I am getting ready to order the Knit Picks options needles. I've got some yarn I want to get from them also, but I have been looking at these needles for months and I'm treating myself. I'm thinking of getting the basic kit and then trying some of their circs as well. I feel like I can never have too many needles, because it never fails that if I have three projects going at once, they all need the same size needle.

Second, Annie Modesitt is out and about this fall. I personally have never gotten to see her, but I see that she will be in CT next Sunday at the Yarn Barn in Woodbridge (yes, I know this is Rhinebeck weekend coming up). She's working on her signature Circular Cocoon Sweater that was in the Fall 2005 Vogue Knitting. I'm missing this workshop, but hope it works for some of you!

Third, Webs has more Noro on sale and they have closeouts on Classic Elite as well so that might be of interest!

Fourth, you-know-who Astrid, has all Trekking sock yarn for $7.95 per 100g. And they have some interesting looking sweater kits as well as some free sock patterns. Love that Astrid.

I haven't knit in a few days. The kids had a huge Country Fair at school so between baking and helping out, my hands were full with a lot more than yarn. It's good though, I think I needed a little break so I can get back in hard core as we head into holiday season!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

WIPs


I keep forgetting to put these up. There's actually a third shot, but for now, here we are. First, we have the Regia Surf color socks I am working on. The pattern is from Knit Socks! I think it's called the Classy Slip Up. The pattern is going pretty fast, I think I am going to switch to smaller needles for the heel and gusset. I love these colors and I must keep these for myself. I say that now, but there's always the chance that when I finish I will not be able to contain my joy and will have to give them to someone.

The next big with-a-capital-B project, is the blanket for my friend's new baby. This is my first design (I know, very simple, but still, it's mine). It's a two inch border on the sides in garter. And then the center is 2 inch stripes in stockinette. The yarn is Trendsetter Blossom for the center which is amazingly soft. Hard to part with soft. And the edging is done in the coordinating, much sturdier Muench Tessin yarn. It's a little over 100 stitches wide (yes, I know, it is a BIG baby blanket, but when my girls were small, I didn't like those little blankets; they didn't grow with them and then you are stuck with all these little useless blankets) but, it goes fast and it's fairly mindless so I can do it while I am doing other things.

Like teaching Sugar Bear to latch hook. She actually started learning at school (I love Montessori for this reason; that they teach them things like this as part of the curriculum). She's working on a panda at school and a tiger cub at home. It's great because it's a project we can work on together. I also taught her how to cross-stitch on Sunday. We had tried it about a year ago, but it was too soon. She's more into it now. The interesting thing is that she can do great with the first half of the x, but then she has trouble "seeing" the other half. But, I'm proud that she is keeping at it as she is often easily frustrated.

I'll try to post a pic later of the scarf I am in-process on!

Cherry Tree Hill Superworsted Merino

I know some people love to knit with this and some wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Personally, I love it. I knit my mom a pair of socks with it last year and thought it was awesome to work with. For those of you who love it, there's a rumor going around that I thought I should share (perhaps it is a clever marketing ploy):

The rumor is that because of the scarcity of enough superwash merino to mill Supersock, once Superworsted is sold out it will never be milled again.

I got this from an email from Trash and Treasure, who is selling it on eBay and their online store (still trying to figure out if that's the same thing for them). I like these guys, good prices, good yarn. One proviso is that they sell mill ends, seconds, endlots, and discontinued colors. I think they have fixed price yarn on ebay also. Their other info says: "This washable yarn is soft and great for socks and sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves--anything you want to be able to wash and wear in a natural fiber. This yarn comes 4 oz/ 215 yards for $20 retail. Buy it before it's gone for $15 per hank."

Monday, October 09, 2006

HBO bill Maher John Kerry

The unbelievable comment by Kerry

Just when things are looking up . . .

Last week's October surprise of Foley turning out to be such a mess was great for Democrats. It could probably just have easily been one of the guys or gals on our side of the aisle, but thankfully it wasn't. And it's looking good for one, if not both, houses of Congress to head back toward the Democrats.

And then I see John Kerry on Bill Maher. I didn't get a chance to watch it Friday night, but I caught the rerun earlier tonight. I voted for Kerry. Considering it was a choice between him and Bush, come on, what kind of choice is that really? Eat dog poop or black licorice? The licorice starts looking really good at that point. But, I digress.

Maher was asking Kerry what he got his wife for her birthday. He said they had a getaway to Vermont. Maher said something like, why not just go to New Hampshire and kill two birds with one stone? And Kerry actually said, out loud, where people could hear him, "I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania avenue and killed the real bird with one stone?" Say what? I'm sorry what? (Donna, I do think that maybe I heard it wrong, but I guess part of my point is, I really wish these guys would not try to be funny, cause it always backfires; I don't think he got a single laugh, cause he was so bitter when he said it, it sounded not the way he perhaps intended it).

I think I have made it clear that I am counting the days, minutes and seconds until Bush is gone, but dude, you just threatened the President of the United States. A death threat. I'm surprised the Secret Service, who obviously don't watch Politically Incorrect, didn't show up on his doorstep. Those guys really don't have a sense of humor. And if I didn't find it funny, I can't imagine people who actually want to protect him would find it funny.

I can't believe somebody somewhere didn't pick it up. Just shows how important this guy is these days. And you know, I think he is seriously considering another run. Christ, maybe he could take that Joe Lieberman with him this time and let John Edwards do some real work. The good news is for the Democrats is that I don't think anyone is taking him seriously. Cause if he's supposed to be speaking for the party. Egads man!

Check out the video, I believe he said some other dumb stuff, but I got lost at the death threat.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WEBS sales

You guys are familiar with WEBS I am sure. They are having closeout prices on Rowan in case you are interested. They also have a huge supply of sock yarn, so I am sure that will be great interest to you sock-a-holics out there.

Still waiting to be killed in the Sock wars! Can't wait! Cause I doubt I will be able to knit into the second round.

Also, Astrid's latest deal is on Opal and it's crazy. $7.50 per ball of Opal, but only until Friday. They are still having that sale on Addi's also. I love those needles. I think they are the best for socks because they fly off the needles. I know some find them slick, but for me, they work great.

Oh, and the October MagKnits is up and there are some interesting finds. That pumpkin basket is pretty sweet.

Also, the Simply Socks Yarn Company (sponsor(?) of Socktoberfest is offering several collections of Opal at 20% off. They include Petticoat, Rainforest (not sure if new colorway is included), Opal Silk (awesome) and Summer Night Bouquet.

Happy Knitting ya'll!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I keep forgetting!

I received a wonderful package from my One Skein pal. She gave me the big reveal and knitted me the most adorable beaded bracelet. I need to block it a tiny bit and then I am absolutely going to wear it with pride. I'll post a picture then. She also sent some other cute swag. So thank you, thank you, thank you! Now, I just need to get off my butt and finally send my poor pal the lace scarf I was working on that Mimi was so king to take my knitting needles out of, and me with no lifeline shocking, I know.

I have also been remiss in posting the picture of the International Sock of Doom socks that I mailed off over the weekend. I think by now, she has received them. I'm still waiting to be killed. Should happen any time this week based on my discussion with my assassin. I don't love that these socks turned out so fraternal. I'm blaming Regia, because, naturally, it couldn't be my mistake. I started at what I thought was the exact same place in the ball of yarn for both socks, but, well, you see the result. I'm also not used to knitting with 6ply, but I think I have already ranted on that one.


And finally, I knit a baby hat over the weekend for a friend's new baby. I don't yet have a picture of the cutie in the hat, but I also knit up some baby booties last night that I am sending along. His real present is in the works, but by the time I finish it, he could be getting married, so I figured a couple of quick projects would hold them until the other is finished!

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Yarn Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, there was a Queen'’s Lady in Waiting who loved to knit. She searched high and low for the highest quality yarns. She searched out the very best prices (so as not to bankrupt the queendom). She told everyone she knew about the joys of knitting. She dreamt of fibers in all the colors of the rainbow.

What the Queen'’s Lady in Waiting most enjoyed was going to her LYS (local yarn store, for the uninitiated) to meet and greet with other knitters and to check out the latest and greatest fibers. It was important to her that she support her LYS because a good LYS is sometimes hard to find. So, she shopped there, and she told her knitting ladies in waiting friends to shop there. She spread their name far and wide, whenever and wherever she could (without their asking), so that the LYS might even enjoy more success.

One day, the Queen'’s Lady in Waiting went to her LYS to see what she could see. And she found a gorgeous Hanne Falkenberg kit that she had not seen a sample of before. Her LYS did not actually have a sample of the sweater to try on, but she was interested anyway, and decided to put the kit on hold so she could think about it. The price was dear, but worth it.

Being the savvy Lady in Waiting that she was she went home and did a little research on the Internet. The Prince had her hooked up with a cable connection. She found that if she ordered the exact same kit from Far, Far Away that she could actually save the crown over $100. Thus, she called back her LYS and told the fair young maiden there that she would not need to keep the kit on hold. She did this within 24 to– 48 hours in consideration of the LYS, so that perhaps, though they had not sold it in months, that they might be able to sell it to someone, anyone.

Sadly, the young maiden at the LYS forgot to tell the owner, Lady Dragon, of the LYS immediately that the Lady in Waiting would not be taking the kit. Lady Dragon then became enraged when she read the Lady in Waiting'’s blog and found out that she dared save $100 by shopping elsewhere. She huffed and puffed and the fair young maiden who worked for her suggested to the Princess that she not come to the LYS for a while.

The Lady in Waiting was saddened by this because she thought that she had a good relationship with the LYS and that Lady Dragon would be the recipient of the majority of her knitting dollars. Surely to be upset over $100 seemed rather silly? Nonetheless, the Lady in Waiting soon became busy with other things. She continued to promote the LYS when she had a chance and she went about her daily Lady in Waiting business.

One fine autumn day, the Lady in Waiting was home with her Prince Charming and she thought, tonight would be a lovely night to pay a call on the fair young maiden at the LYS and to see some fellow yarn addicts. So, she packed up a bag full of yarn that she had purchased months and months ago at the LYS (they had a strict policy that on open knit night, you must knit with something you purchased at their store), she got in her carriage and parked her horses as close as she could get to the store.

The Lady in Waiting didn'’t get a very friendly reaction from Lady Dragon, but Lady Dragon'’s husband, as kind as always, greeted her nicely. And the young maiden was happy to have her join the group of ladies knitting.

The evening progressed. The Lady in Waiting decided to purchase around $100 worth of yarn that night to increase the size and scope of the project she was working on (the yarn purchased from the LYS, lo those many months ago). And the discussion turned to gauge.

The fair young maiden said that she thought that Addi turbo needles required one to decrease a needle size in order to get the proper gauge. The Lady in Waiting was surprised to hear this, but was glad to have the information. Lady Dragon, sitting fairly near to the young maiden (who was graciously helping someone with their knitting), said aloud, "“I don'’t like Addi'’s"” and then more quietly to her consort, "“Kind of like I don'’t like you."” The consort said, "“Me?"” And then Lady Dragon cocked her head in the direction of the Lady in Waiting.

The Lady in Waiting was stunned. Had she not looked up from her knitting, she would have thought that she merely misunderstood what Lady Dragon had said. But, her meaning was clear with the cock of her head. She didn'’t like the Lady in Waiting and that was that.

The Lady in Waiting, not knowing what else to say wondered aloud how anyone could be so rude. She calmly placed her needles down in her valise bid the fair young maiden and the kindly husband goodnight, and rode back to her castle.

Upon reflection, the Lady in Waiting realized, that truly, no good deed goes unpunished. Though the Lady in Waiting felt that she had been a loyal customer and promoter of her LYS, obviously for people like Lady Dragon, that was not enough. Certainly, she had heard from other customers how rude Lady Dragon could be, but the Lady in Waiting wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. After all wasn'’t Lady Dragon a businesswoman? And as such, isn'’t customer service let alone basic decency important to her?

These be dark times indeed.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Check your Boobies

One year ago this month, my friend Loretta passed away from breast cancer. She was 34-years old and she left behind a wonderful husband, a giving, loving family, and a handsome, bright one and a half year old son.

When I attended her funeral, I believe it was her husband who said that Loretta was one to always send cards to remember birthdays and anniversaries, or to cheer up a friend . In honor of Loretta, and the impact she has had on my life, I've decided to post this reminder.

Do you do your self breast exams every month? I didn't used to. Loretta changed that for me. I turned 31 this month, which, if I am not wrong, is the age Loretta was when she found the lump. In our thirties, we aren't recommended to have mammograms yet. So, the only way you are going to find a potentially harmful lump is if YOU are checking. Because once a year at the GYN is not enough. You have to check. You need to get to know your breasts so that you know what is normal and what isn't.

My suggestion is this. We all have palm pilots or computers with one kind of calendar program or another. Our lives are busy and we keep our most important appointments in these calendars. So, it's time to start reminding yourself to do you breast exam because this is one of your most importatn appointments. Most important to your families, and most important to me, your friend.

Please, after finishing this post, go to your calendar, and make a recurring appointment for the first of every month to "CHECK YOUR BOOBIES." I've always thought the word boobies is funny, so for me, I'll see the reminder AND get a chuckle. And here's my promise to you. For the next three months, I am going to post a little reminder email on the first day of the month to CHECK YOUR BOOBIES.

If you want to, copy thid post and send this to your friends, and make the commitment to them that you will remind them for three months. I'd love for this post to reach as many people as possible. If each one reaches one, there will be a lot more of us checking our boobies and potentially saving our lives.

Lastly, if you do not know how to do a self breast exam, please visit this website (love that google) and follow the directions or get your GYN to show you on your next visit.

I love you girls! Love yourselves enough to do this!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Dum Dum Da Dumm

Well, I expressed the socks to geeyouknit this morning. They should be on her doorstep tomorrow by noon. I'm not completely sure what is going on with Yarn Monkey who is in charge of the competition, but she still hasn't opened up the place where you post you are dead on the Forum. Oh well. Just wondering if the person who was to assassinate me has been killed yet.

I did send my target some goodies, hoping that will soften the blow!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The force (so far) is with me

I'm still in process on said International Sock of Doom. It's actually going pretty well now that I have calmed down enough to realize that I need to get a grip on reality.

I am finishing the foot on the second sock so in all likelihood, I will get the sucker mailed out tomorrow. I'm probably going to pay big bucks for express Saturday delivery, but so be it. I've got to kill at least one person in this competition. The damn things are turning out fraternal, but I blame Regia. I started in what I thought was the exact same place on both balls, but they screwed me. I worry that it is insult to injury to be killed by fraternal socks, but what the hell? They can't all be pretty, they're DK weight for goodness sake! I'll try to post a photo tomorrow before I mail them!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

One down . . .

One more ever-loving sock to go. Unless of course, I don't get killed tomorrow, in which case, there will be others. But for now, the first sock is finished and I have casted on for the second, which better go faster. Thankfully, geeyouknit isn't frankenstein so I am only knitting size 8 socks!

I am feeling badly that I may assassinate, geeyouknit, because she just got dumped, on Rosh Hashannah no less. Of course, she fed-exed her socks that she already finished to England, so . . . not sure exactly how this works.

One down . . .

One more ever-loving sock to go. Unless of course, I don't get killed tomorrow, in which case, there will be others. But for now, the first sock is finished and I have casted on for the second, which better go faster. Thankfully, geeyouknit isn't frankenstein so I am only knitting size 8 socks!

I am feeling badly that I may assassinate, geeyouknit, because she just got dumped, on Rosh Hashannah no less. Of course, she fed-exed her socks that she already finished to England, so . . . not sure exactly how this works.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Death wish

I am on my third try of this [many, many expletives withheld] International Sock of Doom. You would think I just learned how to knit because clearly I have problems.

Okay, so I kind of ignored the DK weight part not once but twice. Though, in my defense the second time, the gauge was accurate and the yarn a bit thicker. But after watching Linda knitting hers today (Damn you for making me want to start over a third time), I realized, that I will at least have to be a gracious loser, so that when I am certainly killed first, based on my utter lack of ability to get this {more expletives withheld] pair completed, I will at least have something semi in progress to send to my assassin.

I met my yarn pusher at a restaurant (yes, Linda again) and she gave me two skeins of DK she had laying around (the same DK she is using for her sock) and then I headed off to Michaels because that was the only local place selling needles that was still open at 7:45 (as I raced around to be home in time to knit to Prison Break). And would you believe, Michael's doesn't stock circulars in a size smaller than 6 in any brand. This makes me hate the chunky eyelash scarf phase even more (and, yes, I too made some of those fugs) because I know damn well that is why they don't have smaller needles. So, I bought the sixes, I didn't do any kind of gauge swatch and I am off on yes, my third try of the first sock. The good news is that I found the errata in the pattern all by myself earlier today and fixed it accordingly. Damn that heel!

What was I thinking getting into this competition? And if by some chance in hell I manage to assassinate geeyouknit before I get killed, I'm screwed for next week because I have to have surgery on Thursday to have a soft tissue tumor (benign people) removed off of my shoulder. No, it couldn't be in my calf or somewhere more convenient to my knitting schedule. That would have been way too easy.

Seriously, what am I doing at this computer? I have to go knit that [so many expletives you can't even imagine] sock right now!!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The sock

I've been working on this [expletive withheld] sock all day today. I have a cold and some other medical crap going on and my heart isn't in it. Except that I can't shake the feeling that the person who has to assassinate me, is hastily knitting her sock. I just screwed up the heel so I ripped out and I am getting ready to re-do. My goal is to get at least halfway done with the foot before I have to give up and go to bed. I can see that absolutely nothing will be getting done at my house for the next two days.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sock Wars OMG

I just got my target and I am totally freaking out. I have to get on this sock because it's going to take me long enough that I will probably be killed first, but try I must. Holly, are you knitting the International Sock of Doom already?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Cupido yarn


My mom was in Rome, this week and last week. I'm not sure if she was able to go on the mohair quest today for the stash I wanted, but last week, she brought me the most amazing yarn. Cupido brand, I haven't seen it in the states, but it is just lovely. The deal was with this yarn, you had to buy 10 balls. And I think the balls came out to $5.70/ball. Way cheap if you ask me. So, the other flight attendant with her who knits took 5 of each color and I got five of each color and here is the passion! I showed the yarn to Jodi and she said it was from the same mill as another brand, but of course, now I can't remember which brand it was. I do know, however, that it was twice the price as how my mom was able to get it. It's just luscious! This is when the Internet lets me down because I can't let you reach out and touch it!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

You know we're in trouble

When Chavez starts making sense :)

If you love Addi's

Well, friends the bad news is that, apparently, Addi has had some delivery issues getting their needles to Astrid and so she has decided to stop carrying them. But the good news is, she is having a huge sale on them! Here are the details:

These are the prices:

Circulars:
size US 000 - 8 US$ 5.00
size US 9 - 11 US$ 6.00
size US 13 - 35 US$ 9.00

Crochet hooks:
size 2mm - 5mm US$ 2.00
size 6mm - 9mm US$ 3.50
size 10mm - 12mm US$ 5.00
size 15mm and 20mm US$ 7.50

DPN's:
size US 000 - 8 US$ 5.00
Bigger sizes US$ 7.50

Prices are excluding shipping costs!

Minimum purchase will be US$ 35.00 excl. shipping costs and it will only be for the sizes still in stock.
You can find these sizes on our website.
Returns cannot be accepted.

Please allow a delivery time of approx. 3 weeks on these needles, as we will be very busy with this sale!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And for more speechless outrage

I mean, really, people. Check out my friend Linda's blog. The fact that we are both having such a day is just beyond me.

What the hell is wrong with people?

I know I have mentioned this before, but where the hell has customer service gone?

I was raised in a household by a single mom, a single mom who was a flight attendant and had to deal with the public all day. Who had to deal with people trying to grope her, people blaming her for what was out of her control, people handing her poopie diapers and demanding she do something with it. And she took it all and smiled.

I then went to work at many a restaurant on and off (mostly on) for the better part of seven years. I worked with the attitude that the customer is ALWAYS right because you know what? They almost always are. Even when they are a pain in the ass, your livelihood depends on your customers. Is it fun to deal with customers who are zits on the butt of humanity? No, it's not, but often when you work with the public in any capacity, it's your job. Also, dealing with these fools makes you a better customer. And people today that are business owners could care less. Maybe it's because there is a lot of competition and they are just hedging their bets that they are going to lose some customers no matter what. But, when it is consistently bad behavior, it's not the customer's fault, it's the owner's.

Perfect example. Today, I call at 11:45 to make an appointment to get Mimi's hair cut. Okay, bring her in at 1:00, they have room. I'm doing them a favor in some respects, because I am sure the only reason they have this appointment is that someone else cancelled. This is a salon that I take the kids to for haircuts, and I use for my waxing needs. Last week, prior to the wedding, they screwed up my appointment. I know it wasn't my fault because I had to call (well in advance of 24 hours of the appointment) and changed it from Thursday to Saturday. Apparently, the desk help was unable to comprehend that Saturday was two days after Thursday, but she must have thought so a little because she didn't give me the date of the following Saturday. I get there, and they say, oh no it's next Saturday. I say, okay, I will come back during the week. At no point do they apologize for screwing me up nor do they try to fit me in. Additionally, I am giving the salon more business that same day because my dad is in town and wants a haircut. I let go of the fact that they don't apologize and move on. Until today.

Because when I called back at 12:00 to cancel Mimi's appointment (15 minutes after I have made the appointment) because she is obviously very tired from school and won't be a very good client at the salon, this is how the conversation goes:

Me: "I need to cancel my daughter's hair appointment that I just made."

Them: "Name?"

Me: "Mimi blah blah blah"

Them: "Okay, the next time you make an appointment we need at least 24-hours cancellation notice."

Me: "Since I just made this appointment 15 minutes ago, which I just mentioned to you by the way, I didn't have 24 hours and by the way, since you screwed up my last appointment you might want to check your attitude."

And then I did something I haven't done in at least 15 years, I hung up on "them." I am not proud of this. But, I think I get a pass on this one. And why?

****I'ved edited this part because I needed to for now*****

More later . . .

Update

I feel as if I have been off the reservation for longer than about a week! It's been crazy as usual. We left for my best friend, Jen's wedding last Wednesday, finally got home this Sunday and I am just now getting my blogging act in gear.

First some sales you should know about. Kaleidoscope Yarns is at it again with the Koigu, this time the KPPPM is 15% off. I think they are trying to get rid of "old" colors to make way from the new. But, really with Koigu, there's never a bad or old color as far as I am concerned. And, Astrid still has the 10% discount on all of her fall yarns plus if you order $95.00 worth they will send you a set of Profi needles for free (your choice of size).

I wanted to share at least one wedding photo and thought this was probably one of the most fun, so here is the gorgeous Jen in her beautiful gown with all of us fools in tow:

Man, we had too much fun Saturday night. The singing went well, the throat held out. I must say I am glad that it is over. I stressed out more about it than I realized. Funny how sometimes you only see those things in retrospect.

I also wanted to mention, that DH and I (unbeknownst to each other) got each other an iPod for our birthdays last week. This is great because I am listening to more knitting Podcasts and this way I can pass the time in the car (especially running back and forth to school to fetch the girls). I want to encourage all of you, if you haven't had a chance to listen to any of the knitting podcasts, get out there and listen. A good one to start with is Cast On by Brenda Dayne. Once I get my act together, I will put her button up on the site. She's a very generous podcaster, always willing to help other podcasters, and I am really enjoying her interviews and chat. There are a few others, but I haven't decided which other ones I really like, so I will save discussing those for another day.

I also have to get a photo of the truly luscious yarn my mother brought back from Rome. WOW is all I can think to say. More on that later!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Getting nervous

My best friend is getting married this weekend (the one that I knit the beaded bag for). I have been looking forward to this long before she had a groom. I cannot wait for this weekend. However . . .

I'm starting to freak a little bit tonight because I am singing the Ave Maria in the wedding in Latin (not the nervous part) and my damn throat is sore tonight. Christ. Could this cold snap have any worse timing? I'm sitting her drinking a hot cup of tea and praying. It's an ache-y throat rather than a scratchy one and I just need it to hang in long enough for me to get through the opening of the wedding. I practiced today, and while that should not have been a reason for me to suddenly have a sore throat, I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, it had a tiny bit to do with it. I'm resting it tonight and seeing what's up in the morning. I want to exercise again tonight, but part of me is thinking it might not be the worst idea to take a night off. I've exercised every single day of the last 8-10 (I can't remember past the 8 day mark with any certainty).

I pick up the bridesmaid dress tomorrow. I'm packing like a sherpa tonight because I just want to make sure I have every possible contingency planned for. Yeah, right, cause that's something I am typically so capable of planning around.

Tonight is a perfect night to knit and relax and de-stress. I have to keep repeating that.

Redskins Debacle

See, the combination of Monday Night Football where the Skins never win AND TomKat in the freaking owner's box, for God's sake, enough with the hexing of my team!

Monday, September 11, 2006

More on Knitty

One small confession before I get into the knitting. Football season is here. I am warning you now that there will probably be some football ranting going on some Monday mornings. I have issues. We know this. It's not new. Just so you know, my team is the Washington Redskins. I grew up outside of DC, so there really was no hope for me. Anyone maligning the team will be banned from commenting on the blog, even when they stink and I am complaining about them. It's kind of like, you can complain about your family, but you don't want anyone else to complain about them. I will refer you back to this post if you comment negatively about them, don't say you haven't been warned. And, Go Skins!

Okay, this is a great issue of Knitty. Maybe I think it's so great because the last few left me a little flat, but regardless, I am thrilled by how many sock patterns there are. How amazing is this pattern:


I'm not completely in love with the colors they chose, but so what? The pattern is AWESOME. And, the washcloths are simply adorable. My cousin just went off to college and now I know I am going to have to make her some. Just furthering my washcloth addiction.

I've gotten zero done on DH's sweater since he has been out of town. Boo, me. But, the good news is, I have started the Opal Pony Tail Beanie in Flamingo for Sugar Bear. This is the beanie in another color:



.

Fall Knitty

It's up ladies and gentlemen. The fall Knitty, is actually pretty cool from the nanosecond I had to look at it. You won't find my ass in that crisscross skirt anytime soon, though.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

K yarns sale

FYI--sale at Kaleidoscope Yarns on Koigu Kersti, 15% off, I think. It's really beautiful, hand-dyed and, I think dk merino.

In case you missed it

Actual quote from President Bush's softball interview with the new and improved Katie Couric:

""You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."

Looks like his internal monologue failed again. Rove better tighten that choke collar before he starts spouting off about avenging the death threat against his pappy. Sir, it's the hardest part of your job because prior to you invading the country, they were pissed off about us, but after burning a few flags in public rallies, they all went home, knelt on the rugs and left us all the hell alone. Now because revolution is a dirty business (not to mention imperialism) we're stuck with these Al-Qaida fools being in Iraq. As an American, it almost makes you long for Saddam. At least he kept those freaks on a leash.

And also, in case you missed the front page of many a paper today:

Headline: Senate Intelligence Committee Findings Released Friday Say Saddam Hussein Didn't Support Al-Qaida Or Bin Laden.

The findings in the report that every American should know (quotations from the Hartford Courant, a paper I don't count on for news, and certainly not a paper that is often proofread, prior to printing, but nonetheless came in handy for this rant):

1) "On weapons of mass destruction: Iraq was not rebuilding its nuclear weapons program, did not have biological or chemical weapons and was not developing a missile to deliver biological agents" (as if there was any doubt that Saddam had the brain power to pull this part off).

2) "On links to terrorism: Saddam Hussein distrusted Al-Qaida and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his government" (cause you know, of any of the dictators out there, clearly Saddam was the least paranoid).

"There is no credible information that Iraq was involved in, or knew in advance of, the Sept. 11 attacks" (no matter what approximately 40% of the American population believes--in case you were wondering, these Americans in the 40% are the people you often see on Leno during the Jay-walking segment).

"There is no credible information that Iraq intended to use Al-Qaida or any other terrorist group to strike the United States before or during the Iraq war" (he had enough problems on his own trying to attack us, he certainly wasn't going to let in furriners (for those of you not originally from the South "foreigners") without letting those wackos in his country).

3) "On reports from Iraqi National Congress: False information from sources affiliated with the congress was used to support key intelligence agency assessments on Iraq" (White House and Pentagon officials literally ignored intelligence officials because the information didn't mesh with the agenda).

You know, it's always nice to be validated, but when it's getting validated and bent-over at the same time, it really leaves a bitter taste of disgust in your mouth.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh, yeah

. . . and happy birthday to me!

Caps to the Capital

If Socks for Soldiers wasn't your thing, then you might be interested in knitting Caps to the Capital. As referenced on the Save the Children website, "After Save the Children'’s State of the WorldÂ’s Mothers 2006 report highlighted simple, low-cost practices that could save newborn lives --— like warming their heads with a knit or crochet cap --— Save the Children received numerous calls and e-mails from Americans around the country wanting to organize their friends and family to knit and crochet caps for newborns in developing countries. " So, it's time to knit caps to send to President Bush to tell him to get off of his ass and get more funding to these children in Africa so that critical health initiatives can become a reality. You can download the action package here.

Now, if anyone in CT is interested in doing a few hours of knitting with fellow knitters for this cause, please post to the site, or email me and let me know. I'd like to get an evening or a morning organized this fall. We have until January 2007 to get the caps finished. These caps will knit up so fast we could probably get a couple done in three hours or so. What a great cause! This is the kind of thing that makes an enormous difference in the life of an individual. Please join me!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another Drive By

Just a quickie post tonight because I have to head out to Back to School Night. Mindy, thanks for asking, first day of school was awesome! More importantly the dress held up and she managed not to even snag it. But, one complaint on that silly Berocco Cotton Twist, it's a snag waiting to happen, and sewing in the ends, it's so slippery that it seems like ribbon when you are weaving in. In other words, it doesn't sit where it's told very well. But, it looks great, the shine is especially nice. Can't believe I am knitting another one.

Sugar Bear's first day was great but my God she was so tired last night that the attitude was a little much. Just love that first week of school adjustment phase. Mimi went for a whole hour today! Just enough time for me to coffee and grocery shop. I'm starting a nifty hat for Sugar Bear tonight, made out of Opal. It's called the Opal Ponytail Beanie and truth be told, I think I'll be knitting myself one. Talk about great for the winter. I can keep my head warm (and Sugar Bear's) and look good at the same time! I'm using Opal Flamingo. Have to get my mom to hit the Frankfurt yarn store on her next trip to see the new Rainforest colors! Very exciting!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Socks for Soldiers

Today I am not interested in the politics of the War. Okay, just for this post, because you know how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut. But, I came across this organization, Socks for Soldiers, today and wanted to pass along the info. If we can agree on nothing else, I think we all agree that members of the United States military do jobs that the majority of us would never want to do. And I can't think of anyone in the world who deserves hand-knit socks more than these guys and gals.

The deal is this, Uknitted We Stand is a group that is sending hand-knit socks of love to the Middle East. The goal right now is 500 pairs of socks by October but the dream is to send 100,000 pairs eventually. There's actually a link for patterns and sock yarn and supplies over at my darling Astrid's site. If you don't want to knit them or don't have time, you can also donate knitting supplies to people who plan to knit these. Win-win. Holly, get your needles out :)

Not a Yeti after all


I finished it in time for the first day of school. Sugar Bear was so excited this morning when she woke to a completed dress. I found adorable pansy buttons yesterday at Jo-Ann's and I finished sewing up the seams, sewing on the buttons, and pressing it last night before I went to bed. Originally the dress was supposed to be all purple. And no beads at the bottom but ribbons slip-stitched in place. And the straps were supposed to be crochet which I don't really do. And there were not any buttons. So, I redesigned a wee bit :) Just glad I finished because I have got to move onto some other stuff!

Also, I include this picture of Mimi because, frankly, she's just too damn cute. Today was her very first day of school ever! Even though she only went in for about 15 minutes to meet and greet with the teachers. Tomorrow, she gets to stay for a whole hour which means coffee and knitting for me! Woo-hoo!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Called 411 lately?

This has been going on for a while. And then it wasn't, and now it is again and I am freaking irritated.

When you call 411 in Connecticut . . . you get this lovely autobot asking you first for the city (and/or state) and then the number you are calling for. Even if you are speaking the King's English, the autobot never recognizes whatever you have to say. It makes you repeat it. And then, to add insult to injury, usually the next question is the autobot repeating what she thinks you said, "You said, "Butthead," is that right?" No, damn it, it's not right. And it's never right.

When I actually got a humanoid last time I was informed that this whole process is intended to help speed up gettinig information on 411. Are they kidding? As if they are in the efficiency business anyway. The only business they are in is making me stop and repeat something it would take a human less time to figure out. I'm trying to figure out how many actual living, breathing people they got to fire now that they have this automated system. When are these companies going to learn that this stuff does not work. I know I am not the only one complaining about it. Because when I asked my questions about this new system (they tried it for months, got rid of it for a little while and back it came), they kind of giggled and reported that they have had a lot of complaints about it. She actually giggled.

I can't imagine working for the phone company as part of information is a great job. I'm sure people are rude all day long to them. What irriates me is that they slip this system in on us and now we are supposed to just go along. Activism now! Call SBC/ATT whatever the hell their new name is and tell them to knock it off! Tell them you've had enough too! I just want to speak to a human!

Stitchy is coming!

Haven't heard of Stitchy McYarnpants? Well, she's a riot, and you should go see her if you don't know who she is. Aww, heck, go see her even if you know who she is. After the loss of You Knit What?, she's a beacon of hilarity in an ever descending into crappiness knitting world!

But, I digress.

Stitchy is coming to my LYS! If you are interested, visit the Sit N Knit site for more info, but as it stands now, she will be there Saturday, October 14th from 1 - 2:30 p.m. And if I can sneak away from my daughter's Country Fair at her school, I will most definitely be there.

Finishing up Sugar Bear's yeti dress tonight. I only have the straps left. And, as it stands now, I think it is going to fit her without being ridiculous after all. This, is an especially good thing, because she wants to wear it on Tuesday for the first day of school. I love that, because some time and effort has definitely gone into this. I haven't finished the straps yet, but I didn't like the straps the pattern called for so I created my own and I've added button holes (and, yes, I will be shopping for buttons tomorrow) so that I can adjust the straps longterm and hopefully get a little more life out of the dress as she gets taller. And then I am going to have to knit Mimi's in the contrasting colors.

And did I mention DH's birthday is in 10 days and the sweater isn't even close to finished. My goal now is our anniversary, which only adds six days to my knitting calendar, but with him going out of town again, I have hope that I can get some serious marathon knitting completed because I have nothing else right now with a real deadline. Except for the fact that there are a bunch of babies coming up, they will just have to wait for now!

Friday, September 01, 2006

MagKnits new issue

The new issue of MagKnits is up so go there and take a look when you have a chance. There are three rather intricate looking sock patterns of interest. And beaded fingerless gloves, which between the fingerless and the beads I am a total sucker for!

Also, thanks to those of you who are starting to put pins on my guest map. I like this feature because I know there are a lot of you who probably do not feel like commenting or are a little gun-shy about commenting and so you can go to the map, stick your pin in, and I know generally where you are from without you having to come up with something snarky to say to me. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, sometimes on sitemeter, I'll see that someone has logged in from really far away like Bali, and they actually stayed to read, but I don't know if their server is in Bali or they are in Bali, so the map can help me tell the difference.

I'm almost finished with Callista's yeti dress. No, ladies, much to your chagrin I did not stop and remeasure the gauge, etc. I did not do this because a) she is still growing and though it might be a misled idea, she could always grow into it and b) when I attended a Candace Eisner-Strick workshop a few months ago, she described a sweater that she knit that she ended up having to cut, and just for the experience, if I have to do it, I will. I'm ready to leap off of that ledge.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Horning in on my turf


This is my first year growing tomatoes from seed. So far, I only have one really gigantic tomato to show for it, and a bunch of little ones that are just starting at this late date. Strange. So, there are things that I don't know. For instance, I didn't know it was going to take this tomato more than a month to go from green (I think I posted a picture of it at the time) to the orange-ish color you see here. I think I might as well pick it soon before a) some animal comes along and eats it like they did with my green peppers or b) it ends up with some blight I can't control or c) something completely unforeseen that is entirely likely given that I am an amateur here.

I did know that tomatoes are subject to pests. What I didn't know was how freaked out I would be when I finally saw
one. When this little bastard, and I don't think I am speaking too strongly here showed up on my other tomato plant this morning, I thought, that's it. I'm done for.
I promptly pulled off the stem he is attached to in the photo and took a picture so I could figure out what the hell he was. He is a Tomato Hornworm. And he's a nasty little bugger. And boy did he shoot a lot of juice when I squished him with my shoe. What I can't figure out is where in the world he came from. Is there some sort of worm convention I am not aware of where all the little worms meet-up to find out where the good chow for the season will be? I've never seen anything like this thing and he was huge! I was actually afraid to touch it (highly unusual for me) because of its menacing looking tail on the end. And short of using pesticides, it seems my best bet is removing them and stepping on them. I didn't see any more than this one, but you know, where there is one there is always another.

So, if any of you have any suggestions at all regarding the tomato adventure let me know.

Oh, and also, folks, I added a little map! It's in the upper right hand corner and I would love for you to stick in your pin so I can see where you are from. And there's a link too if you want to get one of your own!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Local Knitting News

Wow! There are a lot of people that are going to be around the next couple of months in our area. Hope lots of you get to take advantage!

Over at Sit N Knit, Candace Eisner-Strick is coming back to teach you how to do her Merging Colors Mobius Capelet on September 17th. The class is a six hour class (and worth every last minute, I can assure you) for $70 + materials. You even get a 20% discount on Candace's Kit for the class. I actually bought the kit when I took a Spring workshop with her. If I weren't out of town that weekend, I would sign up myself!
Visit their site for more info and to sign up for the class.

Marji's Yarncrafts in Granby is also having some exciting events. First, there is the Judy Pascale Beaded Envelope Purse workshop. She uses the same no pre-stringing technique that I did for the beaded wedding purse ( I am going to include some more pictures of said purse at the bottom of this post). It's Friday, October 6 from 9:30 - 2:30 p.m. for $75 and includes a nice lunch. And then, the big news, finally, the Yarn Harlot will be in town!!!!

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee will be the guest speaker (and book signer) for the 2nd annual Fall in Knits Benefit Fashion Event for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, CT Affiliate. The event takes place November 5, 2006 at Granby Memorial High School. Event starts at 2:00 p.m. with an Opening Reception and Fashion Gallery of Fabulous Knits from Interweave Press, Design Source, Reynolds Yarns, Frog Tree, Rowan, Nashua Handknits, and more. Light Refreshments and door prizes. Tickets are only $25 and they are on sale September 15th. Get your books ahead of time to have them signed.

And finally, at Creative Fibers in Windsor, Melissa Leapman is coming for a weekend workshop. For those of you not familiar with Melissa Leapman, she is a widely published sweater designer whose patterns have appeared in Vogue Knitting, KnitterÂ’s, McCallÂ’s, Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Knit It!, and Interweave Knits magazines. Leapman has worked as a freelance designer for many leading ready-to-wear manufacturers, noted design houses, and major yarn companies. In addition, her knitting, crochet, and design workshops are extremely popular with crafters at all skill levels. The workshop will take place October 14th and 15th. Saturday 9-12 is Cable Ready, 1-2 is a book signing, 2-5 are Celtic Cables. On Sunday, 9-12 is Knitting on the Edge, Beautiful Borders and then 1-4 is Crochet for Cowards. The price is $60 for each three hour session.

And finally, just some more photos of the purse . . .

Why we won't ever be safe and why we will just have to get over it

Three, maybe four days prior to the latest terror plot, I had a conversation with my mother (a flight attendant for a domestic carrier that flies internationally) inquiring if she feels any safer than pre-9-11 when we didn't know what we didn't know. And she said no. She said no because she sees things on a daily basis that the rest of us don't see. She hears stories about people on watch lists that aren't really being watched because TSA, Customs, and the FBI still are not doing a great job of talking to each other. She hears stories of other observant flight attendants who happen to notice suspicious persons, mention them to customs and low and behold, those two guys were on a watch list. Because that's ultimately the issue, it's up to all of us. And that is why we won't be safe.

We won't be safe for a lot of reasons but the biggest one is that we aren't observant enough and it's us who are "on the ground" in the whole safety game. I had to fly from Hartford to DC within days of the whole "liquids scare." Quick digression: Did you know that the guys in England hadn't even gotten their passports yet? Seems to me if you are going to imminently attack someone you better have your passport ready. But, I digress. First of all, I was flying on what is called a companion pass, meaning standby at a reduced fare. When I checked in with the very nice agent, I had a question about what we could or could not bring on and she couldn't answer it. Why? Because they get no briefings on anything. I know this because I had an extensive conversation with her and she said she is actually writing her congressman about all of the safety issues she sees every day that are not addressed. And, guess what? I had already gone on the TSA site the night before I left and their last updated info was from March. Way to help out the already stupid public.

I get to security and there is no one there. Which is weird enough in and of itself. I had checked anything resembling a liquid so I got right through. Then, they were doing random bag checks at the gate. I think this was only because the flight was going to DC. And it's random. And guess what, no one likes the idea of profiling, but all this random screening doesn't do sh$$ because the last time I checked Shea O'Sullivan with his red hair, green eyes and milky white skin wasn't the one blowing people up. (And don't talk to me about Oklahoma City, I'm talking post-9-11 here).

They don't allow you to take any liquids through security. Then they don't allow you to take any liquids you purchased in the "sterile" area on the plane. Why don't they just say what they mean? We can't guarantee your safety at all so we are going to put all these piecemeal, totally lacking in common sense measures in place so you average joes think you are safe when in reality you aren't and we don't know what we are doing. And we don't know what we are doing because all of our measures are reactive not proactive. And we don't want to inconvenience you too much because we know you'll stop flying and completely destroy the airline industry. Hello, El-Al on line one with some security ideas for you.

It was even funnier flying out of DC. I was sniffed. Have you been in those bomb sniffing machines yet? They blow air all over you and supposedly can sniff out if you've been near some sort of explosives in the past few days. Yeah. Am I the only one who sees all of this as just utterly stupid? They can't get a freaking x-ray machine to work, which is why they have bag checks. Their metal detectors don't work either which is why they then wand you and apparently that doesn't work either because then they have to pat you down. Is there anything at the airport that works? And also, the sniffer is totally random and you know, I'm highly suspicious looking so obviously I need to be in the line that has the sniffer.

Not to mention, why in the hell are they even letting us in the airport with liquids. I walked in with my Starbucks. And guess what? I could have blown up the entire airport according to them with my coffee cup and a clandestine meeting with someone carrying a water bottle. You could kill a lot more people at the airport on the ground than in the air even. And don't get shitty with me that I am mentioning this and giving a terrorist ideas. Because guess what? If you have read the parts about what you are allowed to take on planes, TSA has already informed these a-holes what to do. As in, as long you disguise it as breast milk or four ounces of cough syrup you can still accomplish your dastardly deeds.

But we won't be safe because we aren't paying attention and we don't want to do what will ultimately have to be done (like profiling) because we find it inconvenient or politically incorrect. We are waiting for the government to protect us and what are they doing? The equivalent of "ignore the man behind the curtain." We listen to them saying do this and you'll be safe. Leave your Blistex at home or in your bag and you'll be fine. And we're swallowing it. Bill Maher had a great point over the weekend: when they start planting bombs in hairdos, like the sheep we are, we'll show up to have our heads shaved. Everyone but my yiayia who wouldn't give up her beehive for an all expenses trip to a destination of her choice.

The bottom line is, we aren't safe. We may never be again. But guess what? We weren't really safe in the first place. We just thought we were. Ask anyone living in an area that is frequented by bombs and terrorists and they will tell you, they still have to go about their daily lives. Is fear a part of their lives? Of course it is, but they are living in a situation we can't even dream of. We're worried about getting blown up on a plane which has happened once in the entire history of aviation. They are worried about getting blown up buying milk for their kids. We have to be vigilant, we have to be observant, but for the love of God, we have to exercise some common sense.

Monday, August 28, 2006

More great news from Astrid

I've mentioned Astrid of Astrid's Dutch Obsessions before. This site should be bookmarked in your cache and you should definitely sign up for the newsletter as she seems to almost constantly be having a sale, on top of prices that are already great. And, don't forget, she sends dutch chocolate which rocks.

Right now, she is doing free shipping on all Addi's worldwide (and she ships fast and the Addi's are cheap). Plus, the bamboo Addi circular's are 25% off. And she's doing some buy Gedifra get a slightly damaged pattern book free deal.

Very cool!

Sale updates

Just wanted to give you a few sale tips this week.

Kaleidoscope yarns (where I sadly did not have time to visit while in VT; next trip for sure!) is having a 15% off of Manos sale. This yarn is awesome for felting (although some find it expensive to felt). It almost has a bucle-type look when it is finished. And it felts really fast. The sale is on until September 1st.

Webs has a bunch of stuff on sale. Go see. Their site visually is not one of my faves, but they have really good deals on yarn. I already told you how fab the store is! The Noro overstocks are still there also, but I'm not sure what's left and they are still having the summer sale.

Holly, who is determined to put me into debt sent along the Little Knits site; they are having a great sock yarn sale.

And, finally, Royal Yarns has a bunch of yarn on Clearance. It's like the magic word for me. There are a ton of brands in there, so if you have any upcoming projects, you may want to check there first.

If ya'll have any other sales you want me to mention, just pass it along and I will post it.

More later on vacay and everything else fit to print.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Drive By

We just got back from a ton of traveling. Mostly to Vermont. So, I share this picture with you and promise a longer post tomorrow.

All I can say is, Stowe is my kinda town. (giggle, giggle, giggle)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Yeti knitting


I am starting to have concerns that the dress I am making for Callista may not fit her until she goes to college. I "got gauge" prior to knitting it, but I swear I am off by at least an inch or more. I think the arm holes are going to be enormous. This is the back that I finished the other night. I am already onto the front. I beaded the bottom, and will show you a close-up of that soon. I'm going to bead the front bottom (obviously) and I think part of the pink top. Is it me or do the Berocco patterns make work you don't need sometimes?

Case in point, this dress. I've changed colors and added beads so that's on me. But they want me to crochet the shoulder straps which I find unnecessary. Like this poncho pattern I had from them a couple of years ago. Instead of knitting it in the round, it was a knit it flat, piece it together kind of thing. I'm starting to look at their patterns more like inspiration (when they aren't hideous) rather than something I can use straight out.

Monday, August 14, 2006

One Skein Pal Bounty


I meant to post this sooner, and go thrown off track. When I arrived home on Saturday from our grand Massachusetts Adventure, this fabulous package was waiting for me from my Secret Pal. She's a lovely I tell ya! I'm thrilled she sends me seeds. Just helping the old garden grow. And this yarn is really quite interesting textually and visually. Working on ideas for what I will do with it. Just dandy colors I think.

So, thanks again Pal (and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who is so late, my pal must think she has a dud!)

My One Skein Pal project is just about finished, so I'll post it hopefully tomorrow. It would have been finished already except for the fact that last night I figured out that I had dropped a stitch somewhere. Why are they always such a pain in the butt to find. I actually know vaguely where it is. It's about five rows back. So, I am almost finished backing out of that and then it's about 15 more rows until the end. I have got to get it mailed out before Saturday because we are going to VT on Sunday (near Ben & Jerry's). Hey, suggestions welcome for any fab yarn stores up there!

Update on Mimi: She is really on the mend. As the doc who commented mentioned, she is going to be tired for quite a while. We're keeping her low key for this week so that we can keep an eye on her. She seems better otherwise and the attitude isn't quite as bad as it was. Just have to get her in gear because her first day of school ever is 9/5 and I can't get her there fast enough :) Thanks to all of you who sent encouraging comments and notes. This is her second major illness this year (after pneumonia in March) so we have to be extra vigilant.