Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Nightmares Have Started

Hey Flan-
At this poing I would be attempting to pack whilst also attempting to finish Clapotis, but you've probably finished both hours ago. Hopefully everything goes well w/ the Hispanic Catholic Fillipino Pentacostal wedding.
So with The Brother's Wedding Throw.... Yeah.... Um... So you would think that, given the dimensions for the finished triangle, a measuring tape and knowledge of the shape of said triangle I would've figured out that the stupid thing is the weirdest shape known to man. The stupid thing is 88" at the longest edge. If I put my arm straight up while standing as tall as I can it's not 88". Then it's 33" at the point. That's it. 33". So when on the couch and you feel a chill coming on and reach for this beautifully handcrafted wedding gift it's really only going to keep one side over to your bellybutton warm. Your right foot, knee, elbow and shoulder are left out in the cold but your entire left side is toasty in oatmeal colored alpaca. I've ripped out twice and then we went on time out from each other.
I decided it was the pattern that was funny and thus attempted to find a new one. The obsession knew no bounds and I almost called you to pick up a Jo Sharp book. I found a pattern that might have worked (if the yarn was thicker, I had two more colors and extra of the original). The pattern was, naturally, found in the only knitting book I have ever returned. Subsequently, I would have to re-buy the book. Frustrated, I came home after knit night feeling defeated and hadn't knit a stitch.
Last night (our last on The Best Man's floor) I had dreams about the pattern. I kept waking up thinking about taupe-y alpaca. I woke up extremely stressed out about this stupid thing that is supposed to be a nice gift. Not a good beginning. I thought about just throwing in the towel, using this boring color for something, re-buying the book, and attempting to find more yarn. In an enlightened moment I wandered over to my happy site( Morehouse ) and found their elegantly simple throw. Yes, it's a garter stitch rectangle, but it's a damn good one. I'm regretting not having found it sooner and ordering their kit, but I love the alpaca, so it's ok. My current idea is to create my own garter stitch rectangle with no pattern. Revolutionary I know.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Kathleen-
I've been negligent in the posting, but goodness it has been busy. Last night I finally had a housewarming for my place. I think it was pretty successful- 9 people in the apartment and everyone seemed to have a good time. Work has been busy as well, and just gets more so with this last burst of activity before summer season starts. Speaking of summer, the weather this week has been SO hot. we hit 98 yesterday, 94 today. I've been very thankful for the air conditioner (favorite appliance in that I don't have a dishwasher).

Tomorrow we have a screening for several women running for Congress all evening, then Wednesday M leaves for the wedding, Thursday I leave for the wedding, Saturday is the wedding, we fly back Sunday, and Wednesday I have a fund raiser to run, then Thursday night I'm off to Rochester for the weekend for statewide convention. It should be a good time, but super hectic.

I see you must have gotten your yarn for the present for the other wedding, sounds like a good time. We bought E & H a waffle iron for this wedding, and I'm desperately attempting to finish Clapotis in time. Goal: to be done late tonight so I can block it tomorrow night and pack it Wednesday. What do you think my chances are? 3 repeats to go plus the decrease section and the finishing!

I'm off to sit on the couch and watch old West Wing and knit feverishly.

Are you moving into the house soon?

Friday, May 26, 2006

410

" Four hundred and ten stitches on the needles, four hundred and ten stitches.... Knit one row, decrease two, four hundred and eight stitches on the needles..."

Repeat.

Two television commentaries/ rants.

Bravo's doing the "100 Greatest TV Characters". Expected there is Rhoda, Mary, Mork and other greats. All the people you think of come between 50-100. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is number 13. THIRTEENTH out of ONE HUNDRED of the GREATEST characters on TV EVER. EVER. I'm sure that she's a delightful character, but thirteenth?!?!

Burger King has a new ad campaign out. They have young (supposedly virile) men co-opting the song "I am woman, hear me roar" and have changed it to "I am MAN, I am Hungry". Yup, the KING of burgers has decided that all the young men in the world need help finding food and in order to do so they have to take a women's lib song and change it. As if anyone who has ever met a man has neglected to realize that MEN = HUNGRY. No matter which man nor what the day or time. MEN ARE HUNGRY.
We (the women who formerly roared) know men and we know that men get hungry. We don't necessarily think of the self titled monarch of burgers when the men we feed realize their hunger, but apparently men needed this message and would not have fully comprehended this message (hungry serfs asking the King for badly fried fat) had it not been for a liberating jingle that explains the feeling they have now identified as hunger can be quenched simply by visiting the King (much like Dorothy going to see the wizard. However, neither the Wizard/ King want Dorothy/ Men to know that they have always had the power to go home/ squelch hunger all on their own and never needed the Wizard/ King to begin with).

When did it become ok to use an empowering song from a time of liberation for a minority (women still only making 60 cents to the man's dollar- the dollar which will get you a wide variety from the BK value menu by the way) and get used by a fast food company in an ad campaign for (white) men?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Stupid Gravity

Hey Flan-
SUCH jealousy over the fabulous weekend! PLUS you have the very first photos on The Blog! We have photos! Just like real bloggers and everything (and the first one has two beautiful women in it- even better).
My yarn isn't here yet! The LYS owner thought it would have gotten in yesterday but it hadn't and I didn't hear from her today. Hopefully it will be here before the Memorial Day weekend (we're supposed to go to The Grandmother's) and I can always use some knitting distraction. This time I'm taking my swim suit. I've never stalked a yarn order before (I've only ordered yarn twice before and each time there was no timeline given), but if this yarn doesn't hurry up and get here I might have to take my air mattress to The LYS and camp out.
So, with The Future SIL's scarf... The pattern says to cast on x sts and rib until the end of the ball. Repeat twice more then braid the damn things together. I got half way done w/ the first ball and decided that it wasn't going to be long enough, and it definitely wasn't going to be long enough once braided. So I ripped the whole thing out and cast on two fewer sts and redid it (naturally not checking the length until I was COMPLETELY done). The @)(#*@& thing almost reaches to the floor when I put it around my neck. Obviously I neglected to factor in Gravity. Yup, the force that holds us on the planet and has an unfortunate effect on body parts during the aging process also manages to pull yarn towards the center of the planet as well. Should I have realized this might be a factor when I did a long skinny scarf for The Sister out of the same damn yarn and I felt it getting longer?? Apparently that would have been a good time to apply the laws of physics to a knitted object.
I logged on to the knitty pattern that I did for her hat and am thinking about doing the same braided cables but on a scarf. Now I'm thinking about multiplying the st count by three to make a decent width-ed scarf and one that would exactly match the hat. Somehow that pattern has gotten shoved to the bottom of the knitting bag while the first Debbie Bliss sock is getting closer and closer to getting finished...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Picture with Geena Davis!!

Kathleen-
The weekend was AMAZING. My boss went to the VIP reception and gave her a packet that included one of our t-shirts (more on this later). Then at dinner the first night we were chatting away at our table and Geena Davis wandered into the room. Talk about distraction. She spoke, and was so cool and inspirational. After dinner I got a picture with her!!!!



Then after everything was over we had a dessert reception, and she walked past my org table, looked at our t-shirts, and said "Oh, I have one of those." I could have died it was so exciting.

The rest of the weekend was great, really inspirational and affirming to be around all these women who are running for office or thinking about it. Opinionated and full of pizazz, they were fabulous.

Good deal on the delay- makes for a better celebration I suppose. I'm afraid a sweater out of that chunky alpaca would be a bit much for the boy...his internal furnace seems to be set to full steam ahead all the time. :)

We still need to do a present for the LA wedding. I'm thinking of buying on line (not sure what) and shipping it to the hotel to get there before us and then just taking wrapping paper and ribbon. We shall see.

Clapotis is coming along. I didn't get quite as much done as I had hoped, the weekend was a good example of why I always have 2 projects with me. 1 hour into the morning training on Saturday I discovered a mistake that takes significant concentration to fix, so I pulled out my sockapaloooza socks and worked on them. That goal is accomplished- 1 done and 1 at the heel turn. I'm back on track with Clapotis though, and it's getting all my attention this week. I just need to finish by Tuesday I think so I can block and it can dry before I need to pack for the wedding Wednesday night. Ack so soon!!!!

Hope your yarn arrived safely!

Wedding Bells

Hey Flan-
I hope you made it back to The Cities in one piece. I just found out that The MIL is going to Tennessee to vist her sister for 10 days. This vacation happens to fall on her birthday, thus making our celebration of her birthday postponed until she returns. That means that I might actually have my kitchen in order and might actually be able to carry off some sort of celebratory event (as opposed to pointing to a random box and saying, "I think the ice cream maker might be in there... Want to find out?" as a clever way of unpacking). She says she won't eat brown rice, and yet she eats white rice...
The Hubby starts work down here today. We were at The MIL's finding proper work attire and I just happened to stumble across the blue and red Debbie Bliss socks as well as the sock yarn for The Santa Fe Auntie. I'm not sure what pattern I'm going to use for her yet, but it's nice to have the yarn. I'm also doing the plaited ribbed scarf for The Future SIL. It's the cream chunky alpaca that we both have yarn for. I love this yarn. In my new Yarn Cafe book there is a guy's sweater that calls for this yarn. It might be a good option for your guy, given the MN weather.
Yesterday we purchased the wedding giftie for the upcoming LA wedding. We got them the picnic basket from BB&B. No one else had gotten them one when we did. I checked the registry today and now not only did we buy them one, but someone else did too! Oh well. Thank goodness for returns. How is Clapotis going?
Stitch'n'Bitch is tonight. Hopefully the yarn for the wedding giftie is here. More later.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Leaves Have Fallen

Hey Flan-
Your weekend sounds amazing! Geena Davis and winning, what could be better?! My weekend has few plans. At the moment I'm watching reality TV whilst my newly finished and blocked "Falling Leaves" Scarf from the delightful Lucy Neatby. What a time it will be this weekend. So, now that the project is over, time for the dissection (all of these completely made up as I go):
1. How much love is there for the newbie?
A: Some love. Love for the pattern, Love for the color. Love for the Yarn? Not really. I realize I will probably be struck down with a lethal crochet hook for saying this, but the difference in width in the Fairy Hare (from the people at Kimmet Croft). I've used hand spun yarn before and although here were variations in thickness there was nothing like difference in thickness that this yarn had. There were points that I felt that my needles were too small, making the scarf too tight and other points when I felt that it was a cobweb weight and the tension was about to make the yarn break. Also, the Kimmet Croft lady (as well as the unidentified third lady) swore that it would "cloud" up with the heavenly cloud that the pattern held. I have not yet seen it, but the jury is out until the thing is dry. Current answer: B.
2. Would I make it again?
A: Probably, given my love for Lucy. Definitely in a different yarn (probably alpaca, but I probably don't need to tell you that).
3. What's next?
A: I decided to finish the Debbie Bliss blue and red socks that I started for The Hubby while we were at the cabin as an Xmas gift for The Best Man. I will ask you to go to the Happy LYS and get two balls of light blue and one of orange so that I can do a surprise for The Hubby and then do red and orange stripes for me. I realized that those three, plus a pair for The Santa Fe Auntie, plus the Gems purple pair (currently the first sock is half finished) plus green Gems equals a lot of socks! I don't mind doing one at a time on multiple double points but there seems to be so much hate for that method. Maybe I should give the double circulars a second chance... Probably the only way I will get any of them done.

Hope your weekend went well. I'm off to get together a care package for The Sister. (BTW: on TV an auto care center just advertised that you could bring in a Church Bulletin and receive 10% off. A CAR center. Definitely should issue a passport upon arrival)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Weekend in Training

Kathleen-
Tomorrow I'm off to training for three days on running for office. I was excited about the training to begin with, but what makes it even more fun is that I get to meet Geena Davis! She is attending the Friday night dinner, and I seriously can't wait! The only problem with the plan is that the training is in Chaska. The conference center looks gorgeous, but driving to Chaska on Friday afternoon at rush hour is not fun.

The other problem is missing out on an excellent group knitting opportunity. Tomorrow night is Sip, Stitch, and Pitch Night at the St Paul Saints baseball game. The LYS that we love is cosponsoring, with a free ball of yarn to the first 500 people to show up with knitting needles! They do say they're going to repeat the experiment if it's a success, and the Twins are trying out the idea later in the season as well. I am expecting a weekend of knitting even though I'll miss the fun of being surrounded by knitters watching baseball.

Training, as I see it, has the potential for lots of knitting time. I'm bringing along the sockapalooza socks and Clapotis, with grand plans to be on the decrease section of Clapotis by the end of the weekend, and done with one sock.

Think I can live up to that? I won't have Internet till Sunday night, so I'll let you know then. Enjoy the weekend!

(Once I get through the wedding and such, I'm thinking about buying the yarn for the nightgown and bathrobe from MDK.... sounds like perfect knitting for state convention in Rochester, don't you think?) I'm also thinking about starting on a set of baby kimonos for emergency baby gifts. The pro-choice community here is on it's second baby boom of the year, and I keep discovering that more women I work with are pregnant!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

First AL Yarn Purchase (!)

Hey Flan-
I not only bought a Yarn Club Membership ($15 for 10% off all year and 20% off once during your birthday month- we compared it to the other yarn stores' membership cards and this one is better because theirs are generally spend $$$$ and get $10 off once), but I also bought THE yarn for The Wedding Gift. I saw a color card and the color in the photo is the one I got for them and it's a taupe with a tiny tinge of gray. The color I think I will do for us is a light tan, but it's sort of buttery (I'm so in love).
So I was looking at the MD Fest and thought that, maybe, in addition to going to the fest if we could also hit the yarn shops of MD. Knitter's Review just did a review of MD yarn stores and, with your experience and delightful geographic knowledge, we could find a couple.
I'm tired and it's not even that late. I only got out of bed 12 hours ago, but I think I'm recovering from doing Mother's Day Brunch. (The Grandmother In Law was talking to Ken earlier and said how nice everything was. She then said that she was going to go buy some nice paper and tell my parents that they had done a good job raising me. So cute. So Southern). Sorry this is rambly, but it's honestly as coherant as possible. Btw: I want all the shoes on Sex in the City.

West Wing

Kathleen-
I can’t believe it’s over. That wonderful imaginary world that I got to live in for an hour a week for seven years. Now they just need to get the last season out on DVD quickly so I can have marathons of West Wing watching. I managed not to cry until I got in my car (we were at the weekly West Wing party) but then I cried all the way home. I still want to be CJ after all these years, and if I could buy up her wardrobe from the show, I would do it in an instant.

I loved how they could make arcane points of policy important and interesting, how they balanced the private lives of the characters with the action in the White House, and how often it made me proud to be involved in politics. I also remember hanging out in the 30Mac lounge to watch my first year, and at the house and later your apartment all the way through college. The ritual of watching it brought me closer to so many people over the years.

I’ve taken up watching a new show- not nearly the equal of WW, but a show I’m enjoying anyway—Grey’s Anatomy. Last night was the two hour season finale, and once again I found myself crying along with the show. It also proves to be excellent knitting TV. Interesting and fast paced enough that I knit at a rapid pace, but I’m able to look away when necessary to check on my knitting or a chart.

So I think the problem with your plan for the starting with lots of stitches and working your way down to very few is that you need to be REALLY sure you have enough yarn, otherwise you’ll run out before you get to the point at the end. I think I read about this in Stephanie’s newest book in the shawl section.

I’m putting Maryland on my calendar. It looks like it might be the weekend after the Annual Event, which means I might still be crazy, but I’ll be very relieved! Plus I can say that going is my reward for surviving the event!

I ended up at the hospital for three hours yesterday because the person who previously held my job almost fainted during a protest at the Capitol and I went with her in the ambulance and such. Handy that I’d brought my sockapaloooza socks along for the ride, because I got quite a bit done on them while waiting in the Regions ER. (She’ll be fine, she had a bad infection). I also managed to power through 3 repeats of Clapotis last night during the Grey’s Anatomy finale, so I might manage to finish this on deadline.

This post is getting long, so I’m off, but I promise tomorrow’s post will include my exciting weekend plans (they involve Geena Davis in person!, but missing a mass public knitting event) and my complicated plan to finish the socks and shawl by June 1! Also, my knitting plans out of Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Blubbering

To the Creators of The West Wing:
Thank you for the adventure.
To Flan:
I can't believe it's over.

It's funny how this tv show somehow became more than a tv show. It gave me hope of an ideal while being frustrated with reality. It showed that tv writing can be witty and intelligent and intellectually elevating. It showed that people can walk at Flannery speed while carrying on influential conversations.

This show has been in my life since before I met my husband. Most milestones have happened after I met The Hubby and I use the time that we met as a beginning and most things have happened since then. This came before. The show started while I was in High School and was an oasis to the whirlwind of that environment. Not being that policitally active, I found myself wanting to be them, not just watch them. I wanted that to be the reality and thought if only it could be then maybe we as a country might make it after all.

Anyway, this is long and rambling, so I should probably wrap it up. I went through several tissues and alarmed The Best Man when he returned to find me blubbering on the couch. I didn't fall to pieces when any of the other shows I consider my own left the air for syndication, but I guess that this was never one of the typical shows.

I miss the times that we had you over for dinner and to watch it. Moreover, I miss you and I miss it. Thank God for DVDs.

Succumbed

Kathleen-
Yes, I succumbed to the temptation. I bought Mason-Dixon Knitting today. Here's what I currently don't get: In Mobile, you saw MDK for 20% off at B&N. On the website, MDK was 20% off at B&N. When I wandered into the Highland Park B&N and picked up their last remaining copy, there was no lovely little 20% off sticker. So I approached the customer disservice desk to ask about the price. Without glancing at me, the woman took the book from me, looked at the back and said "29.95" and started to walk away.

Me: Excuse me. The book is 20% off on your website and at your other stores. Is it possible there's a mistake?"

Her: It's 29.95.

So I walked out in disgust at her attitude. Good for my wallet. But then I had to stop at the B&N in Roseville today, and sure enough, MDK was 20% off and I couldn't resist the siren song... Oops.

I have a potentially crazy idea. I've been reading all these blog accounts of the fun had at Maryland Sheep and Wool. Since next May will mark a full year of you living there and me living here, I think we should plan a trip to MD, meet there, and attend Sheep and Wool. What do you think? Totally crazy?

Hope Mother's Day brunch went well, I'm off to tidy up a bit before West Wing series finale tonight....

Happy Mother's Day!

Hey Flan,
Yup, B& N is evil. We would not have made it through the sirens, but who can blame us?

I LOVE your idea about the MD Wool Fest reunion! PLUS, The Brother happens to live in MD, so that would be some delightfully free accomodations. Mark your calendar. When I find mine in a couple weeks I will mark mine.

Grandma's BDay and Mother's Day festivities are over! I have also had the chance to shower and nap, which have added to my festive attitude. Yesterday we loaded the car with all the food- you'd swear that I was feeding a herd of elephants- and trucked it all over to The Grandmother's. We unloaded all the brunch stuff and hauled the cold appetizer to The Aunt and Uncle's. I made Endive leaves w/ lemon goat cheese topped w/ cherry tomatoes. It was good. I had to go to five grocery stores in order to find Belgian Endive in this town, but found it I did. Even The MIL ate some. I left Ken at The A&U's and headed to The Grandmother's. (Ken went fishing this morning and brought The MIL over this morning.)

Brunch went well. I did almost the same as your Graduation Brunch. We had green salad (I found some exciting lettuce, and trust me, there are), spinach quiche (two, plus one in a ramekin for The MIL), honeydew and cantelope, blueberry coffeecake and gluten-free currant scones (courtesy of The MIL), ham, and pineapple topped with blackberries (served in the crystal pineapple shaped crystal bowl from The Grandmother). We had fresh OJ and Coffee. I did five centerpieces of tea cups with four yellow roses each. They were pretty (and the best use of those damn tea cups). And now it's over! It turned out well but I'm happy I'm not doing another brunch out of a boy's kitchen.

Knitting... Oh right... The "focus" of the blog. Well, I'm progressing on the leaf scarf. I would like to say that my love for Lucy continues, as does the knitting. I do have one question about The mondo Wedding Throw. You start with the bottom corner and increase at each edge of every row, working toward the long edge. At The Yarnover my teacher was talking about this shawl she does and she starts at the long edge, so she tackles the big section while her new project enthusiasm is at it's peak. Then, as the project goes on and said new project enthusiasm wanes the project gets smaller. I thought of this and think that, perhaps, I should flip the direction for the shawl so instead of getting larger it gets smaller. What do you think?

Off to tend the garden of knitted leaves and perfect my pedicure.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mish-Mash Post

Kathleen-
Oh the temptation! I’m thinking about heading to the B&N by my apartment this afternoon- none of the LYS have Mason-Dixon Knitting in stock, and none of them know when they can get it in. I’ll look for Greetings from Knit CafĂ© while I’m there- always worth a look! What color are you thinking?

What Would Laura Ingalls Do might need to become my new knitting mantra….I like it!

I’ve been knitting along on Clapotis…. I managed to weigh it in the post office on Wednesday without too many strange looks from the staff. They have a handy self service scale which I used, and only the one employee seemed to think I had lost my mind. Then again, I was in the downtown Minneapolis post office, and this was NOT the strangest thing going on in its very long concourse by far on Wednesday morning. That is a tossup between the distinguished looking older gentleman who was balancing a stack of boxes that was honestly twice his height (hopefully very light boxes), and the elderly homeless man who is always there and every morning is covering every square inch of paper available with extremely cryptic hieroglyphs and then tossing them on the floor.

Clapotis, like most of my knitting these days, was knitted on in the bar last night. Very very carefully. I sent my mother to her LYS in AZ to pick up one more skein, since the conclusion of my weighing was not quite conclusive enough, and now I just need it to get here quickly!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

WWLID?

Not "WWJD" but rather "WWLID"- What would Laura Ingalls do?

I found the most amazing book yesterday. Not as good as the Mason-Dixon Ladies (more on that later) but very delightful nonetheless. "Greetings from Knit Cafe" was at the evil B&N and I could not resist its siren song. Not only were there absolutely stunning photos, but there were several patterns that call for my most beloved fiber. As we couldn't remember the last time we had each bought a full priced hard back book we decided it was ok to splurge. This book is lovely. I have five patterns that I absolutely love and one that I decided might become The Brother's wedding gift. It's just so pretty. It's titled "Huge Triangle Shawl", made from 100% alpaca and 88" wide x 30" long at it's center. It was so pretty that I immediately got on the website and picked the color that I wanted. Not until later did I think about making a second one for someone else. We were going to buy them a Cuisinart, but anyone could do that. Not just anyone would be crazy enough to buy all the yarn and then knit them up a snuggly wrap/ shawl/ throw thing.
Back to the original question of "What would Laura Ingalls Do?". This is one of the questions addressed in the book. Direct quotation, "When a customer comes into Knit Cafe desperate because she's having trouble with her knitting (or I find her on the sidewalk pacing when I arrive to open the store for the day), I will often say, "First, take a deep breath. Now ask yourself: "What would Laura Ingalls do?" I mean, there she was, out on the prairie without a local yarn store, without Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book, without Knitt.com. What would she do? She would listen to her instincts and try to fix the problem in whatever way she could." I think that's a nice philosophy. Certainly puts into perspective all that time I spent pacing outside the store at 6 am....

So my evil corporate conundrum of the day: I found the delightful Mason-Dixon Knitting, the very one we had sung praises for the day before, at the evil B&N for 20% off. TWENTY PERCENT OFF! The LYS card could only get me 10% off and tax here is 9%, so I would really only be saving 1% at The LYS but would be supporting local business, or I could save 11% at the evil mega mart and be shopping at the evil mega mart. I am a supporter of local business and enjoy that others do too (especially because my parents' liveihood depends on such support) and yet working for a poorly paid social service nonprofit means that there is not much money in my pocket and what is there is usually intended for food or utilities (or yarn) so I try and save where I can. Hard back books are a luxury and this particular book is priced a smidge higher than the average, making it more of an item for the gift list than one for a splurge buy. I did resist the evil corporation's siren song of the 20% off sticker but, as mentioned above, did buy a hard back knitting book there. (In my defense, I knew the LYS could order M-D knitting and I had never seen the book I purchased anywhere before and instant gratification is powerfully seductive).
Anyway, wrestling with evil corporation dilemmas, wrestling with what to do about my brother's wedding gift (check out the worsted weight colors on blueskyalpacas.com by the way) and attempting to internalize "WWLID" is Thursday in a nutshell.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Love for Lucy

Hey Flan-
It was so nice to chat last night. Better (and cheaper) than Vicodin. So I spent the morning with The MIL. We were "shopping". It was an experience that I would equate to being treated like an exchange student. In addition to every discount store, except for the one that I actually have ever shopped in, we went to THREE grocery stores. Apparently she feels that the set up of the grocery stores south o' The Line are significantly different enough that I needed a thorough primer in their geography. Oh my. She also gives directions via the round a bout method. I.E. instructing you to take three lefts across noon time traffic instead of one right turn. I drove the entire time and, honestly, have no blessed idea where anything actually is. There IS an upside. After dropping her off I went back to the one discount store that I have shopped in before and found three beautiful white serving dishes! Now there will be something from which to serve Mother's Day Brunch.
Ok, I would just like to come out and say that I LOVE Lucy Neatby. Ms. Neatby doesn't know me or anything and I'm trying to restrain my adoration short of the stalker phase. Although I'm not sure that restraining orders work internationally.... In short she is absolutely the most brilliant knitwear designer on the PLANET. As you know I only work from patterns. And I hoarde patterns. And, as with one particularly fussy pattern for a moss stitch sheep, I have to call in reinforcements in the form of liquid refreshment, other knitters, and a whole lot of swearing in order to understand the damn thing. None of that exists with Lucy. I don't think she would allow it. She respects us as knitters and provides for our read the chart/ line by line directional preferences. In short, I love her and her patterns.
The yarn that she, supposedly, designed the brilliant pattern to suit is not so much striking my fancy. The color sends me over the moon and the whole thing is making me exceedingly happy. However, the width is inconsistent and I am not at all sure that the yarn I have is actually going to turn out to be the heavenly cloud like scarf I witnessed at the Yarnover. Never in my knitting career have I ever prayed that blocking made anything puff up and cloud so much as I pray for that now. Even as I take joy in the wonderful pattern and delightful colors, I secretly daydream of putting the finished object in several plastic bags and then driving over it in my car just so that it fluffs up as advertised...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"The Socks go Marching One by One, Hurrah, Hurrah.."

Hey Flan,
Congrats on the air conditioner! My second most favorite appliance. (The marriage saving dishwasher not yet having been knocked from its post) I would just like to say that weighing yarn is one of the most brilliant things I had thought of. Dad has this crazy scale that goes down to a hundredth of a gram (or something ridiculus), so I weighed a ball of the heirloom on it and found out that I had actually been right and had actually knit half of the ball as the lovely 13 grams on the scale showed me. I love the scale method so much I got on the BestBuy website (after scouring the WilliamsSonoma Website) and found three kitchen scales made by the same company that WS carries. The Hubby is checking on the discount prices. If they are a delightful discount I will get you one and send it up. So brilliant. DOL had it right when they list the requirements in grams and not yards. Yards be damned! I'm weighing stuff from now on! Not me, of course, but there will be little post-its on all of my balls of yarn containing the exact weight of the yarn (and probably nothing else).
Tonight is S&B at the C grade Yarn Store. I earned my way in to going by finally completing my application for the job! I'm excited. Now it just needs to find its way to the post office...
As my other reward I get to take a break and watch Dr. Phil. It's a small world that I live in, but a happy one.

Air Conditioning

Kathleen-
Well, it's official. I became the first person in either of my buildings to install an air conditioner. It made sense because a) it was taking up valuable space in my small apartment and b) I already had the building guy coming to remove my storm windows for the season. Nonetheless, it seems a little funny at the moment. Especially cause the week is supposed to get cooler.

I signed up for an Aveda institute massage on Thursday after work- part of my plan to relax now that the event is over. I think I'll be taking the opportunity to splurge/stock up on shampoo and hair care products (need to be able to make a good impression at the wedding.)

Speaking of the wedding, I'm now within a row of reknitting what I had to rip out when I found the hole in Clapotis. Tomorrow I'm going to try the weighing the knitting at the post office trick, I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Running out of yarn?

Kathleen-
I'm still in the increase section of Clapotis, still on my first ball of yarn, and already worried I'm going to run out. I have three balls of yarn, and I think I've used 1/2 of one ball. New plan: take project to the post office on my daily post office run for work and ask the nice post office man to weigh it for me. Think he'll think I've lost my mind?

In other sad news about Clapotis, I was knitting along last night at West Wing and discovered that about 5 rows ago I managed to add a stitch. A totally inadvertent adding of a stitch, unnoticed for 5 rows? How the heck did that happen. I tried dropping the stitch down and redistributing the extra yarn, but there's just too much of it so I'm going to have to rip back to where I added and then re-knit.

That's unlikely to happen today, because today is air conditioner installation day at my place (by the landlord's handyman). It's relatively cool today and thunderstorms on and off, which makes for not perfect air condition installation weather, but there you have it. Once it is installed, I'm embarking on a thorough mopping project before the rug goes back down, and then a possible furniture moving/redecorating of the main room of the apartment. New goal: for futon not to cut the room into two small cramped spaces. I'll have to post pictures once it is done, so that you can see if it worked.

Also in my near future: a trip to the fabric store for wide ribbon to tie back curtains and flannel to line the sheepy blanket (ends need to be woven in). How come all of my current projects have a June deadline? I have a mental image of blocking Clapotis on my hotel room floor the night before the wedding. Pure glamour, that would be!

Socks and InLaws

Hi Flan,
So Jonathan's dusting with a dirty sock. Don't you just love living w/ boys...

I'm working on the Gem's Pearl socks. Third time's the charm I hope. I've ripped it out twice so far. I found a recent (I don't know if it's the latest) Interweave Knits and read it whilst Grandma Hernani was taking a nap during her 5 hour marathon Conversion-of-Kathleen-to-Catholocism session (Catholic TV was added at hour 1 and ran thru hour 5). Ken was summoned twice to help with the conversion process. There was a nice sock pattern in the magazine that became more inticing as the conversion process went on. So the unfortunate original one got ripped out and a new one got started. On the way to The Grandmother's house yesterday it got ripped out and begun again. Sock number three doesn't look like complete crap, so I'm excited. Tomorrow will be my first foray into Sit'n'Bitch at the C Grade Yarn store.
More later. The boys are regailing stories of "greatness"...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Socks and Birthday Parties

Kathleen-
Since I still don't have a digital camera, I'm linking to my sock pal's post that shows my beautiful socks. I tried them on and they fit perfectly and are super warm. I love them! (Also, I already ate the Texas Pecan Pralines...also excellent). So thanks to a great sock pal Dene. My beautiful package is here. Have I mentioned that I love my socks?

Knitting on the socks for my pal continue, hoping to get them done by the end of the month. The more I knit them the more I like them- I'm thinking of buying another ball in the same colorway and knitting a pair for myself!

I'm also working a bit on Clapotis, so far so good, still on track to finish by the LA wedding.

There are no alligators in my life here. Yesterday we attended two birthday parties: one for a two year old (Make Way for Ducklings was a great hit).

The other was out in Big Lake (west on 94 about 1 hour) for a choir person from Mac. It was a really entertaining mix of people and good fun, and culminated in a bonfire. Not just any bonfire either. They had gotten a fire permit, which you apparently are issued at a bar rather than at the fire department, and had this huge pile of dead wood cleaned up from a beaver's path of destruction last fall. SO this stuff had been drying all winter. The stack of logs was taller than me, and it was lit with gasoline (woosh doesn't even begin to describe it). Within seconds the flames were 15 feet high, and everyone was beating a hasty retreat so as not to have hair catch on fire. The Arizonan in me was freaking out thinking "Flames! huge flames! Flying embers! We're going to catch the forest on fire! How is this legal?" Of course after 4 days of rain last week, there was really no risk in Minnesota, but it took a while to adjust.

So excited that you're getting a house! And that the floor of the Best Man has proved properly delightful. I shall need pictures of this house!

Friday, May 05, 2006

"Well Honey, He's Not Going to Eat YOU..."

So we were sitting down to dinner and Ken, very nonchalantly, says, "Oh look, there's a gator in the water". No one was alarmed. NO ONE. They were just sitting there, eating their food, and an ALLIGATOR was there, waiting... watching... planning... plotting...
I watched "Igor" all during dinner. (Laura is not very chatty). There he was... waiting... watching... planning... plotting... Very wiley those gators. Then, at the end of a very long dinner, there was ANOTHER ONE. ANOTHER ALLIGATOR WAS IN THE POND. Only this one was done with the watitingwatchingplanningandplotting. He was ready to do the pouncing and eating. He rose out of the water and then stayed on the bank having his dinner. This all happened when the waitress brought the check. I'm pretty sure I was hyperventilating at this point and had grabbed Ken's arm. The waitress turned to a patron that was leaving the restaurant and said, "I'll see y'all later, we're just watching the gator eat." WE'RE JUST WATCHING THE GATOR EAT. That's what she said. WE'RE JUST WATCHING THE GATOR EAT. She looked at me having an apopoleptic fit and said, "well Honey, he's not gonna eat YOU."
Welcome to the South Y'all.

Congrats!

Hey Flan,
I'm so happy that things went well! Hopefully things will continue to do so. Ooohhh!!! If you and your mom have some time you should DEFINITELY go to the Yarn Cafe in Maple Grove. They have a website & it's totally worth the drive. The yarn is great AND there's a cafe that even sells vino. Vino + Wine = Happy Knitters. There are even some great chairs that you can sit in whilst enjoying it all.
I have been to moBEEL's only yarn store. It isn't completely terrible. They have an overabundant love of novelty yarn the likes of which I'm not sure I have ever witnessed (think Yarnover but much much more so). On the happy side, they do have some ArtYarn, some Lorna's Laces and, oh yes, they have some of the happier brand of Baby Alpaca. There just so happened to be some (already wound) in the sale section. That one just happened to find its way home with me. Funny how that worked out. I'm knitting a long skinny scarf for The Sister out of humongous (15s) needles. A bit of a change after playing with the Heirloom on 2s. I'm so happy.
We're still working the details out. Things look not completely bleak, so that's a nice sign. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you- WE HAVE A HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not an apartment, nor townhouse, but an actual HOUSE house! With walls and doors and everything! Ok, we don't actually get to move in for another 3 weeks, but thankfully The Best Man's floor upon which the air mattress goes is quite delightful.
So after June 1 you can come and actually have a place to stay! Since there's no washer I am now off to get a load of laundry ready so it can wash whilst we unload the car at The MotherInLaw's apartment.
Check out the Yarn Cafe. I hope y'all like it. Say hi to your Mom for me.

Event DONE!

Kathleen-
Glad to see you're safely arrived in Mobile. How is the apartment search thing going? Is everything still at Laura's place?
The event is done, and I can actually sleep at night these days. It turns out that 1200 is a LOT of people, and kind of like herding cats, but there comes a point where the event will happen one way or another, and it ended up happening in great style. Our speaker was excellent, the person who introduced her was excellent, response to the fundraising challenge was amazing, and there were a limited number of crises, all of which I managed to solve with minimal pain on my part. (I may have offended a former governor, but sometimes that is the price you pay for doing a job.) My mom is still around, and we've been touring yarn stores in our spare time. So far she loves Borealis the best, and likes Depth of Field, and is suddenly much less impressed by that other store (you know, the one that hates cotton.)

I gave her the yarn I bought at Yarnover as an early Mother's Day present with the caveat that she'd be getting a shawl made from the same yarn for a later holiday. She's a knitter, she understands.

Yesterday I arrived home to not one but two packages outside my door! One was the swift from your mom, which arrived safe and sound, and the other was my socks from my sock pal. They are so beautiful and perfect that they'll need to get their own post with pictures (must borrow the camera from Mike) this weekend.

This also provides the inspiration to work really hard to finish the socks I need to send out- my pal knows they'll be a few weeks late, but I'd like that to be accurate!

Oh, and this afternoon Mom and I are getting a tour of the new Guthrie with my boss's partner. Should be pretty exciting, since the building isn't open to the public yet!

This weekend's plans? A birthday party for a 2 year old (we're determined to find what may be the cutest book ever for him, I'll find a link later), and a birthday party for a friend from Mac. And sleeping LOTS to catch up on the last week.

Yay imaginary expecting friends to knit for! I think that will work well, as long as she never finds the stash of finished projects.

Hope you're finding a good place to live. I'll be around on Sunday, less so on Saturday (aforementioned birthday parties).

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

moBEEEL

Hey Flan,
I hope The Event went well. We are in moBEEL and the uhaul has been unloaded at Laura's. This did mean that we had to tell Laura that we are currently apartment-less and deal with the consequenses therein.
I have done a grand total of zero stitches of knitting since leaving MN. I did, however, grab two balls of the pink Heirloom (destined for the DON sweater) and hid them in my purse, lest Laura see them and wonder why I had pink baby yarn. Many imaginary friends will probably need to be invented as recipients for all of my projects. I'm hoping to swatch the yarn tonight. I was hoping to have done it last night, but, alas, could not find the stupid box with the lovely yarn. My collection of needles were in the seat next to me. I've decided to make two sweaters, each using the green. One will be green and pink with the picot edging. The other will be navy and green with a garter edging. The leftover pink will probably be used for one of the adorable dresses in the DON book. Laura volunteered to take me to The Yarn Store (the only one in moBEEL) sometime next week. With that adventure pending I think I might go and spend time with the pretty pink yarn and ignore the boys.
Again, hopefully The Event went well and you're having some (relaxing?) time with Your Mommy.
-K