Friday, March 31, 2006

Girls craft night (part one)

So, it's finally my turn to host girls craft night, the brainchild of my friend Michelle. I've invited our usual suspects + some of the knitting ladies. And the munchies tonight are from Tastefully Simple (which are awesome). I'm getting ready to open the wine, oh wait! I finished Robin's birthday present (will post pictures next week AFTER she receives it because she will check my blog to see what it is, sneaky, sneaky) but, I have not figured out what I am knitting tonight.

Something easy for tonight I think because on or around that third glass of wine, if it ain't garter, it ain't on the needles.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I know, I know

Yes, I am aware that the name of my blog is holyknitbatman, but for the love of God people have you seen the news?

There's a husband ON STRIKE against his wife in Michigan. Why you ask? She won't kick the kids out of their bed. Now, it really doesn't matter which side of this you come down on because frankly who cares about what other people do or don't do in their own beds?

But, can you imagine, this guy is sitting on his roof with a picket sign. And the best part is the quote, ""I’m speaking on behalf of all of the husbands in this nation that suffer in silence. I plan to be a voice for those husbands that men, we all want that time alone with [our] wives, thatÂ’s extremely important,” Wilson said. This guy has a freaking web site so we, the humble public, can sign it to get his wife to give in.

Wow, that weed in Michigan must be some really good sh$$. Because apparently he's been smoking a whole bunch of it.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, get the kids out of the bed. If he really thinks that's why he's not getting laid, he's even dumber than he looks. And people, at this point, he's auditioning for the sequel to Dumb & Dumber.

And a petition? Yeah, I can picture Allen on the roof now. "Oh, honey, I have a petition here that all these men have signed in agreement with me." And my response "Talk to me when I give a damn about any of those men."

As this man's wife said, "He'll live." And if he ever expects to get the children out of his bed, he better get his ass off of the roof and into the house where he can help his wife more, because that's probably the reason those kids are in his bed to begin with. For t'real (that's all you Erika).

I promise, a knitting blog tomorrow, I may even post the yoga bag in progress.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Oh, the misguided military

Don't let my title fool you, I am a big supporter of the military or I should say of the troops. Anyone who is willing to put themselves in harm's way to protect the rights of total strangers is a hero in my book.

But, the bureaucracy of the military is my rant of the day. A piece on the news last night depicted an Army widow who was looking to honor her husband with a memorial plaque. The military was denying her this RIGHT because she wanted to place the symbol of their faith, which happens to be Wiccan, on the plaque. Now why they have a problem with this is BEYOND me because there are many faiths depicted on these plaques including Islam, Christianity, Jewish, and atheist. I mean, really, atheist but not Wiccan? Seriously?

And what an affront to her as a widow? She signed up as a military wife to have her husband shipped off to a war where he was killed defending the rights of Iraqi, not American citizens and their own country is saying, sorry but that's just not an acceptable faith for his MEMORIAL plaque? Is it me?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Just what I need

I think I may have mentioned my sock yarn problem.


And there is just no intervention for this sort of thing.

In any case, though I have not YET ordered from this woman, I had to post her link. LOOK at these fabulous colors of yarn. She has the most adorable yarn names (Hawaii Joy, Secret, Under the Sea--to name a few). She has superwash and handwash. And before you choke me because I haven't given you the link yet, go visit Brooklyn Handspun Yarns. Wow are they pretty, and it looks like she sells out fast, so get thee to the mailing list. I'm not pushing mind you, just a friendly yarnaholic suggestion.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Previous post photo (see March 21st)

So, my friend I was knitting this for JEN :) read my March 21st post and I must now face the fug. Now keep in mind, it's the red yarn that is somewhat gross. The pattern which came from the Knit Wit book (and which I changed the yarn on so that would be my fault) is fine. The red lame (can't find the accent, but really lame works just as well as (l-uh-may) here) is not fun to knit with BUT and this is big, it doesn't feel nearly as bad ON as it does while you are knitting. And I do believe that with a cute black top, this could be a fun-night-out kind of scarf.

Now, if I could just finish it...

Yarn Store nastiness

I'm prefacing the entry today in order to be clear. The following diatribe in no way reflects upon my LYS which absolutely ROCKS. My LYS is filled with kind, caring, enthusiastic and knowledgeable lovelies who would never act as the hypothetical yarn store does because they are also classy and customer-service minded. Shop with these guys and you can't go wrong. (see links for Sit N Knit--go Barbara go!)

HOWEVER, there exist some yarn stores ( a couple who are local to me who shall remain nameless, not to protect them, but to protect ME from THEM) that just do not get it. And we all have stores like this near us, so I am sure you can relate.

Most of you who know me know that I am a customer service freak. To the point that one truly bad customer service experience not only sets my tongue to wagging, but prevents me from further darkening the establishment's door. And this is the number one problem with a lot of these yarn stores, especially if you are a new knitter.

My knitting obsession is only two years old, so I still have lots of questions. And I find it reasonable to expect that with the amount of money I spend at a pop in a yarn store, there ought to be someone there to answer my questions in a friendly, even encouraging manner.

But you've all been to THAT store. The store where you walk in and just by the greeting (often lack thereof) you know what you are in for. I actually asked a question once of someone at a yarn store about a pattern or stitch (that lobotomy kicks in at the worst of times), and the response was "I knit CON-TIN-EN-TAL so I can't help you." Not, but I will find you someone who will or sorry, but I'm just not sure, but maybe so-and-so employee will know.

Or another friend who went into the same store and had the owner point out her "flaws" on her two-circ socks (flaws that would come out in blocking anyway for goodness sake. And pointed them out looking down her nose at said socks

So here's my message to you knitting store owners: WE ARE THE CUSTOMER AND WE CONTROL THE AMOUNT OF MONEY YOU MAKE. Period.

If you want us to spend money in your shops, here are a few hints:

1) Stop treating us like the plague. And furthermore, stop treating our friends like the plague because we all have REALLY REALLY big mouths, and in a small community the word spreads fast that you are not so nice.

2) Hire people who have the stick removed from their butts prior to starting to work at your store. It's not helpful to deal with these fools and you aren't the only game in town anymore. Even the craft stores who used to have crappy yarn are your competitors, and by the way, there's this new thing called the Internet....

3) And speaking of the Internet, this is not where you want to end up as the subject of someone's blog because you have bad service and are uncaring.

I really hope that my readers will comment on this article. Please share your stories. Please forward to your friends to share your stories. Because this is public service time.

When a disembodied voice on a phone line has more personality than the owner of a yarn store, you know you are in trouble. When you have more personal contact with the eBay seller of yarn than your local yarn store employees, you know you are in trouble.

And, if you have a great story about a yarn store, please SEND ME THEIR NAME or website, and I will be more than happy to link them here so that we can all have the BEST possible knitting experience.

Knit hags unite!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Conscientious Objector my ass

I'm on my way home listening to NPR, (the equivalent of pouring gasoline down my throat and lighting a match I get SO fired up) and for the love of God with Walmart's Conscientious Objector policy.

For those of you just tuning in to my pro-Choice rants, see the previous posts. But, bravo Connecticut because they've told Wal-Mart that they will be dropping them from their State Health plan if they don't change their position. Basically, the policy states that if a pharmacist objects to administering (in the loosest sense of the word) the "morning after pill" because of moral or ethical reasons, then he or she has the option to decline filling the prescription. If there is not another pharmacist on duty to fill it then the customer is completely inconvenienced by having to find another pharmacy to fill it. And we're not calling it the morning after pill because we have the luxury of time here.

Blumenthal basically said it's ridiculous to expect a customer to be hauling themselves all over town because of their insane little rule. Though our gov is a repub. at least she is female AND thankfully most of the rest of the state is Dem.

I did it!!!!

Months ago, I ordered dyeable yarn from Knit Picks and FINALLY today, I got around to dyeing it with Callista (while Sabrina slept, naturally). I did the old Kool Aid-microwave method (you can find instructions EVERYWHERE). And I must say, for a first skein, it came out pretty well. Definitely will be posting a picture once it is dry so check back.

Learned a bunch for next time though:

1) Depending on whose instructions you follow, there is a part vinegar, part water mix. I tried it both ways and didn't see much of a difference. (Both ways because I died one half of the skein cherry and the other Grape).

2) I would definitely use more than 1 pack of each color next time for more vibrant colors. These came out more lilac and rose than red and purple.

3) Next time, I may try the stove with a solid color OR I might try painting it on with multiple colors.

4) Though I can't imagine knitting anything YELLOW, I have a sick desire to dye something in a LEMON just to see it. Guess that will be a swatch or something.....maybe a dishcloth?

**THE PHOTO; This was taken with a flash, tried it both ways, but the color seems mostly accurate with the flash. Anyway, it's Knit Picks Merino Wool that I dyed for those of you wondering. I've spent the morning trying to pry it out of Callista's (the five-year-old) hands. She's determined it end up a blanket for her bear. NOT! It will be socks for her and her sister.....when I get to them that is.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Knitting Nite

Glad to finally be back in the fold at Sit N Knit for a Thursday night knit-a-thon. It's bad when you walk in and they all say, "Norm!"

For all my ladies from knitting nite:

It is your job to remind me that I DO NOT need any more sock yarn. That I have enough sock yarn to knit socks for at least half of the free world and that it is unnecessary for me to buy any more sock yarn, especially now that I am in a sock yarn of the month club :) Well, I'm on the waiting list at least. Thanks to my knitting friend/guru Linda, I got onto Blue Moon Fiber Arts and got myself attached to the waiting list for the Rockin Sock club. And then when I jealously witnessed what is in the first package, I began frantically emailing them promising them at least a child in order to get into the club. No, no, really I only emailed them a FEW times begging and pleading to be put in.

The swag is amazing. You too can view the faboo swag at Scout's Knitted Swag and believe me if you like to knit socks, chances are you'll be innundating Blue Moon Fiber Arts with mail of your own.

Just DON'T tell them we sent you.

Walk Against Hunger 2006

Walk Against Hunger Donation form

I've committed to participating in the Walk Against Hunger. And, I've committed to have Center City Churches (whose name is slightly a misnomer because you don't have to be a church or church member to give or receive services) as the designee for my funds. They have an outstanding MANNA program that helps to feed those most in need. For every $1 raised that is equivalent to $10 in food! The above link will hook you into donations, but I hope you will JOIN ME AT THE WALK!!! It's only three miles people!

For more information on the amazing programs at Center City Churches, please visit Center City Churches website

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

No, I haven't finished the yoga bag

I have no idea what is preventing me. I mean, other than sick kids, good books, exhaustion, and a desire to throw the damn thing out the window.

The bag sits happily unfinished on my needles as I picked up a new and potentially more irritating project today.

I thought it would be great to knit something for my compadres when we all turned thirty last year. I have finished none of the things that I had planned on knitting for them. Something I was knitting for one of them was this hideous Rowan metallic yarn paired with some offspring of fun fur. I had intended to knit her a scarf out of this primarily because she, as a non-knitter, bought me the said crap as a birthday or Christmas present the previous year, and I figured she would want it back as a finished piece. I'm halfway through and I can't bear to pick it back up without getting physically sick. My knitting snob friends have been decidedly nice in not making fun of me for trying in the first place.

So that sits on a stitch holder, probably forever, forcing me to choose something else for that her that will be infinitely better. Her birthday was in December.

Then there was the September baby (now 30) I was knitting for and since I had never knit lace, couldn't quite grasp the concept of the item I picked. I restarted it today, and though I have had to rip it out four times (Because I just learned I should be using a lifeline somewhere in there because it is lace, and probably some stitch markers as well), I am back at it and hope to finish it in time for her 31st birthday. Which, I suppose gives me until December for the other potential project :)

I apologize for speaking in code but as these are my friends and these gifts are supposed to be surprises, I can't exactly tell you the WHAT of what I am knitting. There will be pictures in the end I am sure!

Let's not even mention the Christmas knitting.........

Monday, March 20, 2006

Back on the Ranch posting again

This gorgeous woman is my dear friend Robin Brunstrum who just married her beau Charlie Benatti. I highlight this incredible picture of her because of the STUNNING shawl that their friend Donna Schmidt knit for her. It's a Knitty pattern that totally rocks. They show it in several different colors and variations and just so you know where to look, it's in the archive section under Tie One On. Amazing!

So, it's been a busy two weeks. We went to Disney with the kids. I got absolutely no knitting done, and I need to get out of my knitting rut because my LYS Sit N Knit (see Links) just moved across the street to a larger space which rocks! And Callista has been back on a knitting kick that I want to support.

I've added some Amazon buttons, so if you are ordering, for the love of God man, do it through my site! Help a sistuh out!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The yoga mat bag that never ends

I'm knitting this mat bag for Callista's school Auction. Originally, it was for me, but I decided for several reasons that I wanted to go ahead and donate it and hope I am not disappointed at the price it sells for (!). But, the damn thing never ends. I swear I could knit 20 rows and it feels like it doesn't add anything. Not to mention that the pattern told me to purchase the wrong amounts for the three colors so I am having to wing it. I know, I know, I should be looking at this as an opportunity to let my creativity shine, but frankly, the sucker is getting so long and heavy (due to the felting at the end) that I am over it. Picture to follow.