Saturday, June 30, 2007


Hey Flan,

For some reason last week was especially crazy and, although the weekend will probably be just as nutty, at least I don't have to go to work. The Hubby and I actually took ourselves out on a date last night and had a fabulous time. Sometimes I forget how much fun I have spending time with my husband and it's always nice to be reminded.

How is your mystery stole coming? I gave myself a certain number of rows for "homework" each day. I think I got to row 34 or so yesterday and am very excited about today's section. While I was working on it I was thinking about what on earth I'm going to do when it's done. Then I remembered that The Mommy's Mom is having her 90th birthday in September. (She's the one that doesn't want to get older than 80, so we've had her 80th birthday every year since.) I probably won't be able to go, but I could send her a hug in the form of a knitted stole. She probably won't wear it, but I think she'd like to have it.

I've also been working on a baby blanket. It's sage green and turning out just fine if I do say so myself. I happened to have it at work yesterday and was showing it to my co-workers. One of them loved it. The other one thinks I'm even more nuts than she did before. She first asked me what on earth that thing was, and when I said it was a baby blanket she flat out disagreed. It wasn't in the proper colors- blue, pink or anything found in rainbow sherbet. I tried to tell her that the expectant mother is a hippy chick that wants browns and greens. My co-worker just doesn't agree and claimed that the future child will be quite upset when they grow up to find out that their mother didn't give them only baby blankets in "proper colors". Somehow I think this future child will be a bit more grounded that than, but you never know, I might be the subject of future therapy sessions as the woman who knit the wrong color of blanket.

Gracie and I are headed to the Farmer's Market this morning. Last we we each bought watermelons and had to schlep them a very long way back to the car. Maybe this week we'll stick with lettuce and other light things.

P.S. (Two hours later) The Mystery Stole and I are currently not speaking. I knit a row and thought I had was one short, but re-counted and thought I was ok, until I knit the next row and still was one short. I then TINKED back to the "lifeline" (what a joke) where I left off last night and SOMEHOW I have one too many! We're on an official time out and I think this is knitting that must be done in tranquil silence, only punctuated by my murmuring, "knit 3, yarn over, k2tog..." and rocking.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We do not want your Money

Hey Flan,

I have been reading knitting blogs and something keeps coming up. Several knitters have decided to raise money for various causes. Many of these causes have noble pursuits, such as ending famine, encouraging education and research to put an end to devestating diseases. There are several success stories such as individuals having raised thousands of dollars.

However, it seems to be like there is now an Expectation. It seems like there is an Expectation to Give; an Expectation of Generosity. This increasing expectation makes me incredibly sad. It now seems that in order to be a respected, full fledged member of our "community" you must purchase the membership.

Knitting has become my haven. It is the one area of my life that can drown out all the horror of the world, all the catastrophic things people do to each other, it can drown out the pain and suffering and stress. It does not ask me what kind of car I drive, nor what I do for a living, what level of education I have or what I'm planning on fixing for dinner. It asks little of me and I can choose how much of myself I give to it. I think that is one reason that the increasing fundraising saddens and frustrates me so. It has infiltrated the place of respite and retreat.

The Expectation is incredibly pervasive; not only with pressure to knit for charitable causes, but also to generally knit for others. A few months ago a blogger wrote that she typically knit only for herself and received several shocked comments. People were more than a little surprised by her apparent selfishness.

The fact that we are all knitters should be enough for membership in this community. Nothing more. Membership shouldn't be granted based what I knit or how I knit or for whom I knit- just that I knit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I'm with you on the summertime knitting. I have very limited ability to knit in the summer in the absence of air conditioning. At the moment, we only have one of our air conditioners installed, so the master bedroom is nice and cool, but the rest of the house has a tendency to swelter. As I watched the 10:00 news last night, the words "tropical dew points" came out of the weather woman's mouth, and I knew I was in for trouble today.

Sure enough, it's already hot and sticky. Thank goodness for air conditioned offices!

I too have many projects, but I'm trying to focus at the moment.

1. Sockapalooza socks! The deadline is early August, so I'm doing my best to get them done sooner rather than later to remove the deadline.

2. Babies. I'm with you, babies are popping up all over the place. (None from me). So there's some baby knitting going on. A few pairs of booties, and maybe a couple of EZ baby sweaters are in my future.

3. Lace! So funny you should mention this. Yesterday after I posted, I was exploring the internet, and decided to sign up for the Mystery Stole 3 KnitAlong. The premise is that each Friday (with one exception for the Harry Potter release) the moderator posts a clue, and we all knit along with that clue. There is no picture of the finished stole in advance...thus the mystery! The first clue goes up this Friday, and sign-ups for the group are closing on July if you're interested, sign up sooner rather than later. It's already got over 3000 participants.

I haven't swatched for it yet, but I've got it narrowed down to two yarns. Either Misti Alpaca Lace in a Lavender (from the Borealis Memorial Day Sale), or Blackberry Ridge Silky Merino in Samarkand Blue (from Shepard's Harvest).

As for the question of the day, I can only answer with my current answer: Priority 1 is the sockapalooza socks since they have a deadline. Priority 2 is to keep working on baby booties in small amounts, and Priority 3 is the Mystery Stole 3 KnitAlong.

The Queue

Hey Flan,

Way to rock the socks! They seriously look so much better when you do them. PLUS, you have an invite from the awesome Shelly to go dye. How lucky are you??

Last night, while watching yet another informative show on my beloved PBS I was knitting away when it hit me. Summer knitting is incredibly deceptive. Summer seems really long and like you should have lots of time to get all those projects done before the hustle and bustle of the Fall.

After reading your last post I realized why there is a hustle and bustle of Fall- Summer is really freakin' hot. Really, really, REALLY freakin' hot and the humidity and heat combine to render people immobile. Less movement= less knitting.

HOWEVER, there is LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of projects to work on. Darn time lines. So far, I am feeling pressure from the following:

1. Babies are due. No, thank goodness, not from me, but other people are expecting and for knitters that means get busy. I found a Jo Sharp pattern I like and then did some math to make it fit. That baby blanket is about 1/3 done and I started it less than a week ago. That baby isn't due until January and the party will probably be in November, but I'm trying to capitalize on the new project enthusiasm and keep working.

2. There's a fun event coming up in about a month and I thought I might knit something for that. Good in theory. Reality is that it means I actually have to KNIT something for an event that has a deadline. I started once and got about half way through before I decided the whole thing is awful and must be frogged.

3. There's another fun event in the early fall. Gracie and I (ok, in the spirit of full disclosure, I came up with this truly crazy idea and then convinced her to join in the insanity) are thinking about doing a combo LACE project. We are freakin' nuts. Lace is nice and light, so good summer knitting- but freakin' insane nonetheless.

4. All my other current WIPs -2 sweaters, 1 pair of socks, 1 scarf and something else I'm repressing- seem to be demanding attention as well (though stuffing them in individual sacks so that they can't mount a rebellion seems to make them a little quieter).

So... The question of the day is: how to decide what to work on?? Do you go by deadlines? By project size and portability? Do you slog through wool sweaters while sitting under fans and air conditioners so that you can have something done? Do you just cast on everything in sight because that doesn't take much space on your lap? How do you decide what gets first billing in the line-up? Do some projects jump the queue and get to the front or do they have to wait their turn?

The Hubby has caught the cold I had last week so tonight instead of Knit Night I'll be home with him. Maybe all the WIPs and I will sit down and have a chat.

Monday, June 25, 2007

All Socks, All the Time

This weekend was about socks.

Friday night we went to the Groveland Tap with friends, and I knit along on my sockapalooza socks. I finished the gusset, but decided trying to turn the heel using a pattern I didn't know well while in a bar was perhaps not a good idea. Tonight I plan to turn the heel and start the heel flap.

Saturday night we went to a St. Paul Saints game (they won, 11-1). I was anticipating spending all day Sunday at Twin Cities Pride, so I wanted something simple and cotton to work on. The mohair content in the Bearfoot is lovely, but sticky in the hot and humid. So I returned to the socks you had started and given to me in April. I was unhappy with my previous gusset increases, so I ripped out to the beginning of increases on both socks, and reknitted. Between the Saints game and working at my organization's booth at Twin Cities Pride, I'm ready to turn the heel on one sock, and have started the increases on the other.

It's really too hot to knit anything but socks at this point, though I am thinking longingly of lace and of cables. Once my sockapalooza socks are done, I may retreat into air conditioning so I can knit lace and/or cables to my hearts content!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Stormy Weather

Not much knitting to report. My Dad was in town to speak at an event, so I've been busy with him, and on Wednesday night I was drafted to play softball on Mike's team because they were short on women, so I lost a normal knitting opportunity.

So no knitting pictures, but I do have a fun weather picture to show:

We were about to go to bed Wednesday night, and I went to put something in my car, and there were amazing storm clouds- so dramatic that I couldn't resist a few pictures. We got some pretty good rain out of the storm, but no severe weather in our neighborhood, although others were not so lucky.
By the way, it's hard to take pictures of lightning in the dark with a digital camera that has shutter lag.

I'm just starting the gusset on the first sockapalooza sock, so heel turning is in my near future. I think I'm going to use Wendy's pattern for a slip-stitch heel on a toe up sock. This weekend it Twin Cities Pride, and my organization has a booth, so much of my weekend will be spent at the Pride Festival, where hopefully there will be a bit of knitting!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Happy Graduation!

To The Sister!!

She's now an official graduate from WWU with a Bachelor's Degree from the College of Business and Economics with a degree in Business and Operations Management -AND a brand new inductee of the College of Business and Economics' Honors Society! We're so proud.

The whole family showed up...

... and promptly froze our butts. Notice the plethora of sweaters. It was MID JUNE and we're ALL freezing. The highs were alleged to be somewhere in the 60s. Mighty chilly if you ask me. (Notice the lovely sweater worn by The Brother?? Yup, it's the one he was gifted with last Christmas. He would like me to make some "slight" modifications, which mean I "get" to re-knit both sleeves- again.)

Before Graduation there was a backyard picnic and I thought my siblings just looked adorable. This also gives a good shot of The Sister's startlingly short hair. Damn it all that she can't chop it all off and still be a cutie.

We also got to meet The Girlfriend. They're so cute together.

She's done with college and ready to head overseas for the summer. I'm so excited for her.

There were also yarn stores and some fabulous yarn I found, but more on that later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Finally Socks

Oh the starts and stops that came with these socks! You see, the lovely Alison arranged Sockapalooza 4 (with a new baby no less). I participated last time, and it was lovely, and I got a wonderful pair of socks, so when sign-ups opened, I jumped in!

We got our pals, I chose my yarn (Mountain Colors Bearfoot), and I began to knit. First one pattern, then ripping as I found it didn't show well. Then another pattern, which I discovered drew in too much to fit well. My sock pals feet are a bit bigger than mine, so a sock that would fit me was not going to do!

I knit again, ripped again, and cast on yet another time. Last week at Knit Night, I ripped one last time, and contemplated toe-up socks. I'm worried about running out of yarn, you see. I journeyed to the back room of Borealis, and found some lovely Louet Gems in a complementary colorway, and cast on for a toe, and began to knit. Finally, things were going my way. Last week I knit the toe, switched to the Bearfoot, and began to knit the pattern. After an inch, I looked at it carefully. This would not do. Too busy a pattern. I ripped back to the toe again, and browsed for inspiration. I stumbled across Thuja, and knew I'd found my stitch pattern. So finally, here is my progress on my first sock.

Now that I have the right pattern/yarn combination, the socks are flying! I haven't had much time to knit, but it seems that even when I steal a few moments, a half inch of knitting comes off my needles! (Quarter included for scale).
It's hard to get a good picture of the pattern, but I'm hoping once I progress further, it will become more clear, since I love it in person!

So finally, my socks are progressing, and I'm not worried about the mailing date!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Last week truly disappeared in my world. Mike and I spent most of it dealing with the paperwork and more paperwork that comes with buying cars.

So without further ado, here is my new car (that'd be a 2007 Toyota Matrix XR in "Indigo Ink Pearl")

And Mike's (a 2007 Toyota Rav4 in Classic Silver Metallic).Knitting? Well, I have been knitting. They look at you funny when you sit and knit in car dealerships, by the way.

After many false starts, ripping, and more ripping, I have significant progress to report on my sockapalooza socks. However, that deserves a post of its own once I get home tonight.

Hope your week is starting well!

Monday, June 11, 2007


Well, I did it! The shrug was finished Thursday night, blocked Thursday night into Friday, tried on with the dress.....and then we had dinner with Mike's relatives, and my clothing plans changed for Saturday night, and the shrug wasn't worn.
I don't have finished, modeled pictures yet, but I do have a picture of my progress on Thursday morning.

The party was a great success, marked by absolutely perfect weather for cruising down the Mississippi, lots of family and friends, and only a limited amount of discussion of hockey!

Now that the shrug is done, I'm buckling down on my sockapalooza socks, and some baby booties for the pregnant ladies in my life just for fun!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Happiness and Joy

Hey Flan,

I am delighted to report 2 things.

1: THE YARN IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dear Yarn Store, I am sorry I ever doubted your methods. You are right, I was wrong and need to learn to be more patient. Regardless of my error-filled ways, I have been rewarded with the BEAUTIFUL yarn. The BEAUTIFUL yarn is made from fiber I've never knit with before, but have always wanted to. Nope, I'm not saying what it is. The potential project is super secret for now, so now it's y'all's turn to be patient.

2: The knitters of moBEEL totally represented for World Wide Knit in Public Day. When I sent out the email asking the knitters if they wanted to do something for WWKIP day they all said yes, but it turns out that they thought I was making it up! How obliging are they that they would agree to show up for what they thought was a completely made up holiday??!! It cracks me up, but it's also very sweet. We comandeered the front room of a local coffeeshop and represented.

That's all for now. I have already been to the grocery store today and saw all of the "regulars" (yes, it is scary that there are enough of us that have our schedules routinized to the point where I recognize them). People should seriously prevent you from grocery shopping when hungry. I think I just purchased more food than I have ever before in my ENTIRE LIFE. The Hubby's so happy. I made him carry in the bags. It took him 3 trips. It would have taken me 14. I love that he's home to carry stuff. Happy Sunday.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dear Yarn Store,

I sincerely love your website. You have a physical store but it is thousands of miles from me, so not really convenient for a quick visit. I thoroughly enjoy perusing the online photos of the gorgeous yarn, needles, books, etc.

I have noticed that you insist on posting photos of the yarn. This is probably just good marketing, but it really is starting to effect the amount of funding available for the groceries. So far I am hoping that my dear husband has not noticed that we have become vegetarians. He seems to believe me when I tell him the dish in front of him is, by all means, chicken.

I admit that I was seduced by the clever marketing scheme of photos. This, in addition with the other super clever marketing scheme of the word SALE and DISCOUNT had the sought after reaction of me pulling out my overwrought debit card (it cried a little, I merely giggled with anticipation), clicked on the quantity and hit "purchase".

Immediately, there was a sale confirmation waiting for me in my inbox. Oh the joy! Again, very much anticipating the imminent arrival of the most fabulous yarn EVER, I emailed others, announcing that I had purchased yarn on the internet and it was going to be FANTASTIC. I was not even missing the immediate gratification of buying yarn in person and being able to cast on that very minute.

However, dear Yarn Store, I have yet to receive the email saying that my beautiful, perfect, ON SALE WITH A LIMITED QUANTITY yarn has been shipped. For the first couple of days I tried to stay calm. I went to your aforementioned fantastic website, obsessively checking the quantity listed, first nervous because the number had not gone down then, when it had, I thought maybe someone else who wanted MY yarn had purchased EXACTLY the same amount that I had and that all the good yarn was going to THEM!

It has now been a couple of days and I have to say that the distance between my current mental state and one of complete obsession and paranoia is quickly growing smaller and smaller. WHY won't you announce that you have shipped my beautiful, perfect, ON SALE WITH A LIMITED QUANTITY yarn?? My email account has gotten tired from me constantly clicking "check mail". I really will give it a good home. Honest.

For the record, I have been quite loyal to you, oh Yarn Store. Before ordering from you last December I had NEVER ordered yarn online. Since that first happy experience I have never strayed, never ordered from ANYONE else. Before you, I had always patronized Local Yarn Stores. Always. However, YOU offer things that cannot be found at my LYS and I went out on a limb, put my faith in the internet, and ordered. You made it so easy. I didn't have to have an account, a login or a password. There were blessedly few clicks between the yarn and me. I will admit that I have not always been very patient while waiting for my yarn, but have tried to contain those ugly episodes to the confines of my house. You have a good record, oh Yarn Store, of sending the amount I ask for and the yarn is always more beautiful in person.

So PLEASE, pretty pretty PRETTY please, send me the email saying my beautiful yarn is on it's way.

Thank you for your time.



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Youth of Today...

... know nothing of history.

Hey Flan,

I hope the new job comes with a clothing allowance because now you have to be all official all the time and someone else should have to pay for that.

Ok, the title. Sunday, The Hubby (who has RETURNED from Field Camp!!!) and I went grocery shopping. I had an overwhelming craving for a lemon poppyseed muffin. I was going to purchase said muffin mix at grocery store, but was hungry didn't want to wait for the baking. We went to baked goods store #1, found lots of muffins but NO lemon poppyseed. We then went to coffeeshop#1, which sells baked goods, found no muffins at all. Off to coffee shop #2. I asked the teeny tiny pre-pubesent worker if they had any lemon poppyseed muffins. She looked at me completely bewildered and said, "What's that?? I've never heard of that kind of muffin"

I was stunned. I was trying to be polite and asserted that it really was a very popular type of muffin though not, apparently, in our part of the deep South. I looked at the second employee who had walked up, trying to find someone who had heard of this type of muffin. To my relief he shot teeny tiny pipsqueak a withering look and agreed that the type existed and was popular, though, sadly, they did not have any.

In the end I stopped at a second grocery store to buy a stupid mix and then had them bake while I put away the groceries. It was far more stress than a muffin should ever incur.

Knitting news... Let's see.... There is none. I was starting to make a cute little skirt for Gracie's offspring. Until I measured the child and discovered that I had made it too small. Stupid fast growing children (not stupid children, just the rate at which they grow). I decided that the EZ February Sweater I was going to make for E&H's baby looked good but I was definitely going to run out of yarn. I have not yet had the courage to rip, but have liberated the needles and stitch markers. I organized my notions bag as well as all of the WIPs. They each have a separate bag so it doesn't look like there are as many as there are- sort of a divide and conquer. Thankfully, tonight is for knitting, so I will hopefully get some work done on The Hubby's sweater.