Monday, July 31, 2006

Cabin Bliss

It was quite a weekend. We all managed to be off work at noon on Friday so off we went. About an hour North of the cities, there was this terrible clunk and then a repeated clunking noise from teh right side of the car engine. To his credit, Mike managed to get across two lanes of traffic and pull off. We thought it was the front passenger tire. We get out. The tire is fine. We expected it to be shredded. New theory: something from the road kicked up into the engine. We're like 1/2 ile from the next exit, so we decide to try and get there. The other car in our caravan was about 3 minutes behind us, and saw us pulled off. They called and exited when they saw us pulled off, and led us to the Napa Auto Parts store. We open the hood. Nothing obvious. We look some more.

One of our group (we'll call him JP) sees a shredded piece of the main serpentine belt. We wander into Napa. They sell us a serpentine belt and let us borrow tools. JP, a former truck driver until he injured his shoulder, knows something about engines. JP also had surgery a week and a half ago, and his right arm is in an immobilizing sling. What follows is honestly one of the most amazing things ever. JP managed to change the main serpentine drive belt of Mike's engine with one hand. His left hand. He's right handed. There was help from the rest of the group, and some well timed muscle from one of the Napa guys. But honestly.

So an hour later, we get back on the road with a beautifully running car. I spent the wait inside Napa making friends with the clerks-- I decided that the 90 + heat would make me sick if I was outside, and we really didn't need to take me to the hospital.

We run through Duluth to pick up more people, and finally get to the cabin around 5:30. While unloading, I discover we have brought a lot of beer. We're talking 60 bottles of bar, 2 bottles of mead, and two 64oz bottles of beer from a local brewery in Duluth. We laugh.

Then we grill. I should mention that there were 7 of us on this cabin trip. Six guys and me. We grilled an enormous amount of meat the first night, a few of us swam, it was beastly hot even up North. We went to bed at 1:30am. A huge storm broke at 3am, and with it went the heat. It poured. There was an impressive amount of lightning. Half the boys slept through it. I was awake. At 5am, I was awake and there was no more sleep. We got up in a straggly fashion (anywhere from 7-9:30 am). You'll be proud to know I was one of the first up.

Then we decide to play frisbee golf. Apparently Giants Ridge has the largest frisbee gold course in the world. Almost 3 hours of frisbee golf involved climbing the mountain completely while chasing frisbees, the getting halfway down, climbing back to the top, and finally coming down. Once again, constantly chasing the discs. We lost three of the discs to the woods, and had what I would call a nice strenuous hike in the process. I also acquired a sunburn despite the clouds. I hate that.

There was more swimming, there was a lot of drinking, and Sunday afternoon we headed home. Packing up, I discovered that we had drank 59 bottles of beer, 2 bottles of mead, the two 64 oz jugs of beer, and untold coke (and one Mike's for me). All of that alcohol was the 6 guys except for some of the mead and the one Mike's. It was...scary. So I survived my weekend with all the guys....mostly ok, with a few truly terrible jokes to tell you the next time we talk.

So knitting progress. I finished the first broadripple sock, and started the second, which I am currently turning the heel on. That's it. We drove south...into a humid hell. It had been about 73 at noon at the cabin. It was 99 in St Paul at 6pm.

Today? 101. The highest temperature in 11 years, with crazy humidity. I got covered in sweat walking DOWN one flight of stairs.

Long post over. I want to see pictures of the cute kitten! Also I want a ball winder...

Oh..I messed with the blog template...let me know what you think.

Wind, Wind, and ReWind

Hi Flan,
Your parking garage story is funny, in that it sounds like it really sucked but maybe someday when we are just tipsy enough it might be hilarious. Never know, that situation might happen.
Last Tuesday was July 25, hence marking the exact 5 month count down to Christmas. It, being Tuesday, was also SNB night at LYS. They were having a sale. Damn them for having the sale, but woohoo for all the stuff. Forty percent off fun stuff like sock yarn (ok, probably more fun if I'd actually knit a pair of socks, but whatever). But the best thing was that they had wool winders on sale! Twenty five percent off! I was almost over the moon. Naturally I had to take one home. That also meant that nothing, absolutely nothing, was out of the reach of the power of the winder. Yarn that hasn't seen the light of day in years was dug out, dusted off, and wound. I have never enjoyed ripping out my knitting quite so much as I did last weekend. The requisite bowl of lukewarm water with Eucalan (got the LYS's one and only bottle) was in the tub, skeins (wound on the swift) went in for the dunk, out to the laundry room to dry, then back on the swift to be wound. So very much fun. I discovered that a ball of Cascade 220 is the largest thing that the winder will do. Important info, no?
I finally got my hands on The Mason-Dixon Knitting book (though the library wants it back in four weeks), and made my first warshrag. So much fun. I then proceeded to make three more. I think they'll be Xmas gifties for The Mommy. My only concern is that they seem to take forever to dry and I don't want things to grow in it whilst wet. Oh well. They are very pretty though.
The Kitten showed up this weekend! She's still tiny, but adorable. Sadly she will only eat wet food at the moment. Sad for me as it stinks and her room doubles as my office. Good for her that she eats something though. I'm hoping The MIL will bring her digital camera over later so we will have photos.
Sorry for the long post. Hope everything Up North was good (and cooler).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I hate parking garages


I'm amazed by the quilt- it's really cool in a sort of twisted way. How big is the top? It's really hard to tell what the perspective is like.

It's been hot here all week- not ideal for knitting. I've also been working a lot, so less time to be had. I'm thinking I'm going to buy my wheel new just for the benefits of warranty, though what I'm looking at right now is an Ashford Traveller.

We're headed up North to the cabin this weekend (leaving at noon tomorrow), so I think I should get a fair amount of knitting done.

Now on to the title of my post. We remember that elevators and I are not getting along recently. We should add parking garages to the list. My parking garage adventure follows:

So my boss and I were going to an awards lunch today. She called the Hilton and said "does your parking garage take credit cards?" Neither of us had cash in our wallets, and we had to drive separately so she could make an immediately after lunch meeting. The answer was "yes, we take cash and credit cards"

We drive to the Hilton, park, and meet inside. The lunch was lovely, but we decide to leave a few minutes early to beat traffic and she could go to her meeting. My boss was ahead of me at checkout. I see her arguing with the booth attendant. She finally leaves. I pull forward with my credit card ready. "No credit cards" What?! Of course there are now cars backed up behind me. So the attendant takes my drivers license, I leave and circle back into the garage, park and go get $20 out of the ATM. At this point the lunch has ended and the garage is packed. I get back into the line, the roving parking manager (trying to keep things moving, to his credit) tries to make me go out the other entrance and doesn't understand my explanation (I need my driver's license!). I finally get back to the booth with my cash 30 minutes later, and they try to charge me for my second period of parking in the garage, which wouldn't have happened if they had been more clear!!!! It also wouldn't have been as long a time in the garage the second time around if everyone else leaving the lunch hadn't also had the same problem (at this point they were taking people's addresses to bill them rather than what I did.) I complained a lot. Eventually got the second charge taken off. Finally left almost 40 minutes after my first attempt.

This all would have been solved with either:
a) the person on the phone being right
b) A sign at the entrance to the garage
c) a sign at the stairs and elevators that lead to the garage from the lobby. Argh!

Off to pack!


Monday, July 24, 2006

Quilt Photo

Here it is.

Officially, it is "The Hurricane", though I was informed that hurricanes spiral inwards and tornadoes spiral outwards, so it should be the tornado... Whatever. Personally, and privately, I think it looks like a glimpse into an unstable mind as represented in fabric.


Hey Flan-
I feel as if I have been Alice and the past four days were a fall down the rabbit hole. I did, however, learn a vast amounts about "string" quilts, and discovered some things about quilters.
As compared to knitters, quilters...
1. Love Cotton Always (here that Cotton haters at MN LYS- they LOVE it)
2. Have absolutely no fear of cutting (they even have multiple types of scissors- shudder)
3. Can, and do, work happily on gargantuan projects even in the godawful heat and humidity of the summer because their work never ever heats up their laps, even if it's a king sized bohemeth made up of postage sized bits.
4. Not scared of a single moth.
5. Would never ever dream of walking on their creation (I mentioned something about this to one of the quilters and she looked at me in utter horror, "you walk on your knitting?!?!?" I reminded her of socks, but she was still horrified)

1. Have WAY less crap. One needle with two pointy ends (or two pointy sticks if you're particular) and one ball of yarn. That's all we need. Something that can be carried in a regular sized pocket. Quilters require table, machine, thred, thread scissors, fabric scissors, pins, extension cords, lots and lots and lots and lots of fabric, plus an iron, ironing board, felt board, stencils, rotary cutter (the lethal-ist pizza cutter I've ever seen), board to protect surface from cutter, chair and lighting. Not something you can just whip out whilst waiting in line or while being driven around.
2. Knitting (unless you're finishing) does NOT require sewing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO sewing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3. - 12. See part two.
13. Quilts, although they can be extended to random (and often scary) bits of clothing (i.e. the quilted vest) are largely intended for beds. Possibly wallhangings, but generally they are in the blanket category. Knit wear extends the gambit of clothing choices, from head to toe, plus there are all the knits for the pets and for the home. A varitable plethora of options. PLUS after knitters slog away for 1,297 hours we get to show off our creation in public, instead of having to traipse everyone through the bedroom (generally frowned upon- especially in the South)
14. Knitters do their 1,297 hours worth of work, including the dreaded sewing up, and are DONE. Quilters do their 1,297 hours worth of work and are only done with the top. They still have to get the backing and then put the damn thing together (or pay someone hundreds of dollars to do it for them) Not very economical.

My brain is so fried I had better stop now. When I have the photo of my completed top (which I was "encouraged" (in that nice, non-optional way) to stay an extra two days to finish) I will post it and let you witness the creation for yourself.

Your weekend seems so much more exciting than mine was. Are there requirements for spinning wheels? If not I will set The MIL on the case. She is extremely good at finding random objects from second hand and antique stores.

I'm off to have a lie down. But first, thank you thank you thank you for the care package!! Nothing has ever come at a better time, nor was more welcome that the happy little wrapped packages. After four days down the rabbit hole, then a drive home that took an extra 45 minutes (a seven mile bridge, going 5-10 miles an hour, takes how long?? That's right, long enough to make you finish the book on tape, wonder if your car is going to overheat, and swear at the coffee gods for having chosen a size larger than small, and curse the male gender because if they had to go they would just go over the side of the bridge), coupled with hunger and general frustration at The Hubby who, apparently, lost all ability and knowledge for how the dishes (and everything else) are cleaned, added up to a whole new mental state that was saved by the delightful care package. Thanks.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I made yarn!

This is so cool. I made yarn. Now it is the ugliest yarn in the history of the world, but it's yarn and I made it! It's lumpy and half falling apart and scratchy and all, but it's mine!

So this spinning thing is very addictive. So addictive that I can't wait to go back tomorrow and make more.

You know what the only problem is with the spinning though? I don't have a spinning wheel. You know, with knitting, you need needles and yarn. It's pretty cheap. Spinning not so much. Today I learned to spin on a wheel (badly). Wheels are expensive. I'm hoping to learn how to hand spindle tomorrow, because hand spindles don't cost nearly as much, and would be a good way to get started before I commit to buying.

I'm off to dream about spinning.....

Friday, July 21, 2006


I hope your quilting lessons were successful. I'm getting excited about my spinning lessons this weekend- if for no other reason than to find out if it's really a craft I want to pursue. After all, it will take away time from the beloved knitting. In preparation, I've borrowed every library book in the system that involves spinning.

I avoid elevators as much as possible these days, and certainly at all political events. It turned out that I could knit at my meeting Tuesday night, so I indulged myself and finished the gusset decreases on the sock. Since then, almost nothing. It hasn't been a good week for knitting progress thus far, we'll see if that changes tonight. We're going to Happy Hour with a bunch of that older group we used to potluck with. After that, my plans were for a quiet night at home with my knitting and maybe a movie.

I can't watch the lovely Project Runway for I don't have cable, though I've been invited to join a Project Runway watching group, and I may try and make it next week. I have been catching up on Grey's Anatomy, which I didn't start watching at the beginning, so I try and catch a rerun I haven't seen when I can. It's a little disjointed, so the story lines are somewhat warped....but still fun. It's certainly no West Wing, but it's my current tv fix.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fabric Frenzy

Hey Flan-
Good luck w/ the elevators at any and all political events. Tomorrow is my first crash course in quilting from the renouned Quiliting Grandmother. The day after that I have the official class with others at the quilt shop. Hopefully all my cramming will pay off.
Also, there's a NEW Project Runway on tonight! It's the second episode of the fabulous summer season. I think they had to look really hard to find some of the characters. Though last week there was an impressive garment made out of coffee filters.
The Grandmother and The Pushy Aunt came to lunch today. They were the first non MIL relatives to come and see where we live. So far the main attraction is our room with six doors.
Only 18 minutes until the new episode! Off to find some snacks.


I'm decided my feet are medium, considering the men we've knit socks for.

I wear a size 9.5/10 in womens, or a 41 European. That makes my feet a whopping 10+ inches long (just about 10.25). Like I said, big feet. I also have really high arches, so when I knit socks for myself, I need a stretchy pattern so that it fits around my foot and over my heel.

By the way, Sensational Knitted Socks has a really cool set of charts of different sizes of shoe and what length and circumference of sock is appropriate. I haven't yet made it through the whole book, but it looks pretty good as a primer for different kinds of socks.

Craziness prevailed in Minnesota politics yesterday, so I must confess that I haven't touched my knitting in two days. However I have a work related meeting tonight that I might be able to knit through, so there is hope!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


My feet are small! Very Very Small! Me Me Me Me! Over here!!! MEEEE! My feet! To be precise, they are a mere men's/ kid's 4.5, or women's 6.5-7. This translates a miniscule nine inches. Barely any yarn at all. Just for my info, how long are your alligator feetsies? There should definitely be a site that matches short people with tall people who like the same garments. The short people can cut off the excess lengths of sleeves and torsos and legs and donate them to the tall people. (After which we will all hold hands and sing). Thanks for the vanilla sock pattern.
The Grandmother commanded our presence last Sunday. Whilst we were there the visting Pushy Aunt said that The Grandmother would like to see our house and which day this week would work? As we were leaving she thanked us for the invitation to come over. Now I get to figure out what on earth to serve them for lunch. Dessert is ice cream and peaches, but I'm not sure that everyone would be as happy as I would having only dessert for lunch. My teeny tiny feet and I are off to go through recipes.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Have Big Feet

It has come to my attention that I have big feet. No I know. You knew that. Anyone who has tripped over my shoes knows that. Apparently I managed to overlook that though. So I'm happily knitting along on my Broadripple socks (still loving them) and I think "wow, that looks long enough." So I tried it on. I still have like 5 inches to go. Erk.

Also I'm thinking that this may be my last pair of socks with a real heel and gusset. My first pair of socks (for the one with the biggest feet of all), had a short row heel, and I'm going back! I just get frustrated with knitting the darn heel gusset.

By the way, my favorite Plain Jane toe-up sock pattern is Wendy's. There's another variation here (pdf), with feather and fan pattern for the leg part.

So anyway, what size shoes do you wear? Cause I think your feet might be about 5 sizes smaller than mine.

The kitten sounds cute....I can sort of understand becoming a cat person under those circumstances.

I love Joselyn's. It's a dangerous place. I love how that shawl is turning out too. I think I could only knit shawls for a year. Maybe. I assume she picks good shawls that are interesting.

I'm off to package up my lunch to prepare for tomorrow, and maybe knit a few more rows on the shawl while finding out if the heat is ever going to break.


Cure for (Knitting) ADD?

Hey Flan-
Congrats on making the FIFTIETH post! We made it to 50! Of course, the ladies over at masondixon just made it to the three year mark, but 50 is more than 3, so go us!
It seems like there's a lot of love for the Fixation. It makes me want some... I have yet to actually finish a pair of non-boot socks, but still I want some. Maybe our LYS will have some. Of course I decided it's time to start Christmas knitting and have found some delightful Galway to make stockings for the kitten(s). I have resisted so far (and because I lent my pattern book to a fellow Knit Nighter), but we'll see how long that lasts.
About the cats... We have this new house and we thought that with our 3 fenced yards it might be fun to have a pet. So we thought about a dog and started to talking to people. Everyone said they required immense amounts of attention and frequent (3 times per day) walkings. There are three dogs that live next door and a Rottweiler 2 doors down. We thought that maybe we wouldn't be home enough to properly care for a dog and that would make us irresponsible stewards. We weren't thinking about a cat until we went to The Best Man's Mama's for dinner and there was a little one about three weeks old. The Hubby said we could have it. Then we started thinking about how lonely it would get and that, perhaps, we should get a second to keep the first one happy. His and Hers felines. That's how we became cat people.
So I was visiting Joslyn's yesterday. She has a Shawl O' The Quarter Club. (Shawl O' the Month is , apparently, notably impratical even for knitters. Though there is a Sock O' The Month). I got to thinking that the Shawl Club might be fun. Granted, I have yet to make or wear a shawl, but the idea's intriguing. Knit nothing but Shawls all year. Hmm..

Inadvertant Stash Building

You know how Stephanie talks about tripping in the yarn store and her credit card magically getting swiped? That's kind of how I'm feeling about this week. I went to the yarn store on Friday, as you know, to get more Trekking XXL and some Cascade Fixation. This of course, is after signing up for spinning lessons. Then I went BACK to the yarn store on Sunday in order to buy more Fixation (SO fun for socks! I love it), and some NatureSpun. Now go ahead and ask why I'm buying wool when it's 100 outside. Remember those Manly Mitts I made for my Olympic Knitting? A friend who saw me knit those in the bars a great deal has asked for a pair. And what knitter could resist a sincere request for warm mittens in Minnesota?

Yeah. I had to go see the colors to consider for his mittens. And then I tripped and my credit card was out, and now I own more yarn.

I turned the heel on my first Broadripple sock last night, so on down the foot I go.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


We're setting heat records in Minnesota this weekend. NPR just informed me that we've hit 100. I realize that in Alabama that might not be a big deal these days, but here in St Paul, as you know, it's HOT HOT HOT. It's also beastly humid and gross. Currently I'm hiding in my blessedly air conditioned apartment (thank your hubby for the air conditioner, would you?). I haven't actually been outside all day, and I'm not planning on that changing.

Last night I continued my fine tradition of knitting in bars as we had a bit of a Tap After Tape reunion at the Tap last night, complete with our favorite bartender/waiter. I was knitting on my newly cast on Broadripple Socks. I bought the yarn at the lovely LYS (our favorite) last night in a quick visit that featured yarn for three different pairs of socks. I went in to buy more Trekking XXL, which I loved when I used it for my sockapalooza socks, and ended up with some Trekking XXL and two pairs worth of Cascade Fixation. I decided some cute cotton socks were just the ticket for portable summer knitting. Tap After Tape was actually my reason for going yarn shopping, because I realized I had no portable projects.

So what'd on the needles and in current rotation? Here's my weekly rundown.
Broadripple Socks: Newly re cast-on (too small), 1 inch knit.
Eris Sweater: Still on sleeve island. I need a cuff on the one sleeve and about half of the second sleeve.
Highland Triangle Shawl from Folk Shawls: Oops. Did I forget to mention casting on for this? I'm knitting it for my mom in that beautiful yarn I bought at Yarnover with you. So far so good, but it's both lace and the red likes to rub off on my hands, so not portable.
Green Gables: Yarn wound, I'm resisting casting on till I finish something else!

The biggest excitement of this week is that I signed up for a spinning class next weekend! So you'll learn to quilt and I'll learn to spin this week. Craziness. It's at the Textile Center through the Weaver's Guild, and is a total of 10 hours over the course of the weekend. By the end, I should know the (very basics) of spinning both on a spindle and on a wheel. Kind of cool, yeah? This is part of my preparation for MD Sheep and Wool, I want to know whether I'm going to be a spinner so I can buy fiber at the mecca. :)

I'm very sorry about the cat (when did y'all become cat people anyway?) Your fishing expedition sounds way too exciting, though I would be in heaven with all that sea food! Speaking of which, I finally found an excellent seafood restaurant in the Cities. Yum!

Now I'm guilty of the very long post, so I'll wander off, and try and be better about posting this week.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Half Way!

The Wedding Throw is at the halfway mark! I am just about to start the center square and am so excited. The yarn smells more like an alpaca than any of my former alpaca products. I'm trying to figure out whether or not that's a bad thing.
Guess what- I am going to learn how to quilt. The Grandmother that quilts has decided that I need to learn how to quilt. She said all her other granddaughters (including the 6 year old) know how, so it was time for me to learn. I am signed up for a class a week from today. I trotted down to the library and picked up "The Big Book of Quilting", "Quilting for Dummies" and "The Everything Quilitng Book". Hopefully some osmosis will kick in and I will conjure a desire for fabric that will last for the 6 hour class. (SIX hours! You have to bring your lunch! I never knew it could be so taxing that you'd run out of energy. Knitters would never go on for six hours- well, maybe, but not in a class)
Things here are trekking onward. Hope things are well there.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

No cat

We went to pick up the cat. While The Hubby was holding it the employee said that someone else wanted it but they said they'd be back after 30 minutes and it had been an hour so we could have it. At that moment a fat hussy ran up with her extremely rude friend and grabbed the cat from MY Hubby saying, "oh please don't take her!" The Hubby was far too sweet and didn't put up much of a fight. She kept saying, "oh I love her but I don't want you to think I'm a bitch". I kept thinking, it doesn't matter what we think of you, just hand over the cat. She didn't. We left the store without the cat. The Hubby's sad.

Two Too Much?

Hey Flan,
I don't remember whether or not I told you we're thinking of getting a kitten. I realize it's sacreligious given your canine proclivities, but we're not home enough for a dog. After our jaunt to Petsmart earlier (btw: if you thought people in the South were friendly before, wait until you enter a zone where animals are welcome and you know the life story of the former stranger whilst in the cat food aisle in less than 4 minutes), Ken found a second cat that he wants. So, zero to two cats. Wrong? Crazy? Makes you think of all the yarn that could be unwound by two kittens in less than 3 minutes and want to huddle in the corner? Remember the tupperware container that was at the Yarnover? It had a whole punched in the top so you could protect your yarn. I'm thinking this would be a good idea.
The Wedding Throw had to have 3 rows pulled out last night at Knit Night. Thankfully, it seems as if everything is going swimmingly. I'm almost to halfway and am very excited. I'm also currently having snowman obsessions earlier in the year than usual. So far I have dreams of a Mardi Gras one and a Southern Belle.
Check out Stephanie today. She has an interesting mythical guestlist as well as a fun challenge.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Queen of the Makeral

Hi Flan,
We went fishing yesterday. Sounds nice quiet and simple, no? We: The Hubby, The Best Man, The Uncle, his wife and their two young (6 & 9) girls and me. Went: up at 5 am. That would be Five o'Clock in the morning. Fishing: Get in boat from 70s. Hold on to The 9 year old, feel as if you're going to "revisit" the banana you ate for breakfast. The waves hit like a rollercoaster. It only took 45 minutes to realize that we should turn around and look forward. Then we had to acquire bait. This took more work than catching the actual fish did. It involved a man named Tony. After we had the bait (which three grown men tried valiantly to keep alive as long as possible) we went farther out into The Gulf. Either The Uncle or The Hubby would then take a large hook, skewer the living bait and toss the poor things overboard. The fish caught themselves. We did very little work at acutally "catching" the fish. Once the fish ate the swimming but skewered bait our job was to reel them in. In my view we weren't so much fishing as reeling. The haul at the end of the day was four King Makeral and three Red Snapper. I "caught" two Kings, one of which was the biggest fish of the day. Photos will follow.
We now have three coolers worth of King Makeral, so The Best Man, his dad and his dad's girlfriend are coming for dinner. The current menu is chips, salsa & guac, grilled fish, bean salad, coleslaw (w/ vinagrette instead of mayo dressing for The Hubby), pasta salad with coconut lime pie for dessert. I should be at the store shopping but there was laundry to be done, so I'm waiting for the dryer to finish.
Knitting... Right. Last week with the pinched nerve thing there was an imposed hiatus on the knitting. I finally got to cast off the 8 remaining sts on the neck band- only to discover that on one of the picot edges I have one too many. It's even in an obvious place. Also, I didn't make the bottom edge long enough, so when sewed down it flips up funny. I was so disgusted I put it in a bag and buried it, hoping that it will fix itself. I had been planning on making some headway on The Wedding Throw. However, The Best Man asked me to drive to The Uncle's. I was fine with that, thinking that I would knit while there or on the way home. We didn't leave until 9:30 last night after getting up at 5 and having an exhausting day on the boat. I was lucky enough to get a shower at 2:30 and talk to my co-in-law (The Uncle's Wife) while the boys took three boats out of the water and cleaned all of them and cleaned all the fish. I was then elected to be the driver for the way home while the boys slept.
I just realized this is an extremely long and rambly post. Happy Monday.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lost in Translation

Hey Flan-
We had a happy fourth as well, and it included a remarkable amount of dog (remarkable as we do not currently own a dog). Instead of going to the paternal grandmothers we broke with tradition and went to The Uncle's house. There were cousins that The Hubby only gets to see once a year on said holiday and instead of blindly following tradition set by The MIL I asked The Hubby which party he wanted to attend. The Wakeboarder Cousin with his crazy boat was there, so we spent the fourth in a boat with a bunch of cousins, watching a wakeboarding demo and tubing (photos to follow). Then there was the seafood. 50 pounds of shrimp, snapper and little crabs. Plus the rest of the food. It's remarkable any of us can walk. Naturally the next day my shoulder hurt like hell to the point that I could no longer be polite to The MIL, so I had The Hubby bring me home. Given the current drought all fireworks were banned.
Ok, so after my snitty little rant the other day I had the bright idea to google the actual decrease phrase. It turns out that 'yf' in British is 'yo' in the States. After learning this little gem of info the math turns out to be correct (decreasing two, but adding one, equalling a total decrease of 1). I apologize to anyone who is British and proud of their mathematical skills.
I'm off to delve into the new knitty. Hope things are well.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy 4th!

Ok so I'm slightly late on that front, but yesterday was busy!

Your baby dress problem sounds like the sadly typical Debbie Bliss pattern problems- truly tragic since she often has some of the best looking designs. My mother swore off any additional Debbie Bliss knitting after the last baby shower she knit for.

Speaking of baby knitting, the new Knitty is up! And it has the most adorable spring/summer baby booties. Have you seen Tulip Toes?

I think they're perfect for babies!

The 4th was a nice 4 day weekend for me. We dogsat till Monday, which meant less knitting than usual because I was distracted by the dog. I did get to the bind off row on the never ending sheepy baby blanket yesterday at a 4th of July party, but had to lay it aside till I could concentrate enough to bind off loosely. As a result, I picked back up my long neglected project from last summer, the wonderful Eris, which now only lacks one sleeve and one sleeve cuff, and I'm once again loving the pattern.

We went to the Minneapolis fireworks show last night and inadvertently ended up with a spectacular spot to watch! I love fireworks shows, and hadn't seen a decent one in nearly 10 years (now there's a scary thought) because of working for the NPS and the various droughts. So a good time was had by all!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Mathematics ≠ Universal Language

It's true, whoever said that mathematics is the universal language has obviously never had anyone from England do subtraction. Here I was, knitting along on the Debbie Bliss "Dress with Eyelets" from her Baby Knits book. I had been led astray by one of the other patterns in this book- a sweater whose back was one length and, after following all the directions, whose front was a completely different length. But I decided that I would set that aside and knit this dress for the pregnant Knit Night companion. The instructions are for a "bottom up" approach in that you start with the bottom hem and work towards the shoulders. Not wanting an extra seam and wanting to accomplish as much knitting as possible, I decided to knit the front and back skirts in the round with the fabulous plan of getting to the arm hole decreases and working each side individually, then graft the shoulders together for a seamless dress.
This plan was going rather well until an hour ago. I had 89 sts per side, then, per instructions, made 22 double decreases (hence creating eyelets) which perfectly spaned the entirety of the back. According to my American style math backed up by my American style (though probably Chinese made) calculator this should have resulted in a total decrease of 44 sts, thus leaving a remaining 45 sts total. However, apparently this math is off, as according to the pattern I should now have 67 sts. Yes, 67. Just to be sure that I was not miscounting either sts or decreases I did the front half as well. Again I came up with 45 sts total. Not 67. I have checked the website and there are no corrections for this pattern. I have googled the pattern and others make no notation of the anomaly. Naturally, the LYS is closed today and tomorrow. I have no explanation and no further ideas.
By the way, when a bevy of young girls encourage you to go tubing even though your shoulder hurts from all the knitting you did on the aforementioned dress and you say yes, the next day your arms, back, and pecs will hurt so badly that putting on a bra, thoroughly washing your hair, and driving a stick shift car will all seem like instruments of the devil (and will also cause cursing of The Hubby who went first and whose Uncle was the driver of the boat).