Thursday, March 29, 2007

Deep Breath..

Hi Flan,
Thanks for the phone call. I'm so happy for them and their upcoming large ankles and odd food cravings. It's definitely baby knitting time (it's for someone else in case anyone happens to be reading- don't put me on the baby wagon yet).

So I managed to make it through the application. Granted, this was after the typewriter incident and after my computer crashed. I had to take a nap. It was long and there was sunshine. It turns out only the first 7 pages of the application were able to be done online (this time I printed each one as I completed it). The remaining 3 pages could not be done online and the typewriter experience actually came in useful. It is now done. Whew.

Here was the next train of thought: Bailey's is yummy. But at night-time you're supposed to drink warm milk to help you sleep. Know what goes well with warm milk? Hot chocolate. Know what's good in hot chocolate? Bailey's. Everyone's happy. Well, mostly me, but that's who I'm concerned with right now.

Now I get to go and pick out baby patterns for E&H though I'm slightly tipsy so who knows what I'm going to come up with. Maybe sleep will help... Or more Bailey's... Or a combo...

Are you Freakin' Kidding ME??!!

Hey Flan,
No worries about the swamp-ed-ness. I just had one of those moments where you really can't believe that you're as stupid as your actions. I had all the job applications forms ready to be filled out. I even made copies. I borrowed an honest to goodness Typewriter. This is after schlepping downtown yesterday to take the prerequisite Typing Test. I spent an hour painstakingly trying to fill out the forms on a typewriter with NO ERASING TAPE. I was about half way done.
Then I checked my email. There was one from Gracie asking if I wanted to go shopping, then another cancelling the shopping. Concerned that her baby was driving her crazy, I gave her a call. In the midst of our conversation, I described my ordeal with the Typewriter. Gracie, being the sensible one, said something like, "why don't you just type it on the computer?". My work computer doesn't let you do that, so I figured my home one wouldn't either. While on the phone, I sat down at my 6 year old wonder laptop and, 'shore 'nuff, can totally type on the forms.

Yup, that's right. Over an hour of extraordinarily slow progress fighting with a Typewriter for friggin' sakes when I could have been doing what? Typing on the COMPUTER FROM WHICH THE FORMS WERE PRINTED??!! Are you FREAKIN' KIDDING ME??!!

Now that I have entered the information in the computer, taking all of 4.5 minutes, as opposed to the 45 minutes it took before I am torn between both being happy at this discovery and ready to cry. The Typewritten forms do look very good and thank goodness I never have to do it again- but seriously??!! I am so far behind the technology and I'm going to cry. And I'm only 25. Shouldn't this not be happening for another decade or so?? So sad.

Knitting news: I'm designing a bib for Gracie's baby. I was going to do the petal from One Skein but it required counting past 4. Somehow, the star motif doesn't look centered though I know it is, so I'm deciding that it's a design feature and is totally supposed to look like that. I might have to go to a movie with The Hubby tomorrow. If so I'm taking The Dad's Sweater and I defy anyone to make disparaging remarks about the noise of the needles. If I have to suffer through a full length motion picture then everyone else has to suffer from the noise of addi's. It'll be good for them.

P.S. I know I haven't blogged any recent pix of me, but I have not actually undergone an extraordinary growth spurt and my arms are still about 12 inches shorter than yours. I'm flattered you think I could wear one of your jackets, but I'll probably bring my own (they'll be happy to be gotten out from the absolute bottom of the pile).
Damn. That wasn't supposed to sound snotty, and I'm sorry that it does. I think my typewriter/ technology crazy is rubbing off. I hope your Friday goes better than your Thursday.


I'm utterly swamped again, so not posting so much. Last night I came home feeling sick and crappy and supergrumpy, and decided to take the night for myself. So I sat on the couch and watched A League of Their Own and knit on Clessidra. It was well worth the break, and now I feel like I can get stuff done tonight!

Still no pictures, but I'm on the 4th repeat, and it fits like a dream so far, and the color is gorgeous!

Also, just FYI, I'm currently reading a news story saying that light snow mixed with rain is possible for Monday! I'd recommend layering's just that time of year here. However, we have more jackets than we know what to do with, so don't worry about that!

Hopefully more tomorrow....

Monday, March 26, 2007

81 Degrees!

I started this post yesterday, but never finished it. So here it is, with additions at the end...

It's just a week till you're here, and I'm crazy excited. The way I can prove this is that tonight I'm going to go home and clean in preparation!

I've been reading all the comments about the REPRESENT event, and thanks for the great link to the story about Joe showing up. I was sitting at my desk crying because the whole thing was so overwhelmingly cool.

In recognition of the fact that the Harlot is going to be right here in St Paul, I've been planning. Rumor has it that the event is already full and they're doing a waiting list! So glad that I reserved a space for us! I left a comment on the Harlot's blog explaining how far Alabama is from Minnesota (in Miles and Kilometers). I also canceled one order for the new book (at B&N) because when I originally called they said they would receive copies by the 30th of March, and would contact me if there were any delays, and then today I called to check and their arrival date is now April 8th. Unacceptable! So I called the Yarnery (which already has it in stock), and ordered two.

SundayMike and I hosted an all day board game extravaganza. People arrived at 9am, and the game broke up around 9pm. One of the participants had dropped off the breakfast dish the night before, and so I put it in the oven around 8am. So we ate breakfast, played the game, snacked, played the game, ate sushi and pasta salad, played the game, snacked, played the game, ate dinner, finished the game, and ate dessert. I made Spinach-Pesto Lasagna and Lemon Ginger Cheesecake for dinner, and both were big hits. They also both had the advantage of being assembled the day before, which was key, and they easily feed 10 people.

All through the game, I knit away on Clessidra, which are turning out great. Now that the pattern is established, I only need to look at the chart occasionally, which makes them go much faster. There would be pictures of the socks, but my camera isn't talking to my computer at the moment.

Yesterday in Minnesota it was 81 degrees! In March! We set records! It was gorgeous! Mike got home and we decided that despite the enormous amount of leftovers, we should take advantage of the unseasonable weather, and so we took ourselves off to have dinner on the patio of the Happy Gnome. It was a brilliant plan, but it meant we got home and pretty much went to bed. Today we're back to seasonable weather, so it turns out to have been a good decision to sit on the patio all evening.

One week till you're here!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rocks, Cake and a FO

Hi Flan,

You certainly have much more unexpected excitement in M's car than one usually does. Thank you for the birthday wishes. It's only a week from tomorrow that I leave!

After multiple people, two instruction manuals and a big fight with the computer I think we finally have some photos (though they won't go where I tell them to)! The Hubby and Gracie conspired to throw me a Hawaiian themed birthday party. Isn't that sweet?! I made a 4 layer coconut cake w/ coconut cream cheese frosting.

Everyone was dressed for the party... Including Olive.

There had also been fun with rocks...


And I finished The 6 day sweater (technically the Stockinette Sweater from "Baby Style", in Cascade Sierra)
Happy Monday!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Kathleen!

It's your birthday! Hooray!

Yesterday I had what can only be described as a day from hell. I had to drive down to St. Peter for a job fair I was recruiting at, and I took Mike's car. Before I left, I went up to the nice tire place and got my soft drivers side (this is important later) tire pumped up. Halfway down, I heard a terrible thunking. "I remember this noise" I thought. "That sounds like the serpentine belt." Remember that?

So I called Mike, called a tow truck, and waited. And waited. Called my boss, called the Fair organizers to say I'd be late. The very nice tow truck guy pulled up, hooked up the car, and towed me to a car repair shop.

The very nice but intimidating head mechanic guy said "what do you think is wrong?" Very calmly, I said "I think the serpentine belt is shredded. I've been through this before with this car, and it sounded the same." He was skeptical.

So they open the hood, and a young mechanic came in and said "You think what? Everything looks fine." The head mechanic made him turn it on, and sure enough, I was right. The serpentine belt was shredded. One replaced serpentine belt later, I was back on my way.

Happily down the highway I went, and I pulled into St Peter. You have to go through downtown to get to the college, and as I stopped at the first traffic light, I heard a pop. I figured it was the air brakes of the giant truck behind me. Then I pulled out of the light, and heard thumping. So I pulled over again, got out, walked around to the passenger side, and my tire was FLAT. Not the tire that was soft earlier. Nope. The other front tire. And I have never seen such a flat tire.

So I looked around downtown St Peter, and walked into the nearest store, a cute little Swedish import store. So I said "I've got a flat tire, is there someone I can call to help?" So the nice lady behind the counter called the local repair shop. No answer. The ladies looked at eachother and said "we could call Don."

Don turns out to be the husband of one of the ladies who works in the shop (who wasn't there at this point). Without hesitation, Don agreed, and two minutes later, he pulled up. He looked at my tire, went home for some tools, came back, and had my tire off in a jiffy. Then he drove me down to Shorty's Tire Shop (By the way, Shorty is great), and Shorty looks at my tire and says I need a new one. So I buy a new tire, Don puts it on, and I thank him profusely. I go back into the shop to collect my thoughts before preceeding to the job fair, and the ladies made quite a fuss about how calm and collected I was given the day I'd had up to this point. (It's still only 11:30am).

The ladies decreed that given that the car that was so much trouble was Mike's, he should buy me a bauble from the shop. And so I picked out a pretty pair of earrings to bring home.

I did eventually make it to the job fair and home again safely, but this is all a long way of saying that I knit one single row yesterday.


But happy birthday to you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

I definitely have copies of those very photos sitting in a yet to be unpacked box in the house!

Due to crazy schedules, Mike and I are Birthday celebrating on Friday, so I'm having a pretty tame birthday so far.

However, I'm way behind on blogging. So here we go.

I had a very good mail day Friday, getting both an exciting birthday giftie from you and an exciting gift from my Mom. Sadly no pictures as of yet. But I was very excited by the oh so soft and fun and funky scarf in such a pretty color! And then St Patrick's Day was the next day, so I wore it all day.

From my Mom I got the KnitPicks Options Set. I haven't tried knitting with them yet, but they're beautiful and very exciting. I think there are some sizes that I'll want two sets for, so I'm thinking about purchasing some additional tips and cords, but this gives me a great start, and means I won't have that sinking feeling of "but I don't have any 9s" while trying to cast on for a project at night!

Friends of ours are opening a pub in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, and the "preview day" was St Paddy's Day, so we went down for a short visit. They open for real in early April (maybe when you're here). While there, I made our friend CK pose with my sock!

CK is always a great proponent of my knitting in bars, so it seemed appropriate to have him pose with the Sock In Progress.

We had tickets to a Great Big Sea concert on Saturday night (what could be better than Canadian Folk Rock on St Paddy's Day). It was incredibly loud and fun, and we're hoping they come back soon. For Great Big Sea, I cast on a hat for Stephanie's project. Simple, easy ribbing and stockinette for the concert, where I was knitting by feel. Amazingly, it all looks fine, and I apparently didn't drop any stitches.

I continued knitting on the hat when we went to see the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company perform the Mikado with Mike's folks. Always a good time. Now the hat is up to the beginning of the decreases, which I did not trust myself to do in the dark.

This week I've been knitting away at my latest Broadripple socks (which CK is holding in the above photo.) Yesterday on the bus I started decreasing for the toe, and this morning I finished the last decrease about a block before my bus stop. So now they only need to be grafted, and I'll be done! Given that, I decided it was time to cast on for a new pair of socks last night, and pulled out the Wildfoote you gave me and the pattern for Clessidra. Given the fact that these are knee highs with cables and seed stitch, I think they'll take a while.

I have more Fixation waiting in the wings for Broadripple socks, and I think I'll cast on a new pair on my way home tonight. I have Guthrie Tickets tonight, and I need something to work on while I'm there that doesn't require a chart!


Happy Birthday to Flan!
Happy Birthday to Flan!
Happy Birthday dear Flannnnnerrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
Happy Birthday to Flan!

Hey Flan,
Happy 24! It's a good year. I was looking through old photos trying to find past birthdays and found only one. They are from your freshman year, taken back in Bigelow Hall (nostalgic sigh). I think all the other birthdays were during Spring Break so I have no photos. Of course at this moment the scanner and computer are having extreme issues and refuse to talk to each other. I will try again to get some photos. There's a chocolate cake and a dorm room but happy memories.

Hope you have a fantastic day!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pure Intensity and Strawberries

Hey Flan,
I am in some serious need for sleep. Last week I couldn't sleep because The Hubby was gone. When he returned I couldn't sleep because I kept having really really bizarre dreams. Now I don't know why I can't sleep but I'm about to take drastic measures. It's probably because I'm so freakin' excited about coming to see you.

It's strawberry season down here. We picked up a half flat on the way to The Grandmother's. I got extremely ambitious and decided to make jam. It turns out I read the part about the amount of fruit wrong and had 8 cups of crushed berries instead of 5. There is now a ton of jam. And pie. And cookies. I'm completely exhausted.

The only knitting that was accomplished last weekend was working on fingerless gloves while in the ER w/ The Grandmother. We were visiting because it was the 2nd anniversary of The FIL's death and thought she would need some company. It turns she had not quite gotten over the bug that has hit Pensacola. Her illness was going on day 5 when we arrived. It turns out she had lied to me when she said she had gotten a couple of perscriptions from the ER on Tuesday. She went but got tired of waiting so went home. She was looking better Friday but Saturday morning asked me to take her to the doctor. They pumped her full of fluids, determined that there was no abdominal bleed, told her she would live to 97 and gave her some (real) perscriptions. I made the nice Navy man repeat the part about "no alcohol". She asked if that included wine.

Happy Monday.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Planning and Plotting

Last night I made Chocolate Mousse for tonight potluck (yum) and sorted through boxes in an attempt to get things sorted and cleaned up before you come and visit. As a result of my sorting, the living room and main bedroom are a mess, but I have faith that I'll get it sorted out. Also as a result there was no knitting last night, but you can't have everything.

As planned, I stopped by the library on my way home and picked up my books on reserve (Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and Phillipa Gregory's Boleyn Inheritence on cd). Due to all the other stuff I did last night I didn't end up looking at the knitting book, but I'm planning on keeping it out for a while, and possibly buying it. It seems like it might help make sense of some of these moments when I want to make a pretty simple change to a pattern. I've also thought about buying one of the computer programs that allows you to do things like recalculate gauge, etc. However, I haven't done any real research into that.

So while I cooked and sorted and cleaned, I listened to the first disc of Boleyn Inheritence. I picked it up because I enjoyed Phillipa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl so much, and to a lesser extent I've enjoyed her other books. I was looking for some light reading material, and then when I saw they had it as an audiobook, I thought it might be the perfect thing to get me back in the groove with audiobooks. So far its enjoyable, though not as engrossing as The Other Boleyn Girl was. It will be good for knitting and spinning when I don't feel like having tv on in the background.

I can't wait for you to get here! As I made the reservations for Stephanie's talk and for books, I realized that its actually is really soon! By the way, did you see Stephanie's saga of renovation? The room looks gorgeous, but I think my favorite story of the week was the sawdust fire.... that would totally happen to me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Raglan Moss

Hey Flan,
Although we had a pretty good SNB last night I don't recall any hedgehogs nor any transition therefrom. Would it be possible for you to hang on to that library book until after my trip? It actually parlays nicely into a matter that I've been thinking about.

In my Rowan Magazine 30 there is a sweater I've always wanted to do for The Mommy. For some reason it popped into my head yesterday and I went on a yarn search. So far, the field is dominated by two contendors; Mission Falls 1824 Cotton and Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton. The Blue Sky is winning. The sweater is a raglan V-neck with a single braided cable down the front. Completely beautiful and completely The Mommy. The only problem? The ENTIRE thing except for the cable is moss stitch. My nemesis. In the continuum of knitting I dislike it is below ribbing and only a smidgen above entrelac. However, I love how it looks. Sigh.

Problem two: this pattern was written for giantess-es who enjoy wearing their garments very very loose. For the smallest size (34in bust) the final measurement is 23.5 inches across the front (47in total) and 27 in long. It seemed extremely large. I pulled out a very loose sweater of my own. I do not fall into the 34in bust category and my sweater is 3 inches smaller around and 6 inches shorter. The pattern was clearly not written for a petit, short waisted person. I'm definitely going to need some help with the mods.

Hedgehogs to Feminist Theory

Last night at Knit Night, the conversation went from hedgehogs to feminist theory and back again with barely a pause. My stomach literally hurt from laughing so hard.

Having learned my lesson the last time I tried to work on Arwen at Knit Night, I knit along contentedly on my Broadripple Socks. Did I mention that Minnesota threw us all a very cruel bone by reaching a record 66 degrees yesterday? I waited for my bus home in short sleeves, and we had the door open at Knit Night. So I'll confess that Arwen's wool wasn't appealing to me yesterday anyway. The temperature is dropping back into normal starting today("potential for 1-2" slushy snow tonight"), so I think my wooly inspiration may soon return.

Speaking of Arwen and my dilemma, I requested Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns from the library, and I just got an e-mail saying it was in. So I'll pick it up on my way home, and peruse the raglan section in detail. I glanced through it last night, and with some additional math and figuring, I think I can adapt my Arwen for raglans. Mike has choir practice tonight, so I'll be sitting down with the calculator and the book and working my way through. That is, after I make the chocolate mousse I promised for the potluck on Thursday!

I did a bit of spinning when I got home. The only problem with spinning to laceweight, and only spinning for 45 minutes or so, is that though your yardage is impressive, the bobbin doesn't really look more full! If it's sunny this afternoon I'll try and take some pictures of the spinning in progress, it really is lovely.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Promised Pictures


My weekend goals didn't quite happen as planned. It turned into a more hectic weekend than I would have liked (complete with an emergency vet trip for the dog we were dogsitting), and there was therefore less knitting and spinning than I had hoped.

So all I manages was to finish the fiber I was spinning and clear my wheel of all existing fiber, and knit on (but not finish) one of the pairs of socks.

On Saturday we came home from running errands to discover a package slip waiting for us. Sadly our apartment office had already closed, so I had to wait till yesterday to pick up my package. I suspected it was my purchases from Montana, and sure enough, there it was.

This was quite a haul!

That ball of gray yarn resting on top of the spinning fiber is what I bought to finish my Dad's hat.

Then there was sock yarn:

On skein of Bearfoot from Mountain Colors in Teal (I think). It's beautiful, extremely subtlety variegated, and oh so soft. This is going to marinate in the stash for a bit I think. I'm considering the Here be Dragons Socks from Theresa at Keyboard Biologist Knits.

Then I bought three balls of spinning fiber, each was 1/2 lb. These are all from Sweet Grass Wool, located in Helena, Montana. They're hand dyed Targhee Wool, and absolutely soft and beautiful. This first one is called Winter Sky, and is a perfect blend of colors.

I also bought Wildflower, with all the shades of pinks and reds and purples (hand included for scale).

And Marias Falls, which I apparently failed to get a close-up of, but can be seen just above the sock yarn in the first picture. Marias Falls was actually the first one I picked out, and the others followed in quick succession.

And then there was this beautiful Predator Friendly Wool (article here). That would be just over 7 oz. of natural black Blue Faces Leicaster Wool. Its very fluffy and light, (as you can see, one ball of this is only 2 oz, but is almost as big as the half lb ball of Targhee above.

So I think I'll be busy for a while!

Last night after dinner I brought down my spinning wheel and started spinning the Wildflower colorway while we watched Shut Up and Sing, the Barbara Kopple documentary about the Dixie Chicks. It was excellent, and I got quite a bit of spinning done. However, given how much fiber there is, I hardly put a dent in it! I'm currently spinning toward laceweight in the hopes of creating a two ply yarn for a shawl. Pictures when there's a bit more on the bobbin!

Tonight is Knit Night at Borealis, and I think I'll take Arwen for adding that inch, and possibly my sock in an attempt to finish it so that I can cast on for Clessidra in that beautiful sock yarn you gave me.

P.S. I know I've linked to Eunny before, but did you see her big news? She's the new editor of Interweave Knits, my favorite Knitting Magazine!

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Story of a "Hat"

Hi Flan,
I hope you had a really nice weekend, even though it was tragically shortened by an hour. I hate daylight "savings" time w/ a passion. Even though Congress had nothing better to do 2 years ago than tinker with the damnable thing I don't see why we have to suffer. To top it all off, after having several enraged "discussions" with the nice npr people on the radio about their multiple stories about the change, I neglected to move my clocks forward until Sunday morning. Stupid clock moving.

This weekend I completed my first EZ pattern! Woohoo. I was thumbing through Kw/oT and came upon a little section behind all the sweaters. There are hats and socks back there! Who knew?? Having an assignment from the Harlot, I grabbed some needles and some Lana Grossa Due Chine (leftover from the KO, also thanks to the Harlot) and swatched. We had a bit of a problem, with EZ calling for 2.5 sts/in and I was swatching at 3.5. Fearlessly, I pulled out my calculator. This was the turning point.

There are at least two different hats in Kw/oT that call for 2.5 sts/in (one cleverly disguised as calling for 7sts/3"). One tells you to cast on 36, the other 50. That's an extra 5 inches. The other "quirky" aspect? The one that is 36 sts is a rib, which would hold tighter to the head, the one with 50 tells you to then increase to a number that is truly astonishing (somewhere in the vicinity of 100 if I remember correctly). Far be it from me to question the authority of EZ, but I was a bit nervous.

I cast on and after the band part I increased a mere 15 sts (one pattern repeat) and merrily went about the pattern. I would like to say that the pattern is brilliant. It creates a spiral effect and has the most intelligent decreases known to man. I love it despite of my inability to grasp the numbers.

A few short hours later and I was getting to the point of cast off. It was looking big. Really really big. Seriously large even. I consulted with a Norwedian knitter. She thought it looked pretty big too. Not one to be swayed by experience and consultation, and reluctant to rip it out and do more math, I kept going.

It turns out this, um, "hat" could double as a tea cozy. If the tea pot in question were the size of the nice gatorade coolers players douse coaches with at the end of the game. I tried it on. My bathroom mirror laughed. My head is about a women's medium and my hair is not at all fluffy. I am waiting until The Hubby returns from TN so that he can put it on his much larger head and we can see if there is ripping that needs to happen. I am hoping that the recipient has both a larger head and an inordinant amount of really really fluffy hair. The Hubby currently has the camera because something is lost when you take rocks out of their natural habitat w/o photographing. There will be pictures upon his return because this is truly something to behold.

Do you know if we're supposed to mail them to NY or should we wait to deliver them in MN?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Arwen, Knitty, Etc.

Arwen progress: Good! The back and both fronts are knitted up to the measurement given in the pattern for the bottom of the armholes. However, it turns out that I'm six feet tall - which I seem to forget sometimes when it comes to knitting. For once, I'd love to have a comfy cardigan that I'm not constantly tugging down to make long enough. This, after all, is the beauty of knitting, lots of customization! So I think I'm adding at least an inch of length to each piece, and maybe more. Tonight I'm planning on measuring Eris, which I think is the perfect length, and using that measurement to decide how much to add.

I still have no revelations about the raglan sleeve question. I do have broad shoulders, so I'm not sure that the sleeve construction as written would be bad for me, but I love the feel of a raglan sleeve. Things to mull as I add length to all the pieces.

I'm contemplating starting some other projects in the meantime, but haven't made any decisions. I know the chance that Arwen will get done and be wearable while its still winter here is much more likely if I stick with one project, and yet....the siren call of startitis. Knitty started it I think. I'm tempted by Isabella, and I think that Clessidra might be the perfect use for that beautiful blue sock yarn you sent me between my Montana trips. Sadly for me I already have two pairs of socks on the needles, and according to the rules, I'll need to finish one up before I can cast on.

Given all of these thoughts, here are my weekend goals:
Add length to all three existing pieces of Arwen.
Spin and ply a bunch more of the wool currently on my wheel this weekend so when my Montana fiber purchases arrive I can dive right in.
Finish the pair of Broadripple socks currently on the needles so I can take the edge of startitis by casting on for Clessidra.
Take some pictures of all of this for the blog!

I can't wait for your visit, and I'm starting my own list!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Countdown Begun

Hi Flan,
Thanks to many calming words and the release of the new Knitty I am mostly revived after my meltdown over the airline industry. There is a little lingering resentment, but everyone needs some kind of pet peeve.

Fun news: There are 27 days until I arrive! That's including today and the day of arrival, so it's really more like 25. I am beyond excited. Yesterday, I spent some time on the Patina and Bibelot websites and have picked out some wonderful gifties for The Mommy and The Sister. My plan is to call the stores before I arrive to confirm that they have the items at the correct locations so that I can look at them before I buy. The Boys were somewhat befuddled and quite amused that I am now "pre-shopping" in anticipation. I reminded them that I do all their shopping so that they should be grateful for my dedication to research.

On the knitting front: I can cable without a needle! Thank you Wendy. It's sort of like having no training wheels. However, I have discovered that this works much better with cotton than with wool. I'm slogging through The Sister's request for fingerless gloves. The first pair, out of cotton, cabled w/o the needles nicely. The next couple are a heavier weight yarn and out of wool. The combo of heavier wool on small needles is not so conducive to the lack of a needle.

I am planning all of my projects to bring and, apparently, I feel I will be there for some time. So far, there is finishing a sock for The Hubby, socks for M, socks for The Mommy, a hat for The SIL, a garter stitch baby blanket on size 3s and that's just the beginning. I know that the flight from Atlanta to MSP is sort of long, but I have to remember that there is no actual time warp that creates indefinite knitting time.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Back Again

Back in Minnesota, where there is even more snow than when I left.

All in all, this was a much better trip to Montana. Much less of an emergency rushing trip, and a much faster recovery for Dad. I'm happy to report that he's doing well, and aside from his shaved head and gnarly scar, all is relatively well.

To hide the gnarly scar, I worked up a hat while I was there. I used handspun I'd made, knit at a very tight gauge for warmth, and to make it practically bulletproof. Just a simple ribbed brim hat with a double layer for the ears. I'll try and get Dad to send me a picture of it. In the process of knitting the hat I discovered that Dad may have the biggest head in the history of the world. It just went on and on and on. This was my first real project with my handspun, and it was great fun to knit with.

I've found a picture of the handspun!

It knit up beautifully, but as I knit along in the hospital, I looked down and realized I was running out of yarn! So I quickly decreased and bound off for long enough to get Dad home. Once we were back in Bozeman, I visited a delightful local yarn shop, and bought some complementary yarn to finish off the top to fit better.

There may have been some additional stash acquisition there, but I'd like to direct your attention to Rule # 4 of the Knit From Your Stash Rules. I was clearly more than 2 hours from home, and in my defense, all but one thing I bought were things I can't buy here, and even that one thing is difficult to find here. Pictures once the box containing my acquisitions arrives. (Yes, I bought enough that Dad has to ship me a box).

Monday, March 05, 2007

Sunny Monday

Hi Flan,
M said that your dad's surgery went well. I'm hoping it did.

This weekend was one of those happy little weekends where not a lot gets done and that's ok. Gracie and I got our hair cut Friday. I now have a shoulder length bob. I think it's cute. I also purchased tires for the car. There should be greater payoff when you shell out that kind of money. Saturday was The Sister's 21st Birthday! Belated Happy Bday shout out to her. I called her on the special day and went to the yarn store to fulfill her request for more fingerless gloves.

I am now up to my elbows (figuratively) with the little cabled buggers. So far, there is yarn for 2 pairs out of combed cotton (periwinkle and raspberry), one out of chocolate cashmerino and one out of olive Aurora 8. I've decided to do one cotton pair, then one wool pair, one cotton, one wool. Hopefully, I will be done before it warms up so much they are of no use. Not likely, but a nice thought. One unexpected thing, the raspberry cotton is rubbing off on my needles, turning them a subtle shade of pink. I have to say I kind of like it.

A totally random note: Elizabeth Hurley got married last weekend. That, in and of itself, is not really newsworthy, however, she got married at Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe England. On our European adventure 13 years ago my family stayed on a cottage on the grounds of Sudeley Castle. Apparently, what is good enough for us is also good enough for the face of Estee Lauder. Always nice to know.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Hi Flan,
I hope you got to your Dad's in one piece and everything has gone well w/ Neurosurgery, Part 2. I tried calling but I think the power of the ICU blocked the call.

The Hubby was working on a geology lab late into the night. I was feeling like he needed moral support, so I stayed up and knitted while he mumbled incoherant things, presumably about rocks. The happy side is that there is a FO for the new year! I think this year has been all about starting things and the outlook for actually finishing something was incredibly bleak. I am now happy to report that, even though more than an hour was lost due to untangling a manufacturer's error, we have a finished object. I'm very happy. I am also very tired. Today will be done on a caffine high.

Have you been reading the Harlot about the meany who sends her emails of her blog entries corrected in red? I think that's just rude. Blogs are there for us to read and comment upon, but what kind of effrontery is it that someone would correct it and then send the corrected copy to the author? I find it inexcusable behavior. I'm not saying that I don't sometimes mentally correct other people's blogs while reading, but there is a line that you do not cross, and correcting someone else's work and then informing them of their errors is just not right.

Off to find the first caffine of the day.