Monday, July 30, 2007

It's Cooler if You Take Your Pants Off

Hey Flan,

So one of the side effects in living in Lower Alabama is that summer is exceedingly disgusting. Humidity is through the roof, which brings out all kinds of revolting and disgusting bugs and other icky things. The other effect of summer is the power company's oh so lovely summer prices. I have discovered you can pretty much predict that your power bill will double. This is not really fun for me and I have gone on strike against paying the bill. The Hubby now has to do it because I kept wanting to scribble hateful messages. Trying to keep the power bill somewhere in the range of affordable, we turn up/down (?) the A/C so that it's around 78*/80* and get out the fans. Unfortunately, some of the rooms in our house get really really warm in the afternoon. I was in such a room the other day and was getting exceedingly warm when I realized I would probably be cooler if I were wearing fewer clothes. Hence the discovery that it's cooler if you take your pants off.

Knitting! There is progress! I sent The Hubby fishing last week and his absence does so much good for the knitting progress. I finished Clue 3 of MS3! It looks pretty good. Last night I started Clue 4 last night and made it to row 211 before all the little lines started to blur.

I picked up the neck stitches on The Rotting Pumpkin, then knit a couple of rows and am in the process of binding off. The directions don't say that you're supposed to secure the teeny neckband, but where I picked up the sts is really obvious, so I think I'm going to sew it down once I'm done.

I really really want to finish something. Working 59 hours per week cuts into the knitting time in a very sad way. Thankfully, tonight I work only 3 hours so am going to try to knit super fast and make it look like I've gotten something done.

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hey Flan,

Happy Christmas in July! Last night the knitters all got together to celebrate Christmas. Last year we had a fantastic Christmas party in December, but many were not able to attend due to all the other December Christmas parties. This year we decided to pre-empt all the other parties by having ours in July.

There was fantastic food; unbelieably good broccoli salad, gigantic shrimp, chicken, pasta salad, bread, pesto and more. Then there was crazy generous gifting. We had swapped names before the party so everyone had a gift created especially for them. I was stunned by the generosity of my swap partner and came home with some truly fantastic yarn and lots of goodies (even The Hubby was impressed). After gifts there was a cookie exchange and damn these women can cook! I love having friends who excel in the kitchen.

Of course I forgot my camera, but took some photos with Gracie's.

Hope you have a nice early Xmas.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cheez-its and Cherries

Hey Flan,

I have rarely been so happy to see a day as I was to have today arrive. It's just been one of those unbelievably long weeks. I'm really excited that today is today despite the fact that there was beyond no food in the house (by that I mean no bread to make toast for breakfast), so my breakfast of champions today consists of Cherries (from WA, of course) and Cheez-its. Yum Yum.

The knitting has crept along at snail pace this week. I am half way done with the ribbing on The Rotting Pumpkin/ The Dad's Sweater! Ribbing takes forever and I hate it. Oh well, another inch to go. Also, I finished Clue 2 of MS3!! Last night, while watching an unbelieavble PBS show, "Okie Noodling" (people- ok, really just men- catching catfish bare handed in water that is not at all EPA approved), I made it to row 155 on Clue 3. Thank goodness we have an extra week for Clue 4.

Yesterday I found this bag and became completely obsessed. I so want one and am really not going to pay $68 for it. I did a little investigating and think I have figured out how to make my own. I was going to go to the fabric store anyway today and might just have to look for the right parts to make it.

Happy Cabin-ing this weekend.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


You're the second person to recommend Wordplay, so into the queue it goes!

I'm currently wanting to see the new Harry Potter (but maybe should watch the 4th one first? I've seen the first 3).

Also Ratatouille, Sicko, etc.

Unfortunately, I rarely get to movies in theaters these days- so more netflix is in my future. The other advantage to Netflix is that I can knit more complicated things during netflixed movies than during movie-theater movies.

This weekend my major accomplishment was making Jam. Lots of jam. I made two batches of strawberry and two of raspberry, so I'm well on my way to another successful summer of jam making!

Knitting? Hmm. Lets see. Since my last post, I've knit a few more rows on Mystery Stole 3, but I'm now solidly behind. My only bad lace karma this weekend (aside from simply having no time to knit) was when I knit row 137 a total of seven times cause I couldn't get the darn thing right. It probably served me right for trying to knit it at midnight! I finally gave up, and then knit it correctly on the first try the next morning...

We'll be up north this weekend. I'm taking MS3, though I reserve the right to NOT knit on it if the atmosphere is too hectic, and my sockapalooza socks, which, with any luck (serious knocking on wood here,) I'll get some serious progress on. They're supposed to be sent the first week of August, and I'll be squeaking in if I'm lucky.

Sadly, no knit night for me this week, as I have a work meeting. I'll miss both the knitting time and the excellent socializing. I'm off to do some research and balance organizational checkbooks...doesn't that sound like fun?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shelly's contest

Quickie Post:

Shelly's having a contest and I want to win!

If you happen to read our little blog and click on the link above, then enter her contest, but say we sent you then our chances of winning increase!

Don't think there's much in it for you?? IF we/ I end up winning I'll send you a little giftie.

Get Ready, Get Set, Monday!

Hey Flan,

If this was the cabin weekend I hope it went well, if not, then I hope it goes well. My weekend, well, really just Sunday as Sunday is now my only day of rest, was really nice. A truly shocking amount was accomplished and we watched a great movie. Much like "Spellbound" and the Scrabble movie, "Wordplay" is a fascinating look into the world of crossword puzzles. It was also oddly compelling and I'd recommend adding it to your Netflix queue.

Let's see... knitting content... The Dad's sweater is trucking along, despite the fact that I've nicknamed it "The Rotting Pumpkin". The orange-y of the main colored tweed, plus all the multi colored tweedy bits all seem quite reminiscent of a rotting pumpkin, at least to my poor muddled brain. There's only an inch or so of mindless stockinette remaining before I can switch to mindless ribbing and the body will be done (!). At that point I have to seriously convince myself that he really really doesn't want a vest and the darn thing really should have sleeves.

MS3 update: there has been progress! Friday I first got into a tizzy and then had to tink back the 6 rows of progress which had been the grand total of what I had done the previous week. I then trucked on and noticed, approximately 20 rows later that there was still a mistake and I hadn't tinked back far enough. I told myself one of those lies that we knitters do- it will block out. At this point I'm choosing to believe the lie and am hoping that if the blocking doesn't fix it that The Grandma, whose eyes will be 90 like the rest of her, really won't notice. It is kind of obvious but I'm leaving my faith to the blocking.

Yesterday I meant to sit down and make it through Clue 2. However, the lace mojo and I never quite found our groove and there was serious tinking to the point where we went on mutual time outs. I think I'm on row 135 but don't really remember. It turns out that I make lots of mistakes after working 13.5hr days, so the MS3 and I are probably on sabbatical until next Friday.

Happy Monday.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fires and Lace

I'm so glad the house and your parents are safe. It seems to me that you make a bargain when you live in much of the West. You get to live in truly beautiful, spectacular places, and in return, you run a risk of fire as the forests renew themselves. Having been on both sides of an evacuation threat (as an evacuee and as a dispatcher), I always breathe a great sigh of relief when the danger passes, and life returns to normal.

This has not been the most productive knitting week in recent memory. Too much work combined with a migraine on Monday night means that the only knitting accomplished since the weekend happened at Knit Night on Tuesday. I'm trucking along on the heel of the first of my sockapalooza socks, and I should get some good knitting time tonight and tomorrow night, so I think the first sock may be finished by Monday. That would be ideal, given that the socks are supposed to ship the first week of August.

I've also knit a few rows on MS3- though I'm a bit behind for tomorrow's release of Clue #3. With luck, it'll get done tonight, but we're hosting game night, which is sometimes functional for knitting lace, and sometimes not so much. After all, I knit the first half of Clue #1 while playing a board game about British history. If there's no MS3 knitting tonight, I'll be knitting on my sockapalooza socks and hoping I can make up the difference on MS3 this weekend.

As for your question, I think I read somewhere that the stole is going to be asymmetrical in pattern (though not in shape), so I don't think we'll be re-knitting the same clues later on.

I'm also beginning to plan- we've scheduled a cabin trip for the weekend after this one- will I bring the MS3, or is that asking for trouble? Should I just bring socks to knit on? As usual, my knitting packing for the trip is happening in my head long before I pack any clothes!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Out of Danger.

Hey Flan,

It seems the fire is out, thank goodness. On one level I know that the forests and other parts need fires and that fire is vital to the forest ecosystem. On another level it's just freaky when your parents could be homeless because the house you grew up in has burned. They think it was started by someone playing with fireworks.

I have been thinking about the MS3. I will say that I have never ever ever knit a lace stole, however, after you get to a certain point isn't it just the whole thing but flipped upside down?? I suppose my question is: isn't this really half of a mystery? I assume that the stole will have some sort of symmetry, so won't the last triangle look like a reverse of the first triangle? It seems that we should be able to flip the charts upside down and finish it without more clues. Is that completely nutty? I'm probably missing something.

Sadly, the only knitting completed yesterday was 20 sts on The Dad's Sweater while waiting in a parking lot and the only progress on the MS3 was the above pondering. I was talking to The Grandmother about my new part time job and she asked when, after all that time spent at work, was I going to find time to knit. I love that she was concerned about the loss of knitting time.

Happy Tuesday.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Hey Flan,

As you know, it's fire season. We both come from deserts and are well aware of fire season. However, there's a fire burning very close to my parent's house. Usually, fires in Western Washington burn in either of the canyons north of my parent's house. The fires are usually in the forest and are important aspects of forest maintenance.

However, this one is dangerously near their house. If the wind stays how it is then they will be alright. If it shifts there could be a significant problem.

Pray for cool temperatures and no wind and that everyone fighting the fires are safe.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Too Early to Be Awake

Hey Flan,

For some reason that will remain unknown forever, I woke up at 5:37 on a Saturday morning. During the week when there are such horrors as going to the gym I will occasionally be awake during the ungodly hour of 5 am but this should never ever occur during the sanctity of a Saturday. After it became sadly obvious that I would not be sleeping any more I decided to get up and negotiate with my camera so that I could have photos in the post.

Alas, now am I not only awake far too early, I can't find the camera connecty bit. The Hubby rearranged the computer stuff not too long ago and seems to have disappeared the connecty bit. Naturally, he is asleep and it just seems wrong that more than one of us should have to be awake right now.

The "no it isn't" baby blanket is finished! Ends woven in and blocked and everything. I love it. The Hubby loves it. I was showing it off and he was loving it and then he asked, "um, how much do you like the person you were going to give it to? 'Cause if you don't like her that much, um, I'd be happy to use it." I informed him that, although I don't know the intended recipient all that well I know and like her mother quite a bit, so he couldn't have it. I will show off pictures in November when it is gifted at the baby shower. The pattern was very fun to knit and anything on 9s goes pretty fast and I love Cascade Sierra, so I told him I would make him a "grown up" one... at some point.

After basking in the glow of a FO I managed to get through a whole 2 rows of Clue 2. So far so good.

Last night, before waking up at a truly absurd time, I dreamt about the fair isle hat from brooklyn tweed. Somehow in the dream I had knit the entire thing in an afternoon or some craziness like that but had neglected to do the lining and was freaking out. Sleeping can be so stressful. Now the question is: should I start the hat? Was the dream a warning against fair isle? Is it the universe telling me I learned nothing from my aspartame hangover last Thursday and punishing me for having a diet drink yesterday? I'm voting for the latter and going to try and find some water.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Slowly Mysterious

Hey Flan,

Have you read Stephanie today? She's joined the Mystery Stole too! I so excited that the Harlot herself is doing the same project as we are. However, there was something that made me a little shocked and a bit surprised all at the same time. The person Stephanie was referencing said that the first clue took only ONE AFTERNOON to complete. Who is this woman and how fast is it that she knits??!! Good grief.

That was a big ol' slice of humble pie. It took me 2 tries and 4 days to do the first little bit. I have to have almost complete silence and go very very slowly in order for it to come out remotely close to correct. I feel like I'm on a track for "special" lace knitters and should just sit quietly on the sidelines (muttering "yarn over, knit two together" to myself) and watch all those fast people speed past.

[Sidenote: I wish people would refrain from posting finished pictures until the next clue comes out. It seems to spoil the mystery.]

The only consolation at all is that I am getting blessedly closer to the end of the "no it isn't " baby blanket. I was stuck in the black hole of having something 1/2-2/3 done and no matter how much you knit it doesn't seem to make a difference. I watched a Miss Marple and refused to let myself knit on anything else. I think it's about 3/4 the way done and am extraordinarily relieved.

A new clue comes out tomorrow and I really hope it's the slow tortoises among us who will faithfully plod along and actually finish. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself while everyone finishes it before I have a chance to click "print".

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! Mine was graced with good food, a day full of board and party games, knitting, and fireworks. What more could one want?

Your Tuesday storm sounds a little too exciting! We need the rain badly here- even with rain on Tuesday, we're still well below normal, and my gardens show it. However, we're not nearly as bad off for rain as my hometown, which canceled its fireworks show for the second year in a row (and I think the 6th time in 8 years). It turned out to be a good precaution, as a neighboring town that opted to go on with the show managed to start a small fire!

Tuesday, armed with Knit Night companionship and a deep breath, I ripped the heel and gusset from my sockapalooza sock, put the stitches back on the needle, and recommenced knitting. As a result of my lovely day yesterday, I've reknit most of the gusset, and hope to knit the heel tonight.
After all, tomorrow Clue #2 of Mystery Stole 3 will be posted! I'm very very close to the end of Clue 1- maybe 5 rows away, so that should get finished tonight for optimum knitting over the weekend.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Perfect Afternoon

Hey Flan,

So today we had a thunderstorm. Not all that unusual really, seeing as it's monsoon season. Typically, every afternoon there will be a brief but serious thunderstorm. It happened last year but hasn't really this year. You sort of get used to unplugging all electronics before going to work, should the storm hit while you are away. It hit today and apparently ripped the roof off a Wal-Mart and flooded it's parking lot and the cars parked therein. Just goes to show you that you probably shouldn't be shopping at Wal-Mart.

The roof in our room started leaking and the power went out for awhile at work, but other than that we were fine. My co-worker and I watched the storm out the windows and chatted. The surprising byproduct of thunderstorms is that they make me really super hungry. Not hungry for just anything, but for carbs and fried food. Really, really hungry.

On the way home I stopped by the new, locally owned market/ deli and got myself some pulled pork, whipped potatoes and macaroni and cheese and they even added a corn muffin for good measure. I was so excited I had a few bites in the parking lot and it was all amazing. Trying to be considerate to the other drivers on the road, I restrained from eating anything besides the corn muffin on the trip home.

Once home I was relieved to find that, although we had lost power, it had returned quickly and I was able to eat my delicious carb laden feast while watching my mysteries on DVD and while wearing old stretchy sweatpants and one of The Hubby's t-shirts.

I followed all the eating with some very restorative knitting, then a nice cup of tea and a snickerdoodle I made yesterday.

It was a pretty perfect afternoon and I hope yours was just as nice.

Question of the Day

Last night I knit, tinked, and knit again, and only made about two rows worth of progress on the Mystery Stole. I think I just completed row 67, so I'm still on track.

Here's the question: will I be too distracted at Knit Night for successful lace knitting? Should I take the Mystery Stole, or take socks?

Which means it's time for a confession: I think I need to rip out the heel on my sockapalooza socks- the heel that I turned last week at Knit Night. Last night I tried the sock on, and the length fit me. All very well and good except for the part where my pal has bigger feet than me! This would, of course, also require the ripping out of the gusset, which I now think I started too early. Perhaps I'll bring the sock to Knit Night for moral support.

After deciding I was done with the Mystery Stole for the night last night (and watching the Twins lose to the Yankees), Mike and I watched the final episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip-Aaron Sorkin's latest show. Sadly, it never seemed to get any traction, so it was canceled, and we've watched the last few episodes online. While watching, I knit on the socks newly dubbed "the Kermit Socks." These would be the ones that you started the toes, and gifted me with in April. One heel is now turned, and I'm working up the leg, and the other is in the midst of the gusset.

So tonight, what should I do? Bring the stole in case I have enough concentration? Knit only on the sockapalooza socks (or rip and re-knit, as the case may be?)?

Monday, July 02, 2007


I'm glad to hear that you might be the subject of future therapy sessions for someone else's child. It makes me wish there was more latitude on "baby colors" among more of the population. Not that there's anything wrong with rainbow sherbert colors for those that like them, but for parents or kids who don't, what's so wrong with branching out?

On Friday I cast on for Mystery Stole 3, and knit about 4 rows, but Saturday I settled in for some serious knitting. Despite a fair amount of tinking back (my own fault, I was trying to knit lace and play an 8 hour board game about British history), I finished row 55 without too much incident. The first picture is pretty accurate for color, while the second shows the lace a bit better.

Of course, my steller pace on Saturday meant that I got much less done on Sunday. I think I was at row 61 when I stopped knitting last night. I'm not sure how much knitting time I'll have this week, but I'm trying to assign myself 10 rows a night so that I can complete the clue by Friday. The good news is that I should have plenty of knitting time this weekend to catch up if neccesary!

Given my record on knitting on deadlines, I'm not totally sure that I'll be able to keep up, but so far, so good.