Monday, July 30, 2007

Outta Here!

Hey, I'm heading out the door! Sorry, no photos. There will be plenty when I return, though, I promise!

Jacki, I will do my best to not get arrested. I am not fond of pink underwear and living in a tent long-term, especially in desert conditions! (Do some research on Maricopa county and the sheriff there if you don't know what I'm talking about!) Besides that, one can't knit in jail. How criminal is that?!?!

Love you! XOXOXO


Saturday, July 28, 2007

A New Challenge

With the Victorian Lace socks having kicked my ass for a second time (I'm just not concentrating enough, and I'm not going to steal my kid's Adderall), I decided I needed a new challenge. I also needed knitting for the looooooong flight from Ohio to Arizona on Tuesday. As promised, here's info on what I will be taking with me!

First, the pattern: Swirl Socks. (Go look! I'll wait.) This pattern was created by Sulafaye for use with Cider Moon's Glacier weight yarn. I have plenty of that! The challenge comes in doing the socks toe-up. New trick for me, kids!

Using Judy's Magic Cast On and a lot of support from my dear Fiber Friend, Sarah Lou, I have gotten this far just this morning. The yarn is Rainbow Trout from the above-mentioned Cider Moon.

Yummy yarn!

I think I have to design a SuperHero shirt with "Fiber Friend" inside the logo just for Sarah!

What else am I taking to Phoenix in my carry on bag? I am taking another toe-up pattern from Wendy; this one using fingering weight yarn. I wound my "Blue Fields" from my Claudia collection jar.

Last but not least, I am taking a ball of Tatamy Tweed worsted to make a simple chemo cap to donate. The owners of my LYS, Yarn Haven, asked all of us that were at knit nite Tuesday to please consider making a chemo cap for donation during August. They are beseiged with requests for caps right now. Since there were more than 20 of us in attendance, that will surely help with the need. I figure a simple roll brim, stockinette cap won't take long at all. I just pulled a ball out of my stash. There are 16 balls waiting to transform into an afghan...

Today was my first time knitting in nearly 4 days. The rest time helped, I can tell. It was so good to knit again!! But, as my Buddy B said today, "Make sure you don't permanently injure that wrist to where you can't knit at all. You'll be horrible to live with!" I'm being very careful.

Right now I'm not sure if I will get to post once more before I leave Monday afternoon. At this moment I have to rescue poor Coco from Mayhem. She's gone and put pony tail holders on the dog's ears!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Storage Solutions and Other Stuff

First of all, thanks for the birthday wishes for my Absent Minded Professor yesterday. He is enjoying his Nintendo DS which he thought he wouldn't get. It was the only thing he asked for, though.

Not knitting is making me a bit crazy. I have spent my self-imposed rest time thinking about knitting, looking at knitting online, and managing my stash here at home. Saturday I have plans to knit with friends and I WILL knit on the plane on the way to Arizona on Tuesday.

Just because I'm not knitting doesn't mean I don't have anything to share with you. You should know better than that by now! First up, I've been meaning to find a way to showcase my "collection" of Claudia Handpainted yarns. An large, leftover, plastic pretzel jar from a bulk warehouse store is just the thing! (Chocolate dog nose not included.)

While at Michael's one day, I found this for less than $4. I fell in love with the container. Vacation in Italy...Pisa, Firenze, Campania... What's in this? Wine?

Can you guess what's inside?

Tuck this in a corner, on a shelf, somplace out of the way. You can still get to your needles, but they aren't scattered around, and there's an attractive canister decorating a little spot somewhere. Go ahead, steal the idea. You know you wanna.

Threadless has lured me once again to their site and I purchased another shirt. This one is sooooooo me. Introducing "Insomnia." Funny thing is, I gave up counting sheep years ago.

I have a couple of gifties to report. (Yay!) Gifties from Fiber Friends are the best!

Knit 1 Magazine and sweater pattern are from Johari. Somehow she ended up with an extra magazine and the pattern calls for using linen. It's not a tough pattern, so maybe next spring I will make it. The yellow/orange homespun in the photo is homespun yarn dyed with onion skins. Last week Sarah Lou was out of town watching her nephews and she took them to Hale Farm, a living history experience. This yarn was spun and dyed there. Thanks, girlfriends! You rock!

Next time I'll tell you what I'm taking to knit on the plane - patterns and yarn. And for the record, Vintage Lace Socks have kicked my butt for the second time. They are going in the "on hold" pile.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Once upon a time, there was a teeny-tiny early bird, a baby boy born 15 weeks prematurely. At one pound, 12 oz, his name was bigger than he was. Just before his delivery, the doctors and cast of thousands present at his birth, warned us of all the handicaps he would likely have because preemies born that early in 1996 usually lived, but rarely without a handicap or two or twelve.

That teeny-tiny early bird is my Absent Minded Professor, and he is ELEVEN years old today!

Yes, he's pretty much as normal as any eleven year old. Video games. Harry Potter. Star Wars. Yu-Gi-Oh! Bike. Scooter. Tortures sister. He loves rocks and fossils, so we went spelunking at nearby Seneca Caverns yesterday. Tomorrow we have plans to go play miniature golf with two of his best friends.

Look! Two monkeys in the cave!

Nobody gets past me!

All the way at the bottom of the cave, over 110 ft. below the surface, was a river. Cold, cold water (49 degrees Fahrenheit) and Absent Minded Professor had to put his arm in, of course. The water was so clear that in this photo, part of his sleeve is underwater, and it's hard to tell.

In knitting news, I'm not knitting much at all. I have been beseiged by sudden-onset wrist pain that even my Rx naprosyn isn't touching. It's my right wrist, and that's my dominant hand. Before I call my doc, and use a visit to hear him tell me to do the usual things (rest, ice, heat, anti-inflammatory drugs), I decided I'll do those things myself and report to him the results after my trip to Arizona next week. Today I did not knit at all. :-( There is plenty of housework and laundry and... *sigh*

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Magic and Pointy Sticks

Have you succumbed to the spell that has been cast over the world? Surely you know what I'm talking about. The BIG book. The end of the saga. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I went out just before midnight on Friday to purchase my copy but went to our local grocery store instead of dealing with the Halloween-like atmosphere at the bookstores and big chain stores. The line was short, and I was back in my car headed home by 12:09 AM. Just like all of the other books in the series, I devoured this one, finishing it well before midnight on Saturday. All I will say is that I am satisfied with how it all wrapped up.

My own pointy sticks have been busy as well. I have an FO to report! Socks! The Thuja socks are now a complete pair, having been finished Sunday afternoon. One pair complete for Summer of Socks 2007!

What did I start next, you might be wondering? I cast on for Rusted Root in a lovely light blue called "nymph" in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.

Of course I also started another pair of socks! Victorian Lace socks that the Six Sox KAL is finishing up now kicked my butt a little earlier, and I frogged mine and set them aside. They are back on the needles. That a Cider Moon yarn - Morning Sky in their Icicle weight.

In one week I leave for Phoenix with K2! I will be taking knitting along, most likely socks. Loopy will going too. There's some good photo op's for the Loopy post card out there!

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Three for One? Not today!

Get ready to laugh and shake your heads in wonder at this tale, dear readers. My last entry ended with the words "Some men are so full of shit," in reference to a muggle who spent a great deal of time and energy on me, Sarah Lou and Johari. OK, first, I will say he was a little entertaining, and I did, because of my innate orneriness, encourage him a teensy little bit.

The three of us met up after dinner at a coffee shop we don't usually frequent. We had been there a while, each of us working on a different project, when I excused myself to go to the ladies' room. When I returned, Sarah told me about a guy up at the counter ordering something. He had come in and instantly gravitated toward Johari's project, a scarf knit with lime green, sparkly chenille. (I snuck a peek and saw him neatly dressed in a blue polo shirt and khaki pants.) She and Sarah were seated in armchairs facing each other in front of a fireplace. Muggle Man made a big fuss over the knitting, according to Sarah. I had plunked myself back down on the floor in front of the fireplace, looking out toward the room, laughing about the overly enthusiastic muggle and resumed sock knitting. A few seconds later, he returned with a drink and a lemon bar.

"Whoa, there were only two of you before, now there's another one! What? Did you two just knit her while I was up there getting my dessert?" he asked incredulously. "You weren't there a few seconds ago," he said addressing me.

"I just came out of the fireplace," I answered back to him. Sarah and Johari were giggling. They said something about being fast knitters.

"This is so cool. I don't know anything about knitting," Muggle Man said, "What are you making?" he asked each of us in turn. Sarah was working on the Tulip Baby Sweater, Johari the scarf, and I was knitting the already-mentioned socks. "That's a sock?" he asked. "No way!"

"Way!" I said, "Look... abra cadabra!" I reached down into my bag and pulled out the completed half of the pair. Muggle Man reached for the sock to examine it.

The wooden, straight-backed chair that I had abandoned was facing me, and Muggle Man finally asked if he could sit down and join us. "I don't have any knitting though," he said. We agreed he could sit and at that point he pulled the completed sock onto his hand and said, "This must have taken at least, like, a week. And now it's a sock puppet!" Not being able to resist, I had to see if he would make the sock puppet talk. Nope. He was chicken. "She's the bad one, isn't she?" he asked Sarah and Johari about me.

Muggle Man showed extreme curiosity about row counters, but I think that was mainly because Sarah's was wedged against her chest as she knitted. I suppose if we had described it as an odometer, it might have made sense to the guy, but the discussion wouldn't have been nearly as much fun. As it was, learning that it had to be turned by hand and not by other body parts was disappointing to him.

Shortly after that, the discussion went to needles. Well, honestly, the discussion went to needle size. Yes, the words length and girth were used. Muggle Man dared ask the question, "Which do you prefer, length or girth?" (What is it with men and size, anyway??? Just learn to use what you have the right way!) Sarah diplomatically answered, "It depends on the project." Muggle Man also bravely explored the current marital status for each of us. At one point I was told I have gorgeous feet, (Thank you for that... I think.) and my tan was admired. He kept going back to Johari's bright green chenille, though.

And then, I kid you not, the mother of all cliche pick up lines came out. "So, do you all come here often?" We just told him we knit together regularly, but not usually there. All of a sudden, Muggle Man, who we learned by then was Dan, saw someone he thought he recognized. Yep. A lady he knew from his church was at the counter ordering coffee. Bye-bye knitters. Gotta go say hi to the other lady and behave differently.

On the flip of a dime, Muggle Man went from being outrageous flirt to professional and well-behaved. We knitters, however, continued to be ourselves!

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Not Buyin' It

All month long, since my trip to ThreadBear on July 1, I swore I wasn't going to buy yarn. I haven't. Really. Even this last big sneak up at The Loopy Ewe didn't make me cave! So what you see below, is not a new purchase. Honest. Those were ordered in June when Sarah and I put our names on the waiting list to buy them. They just got here this week. What the hell am I talking about? The Dream In Color Yarn and Tulip Baby Sweater Pattern, that's what!

OK, yes, I bought two of them. But people keep having babies. I will have the pattern afterward to use with other yarn also, if I so desire. Notice they are still in the package?

Instead of starting something new, I'm working diligently on my current WIP's. Thuja sock 2 is nearing completion, as you can see from the photos below.

Last night I even pulled out the Log Cabin afghan and knitted another log. I have cast on for another pair of socks, which I will tell you about later.

Next time I write I will tell you about the hilarious encounter with a muggle (non knitter) male that Sarah, Johari and I had Wednesday evening while having coffee and knitting. Some men are so full of shit.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Bye-Bye, BSJ

I thought about calling this post "Weekend Highlights," but there's no way I can publicly post all that went on while K2 and I were together this weekend. Sorry. There are just some things the world may NOT know!

The beautiful, radiant, gorgeously pregnant E loved the Baby Surprise Jacket. Here she is just after unwrapping it at her shower. It earned major "awwwwwwwwww!" from the ladies!

I was really surprised, though, because there were about 40 women in attendance at this shower and my gift and one other were the only two handmade gifts given. With the number of crafters I know, especially those that knit and crochet, it just struck me as odd that more people didn't create a more personal gift. Does it seem odd to you, or am I the odd duck for having made my gift? Gift registries, while coming in handy, just seem like grocery shopping lists to me.

My car hit a milestone on the way home. Two, actually. I had my camera ready, on the Ohio Turnpike to mark the occasion. Best gas mileage ever (actually 27.2 mpg just before the photo was taken) AND we hit 15,000 miles yesterday. I love my car! I drive a 2006 Ford Freestyle which I bought at the end of 2005. It's considered a "crossover," not an SUV, not a minivan.

Eeek! Don't look at where I had my cruise control set!

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back to Socks

I am back to socks, baby! Finally. Sock 2 of my Thuja pair is nearing the heel, the cuff being almost done. What a quick knit this is!

There are a couple of neat things I have to tell you about, too. First, I ordered some earrings for myself this week. If you want some handmade beaded jewelry, check out The Arbor Beading Co. Two ladies in Ann Arbor, MI making earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that are amazing and priced well. The earrings I bought are stunning! I am a big fan of the lever-back earrings, which is what drew me to them.

I also did a little time on etsy. I found a little wallet for my DPN's and bought one for Sarah and Becky also. (I love giving presents!) They are little and cute. And the girls at Piddleloop included such a great bunch of goodies with my order from other etsy vendors, so it's totally worth ordering! They included some hand-stamped gift tags, a couple of stitch markers, some pin-on buttons from their shop.

Today I'm heading out for a quick visit with K2, my oldest and dearest friend. Just an overnight and the baby shower tomorrow for her sister. Try not to have too much fun without me!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Congratulations, It's a Sweater!

The BSJ is complete. Three full days before the baby shower, I am finished. If you recall, I had gotten to row 50 or 51 and ripped it all out and started all over. There are 114 rows. This BSJ is going to my best friend's little sister, whom I have known since she was born!

Yarn: Louet Gems Opal Sportweight Superwash
Color: Willow Green and Yellow
Needles: KnitPicks Options U.S. size 5
Buttons: Puppy Pawprints from Michael's

We now return to our regularly scheduled Summer of Socks.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This One Time, At Knit Nite...

This was a little bit of how last night's Knit Nite at Yarn Haven went...

Sarah put on her Coachella sweater and paraded around. Everyone said, "Ooooooh" and "aaaaaah!" then resumed knitting. Sarah took off Coachella. A bit later, Sarah put on her Coachella again. All the new people said, "Oooooooh!" and "aaaaaah!" Sarah took off Coachella. Will Sarah ever knit again?

From the back room room, Becky was heard to exclaim, "Those are some BIG balls! What would one do with those balls??" And she calls herself a doctor!

All of us in attendance were treated to yarn last night. What fun! I ended up with pink, very soft angora. Everyone said, when it was my turn to choose, that I had to pick something to knit pasties from. Sheesh! Is that ever going to go away?? I haven't checked to see if Bruno likes angora as much as he enjoys alpaca.

One last announcement. The party can now begin! My invite to Ravelry arrived yesterday! Yes, friends, ttownknitiot is in da house. Be patient if you are waiting for your invite. I joined the wait list around May 20.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007


Look! I really am knitting and making progress. The Baby Surprise Jacket is looking exactly as it should! I have about 30 rows left to knit. They are the loooooong rows, but I am feeling confident that this little booger will be completed in time for the baby shower. Tomorrow I will go looking for buttons. I have some in mind already.

As much as I love knitting baby things, I can honestly say I have no desire for another baby!

More progress has been made. I often mention Yarn Haven and our Tuesday nite antics there. I can now point you toward *drumroll please* Yarn Haven! One of my very favorite places has now joined the world wide web, which is another one of my favorite places.

The next two photos are just for viewing pleasure. My love affair with Cider Moon yarns continues. Last week all glacier weight yarns were on sale. Knowing my self-imposed yarn restriction for July was coming up, I treated myself to 3 colorways.

Winter Wheat, Winter Twilight, Positano

Closeup of Winter Twilight and Positano

I will get back to socks. And my Log Cabin Afghan. And my secret project. I will. I will. I will.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

That Was Fun

Tuesday night knitting at Yarn Haven ended a little early because of the scheduled fireworks. Some of us decided we needed a little more together time and headed over to a local Mexican place for some food and knitting time. The nice thing about ignoring the fireworks was that we pretty much had the place to ourselves!

Becky should have skipped the fireworks and joined us. Seriously. We were much safer. Now who would have ever thought an evening out with me would have been safer than an evening with Becky's family? Huh. (I must be slipping!!) But before that, Becky gave me these lovely gifties; a book she started and didn't care for and yarn she dyed and spun herself. Yay! (The yarn told me it wants to be mittens when it grows up.)

Today, while out swimming with the kids, I happened upon these lovely flowers. Upon closer inspection, however, the beauty was a bit tainted. Just left of the center of that flower is a tick!! Most bugs don't bug me, but ticks are icky!

I am knitting away on the Baby Surprise Jacket and pretty much ignoring everything else except to knit an occasional row or two on my socks. Right now I'm into Day 6 of my 10-day schedule. As soon as BSJ is done, it is open season on all my other knitting. Even while driving up to Ann Arbor with Sarah to drop into Knit A Round yesterday, it BSJ all the way. Buddy B got a sneak peek at my secret knitting with the silk and cashmere from him and it met with his approval; more because he was happy I am finally knitting with it than anything, I think. I'm twitching to get back to it, tiring of the miles and miles of garter stitch in the BSJ. (I promise, you WILL get to see.)

If you ever doubt the power of Knitters and their effects on society, and even the internet, check out what my friend Liz at Fido Knits has to say today. It will make you think, and give you a grin!

My kids arrived home safely after 6 days out of town with their dad. This morning my mom called and wanted Mayhem to come and stay with her and Dad for a few days, so off she went this evening. She was home long enough for me to do laundry and re-pack her bag. Bye, Mayhem. Be good for Oma and Opa.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

Liberty. Freedom. Equality. Inalienable Rights. Justice.

Eagle at Toledo Zoo
Along with your fireworks and picnics, be sure to remember the people who made this great country possible. Remember the people fighting to keep us safe.

A neighbor kid down the street just came and told me he leaves for Iraq in two weeks. I can't picture him being a Marine yet, much less wrap my brain around the idea of him heading into a war. A friend's husband is there, in Baghdad, as well. Most of us probably know someone there, or know of someone who has been sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. Regardless of how one feels about the mess in Iraq, I don't know anyone, myself included, who doesn't want our troops home safely. It is possible to be against the conflict and still be supportive of the troops.

Hold them in your thoughts and prayers, friends.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

On The Road Again

Thelma and Louise, er, Karen and Sarah Lou trekked to Lansing, MI to visit the reknowned Threadbear Fiber Arts store. The best way to describe it is to picture a store about the size of your local Michael's, filled just with yarn and knitting/crocheting supplies. Top to bottom. Front to back. I think I'm still a bit high from the wool fumes.

See some of the group? Sarah Lou, Knitter Bunny Kelli, Sarah Peasley (one of her patterns was on display in the shop... Dude!) and in the front right, Nia. The green shirts in the background are Renee (ponytail) and her mom. Kelli wanted to know immediately where my pasties were!

Sarah and Kelli are comparing bags. Hmmm, Namaste (Karen's bag) vs. Lexie Barnes?

Normally, I'm not a fan of orange. This yarn spoke to me. Once I had it in my hand, and read the name of the colorway, I knew it had to come home with me. Look at the closeup...

Yes, you are reading that correctly!

It's "Mayhem"!

I finished sock one of my Thuja pair today. That makes 1/2 of a pair done for Summer of Socks!

I bought more yarn than that Mayhem, friends. Colinette, Opal, Trekking XXL... All sock yarn!

Leaving Threadbear, Sarah and I went to Melting Moments in E. Lansing, right across the street from the Michigan State University campus. We needed a little something to tide us over for the drive home. People's Choice (vanilla ice cream with peanuts, caramel and chocolate covered pretzels) in a waffle cone was just the thing! Once we hit T-Town, we decided dinner was in order and stopped for some delicious sushi.

Another successful, fiber road trip is added to the log book. Threadbear was great.

I do have to say one thing, though. Dudes, your store is great, your website is beautiful Now, BUY A SIGN! A store like Threadbear should be visible!

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