Saturday, July 29, 2006

Row seven and casting off...

Some things are unavoidable. I'm outta yarn. I'm casting off after row seven of the border, and throwing it in the mail on Monday. There are nine rows of leaf clusters at the center line, and it's about 28" unblocked, so we'll see how it looks. I wet down the skein tying scraps to see how they'd will bloom and soften considerably, but there's no downy soft feel. Boo. Ah well. Her shoulders will be warmer, and that will make her trip easier.

An Addendum-I'm in such a rush to get this outta here, I am doing a drip dry blocking. I don't see the point of carefully pinning it out, just to stuff it in a padded envelope so it can get mangled in the post. It should be pressed into service immediately. It ended up about 6 feet across the top, 4 feet deep, and I had a small bit of yarn left, about the size of a wadded up baby sock.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I've been tagged!

Enid tagged me for a meme this morning! Uh-oh---

5 things always in my purse (OH, SOOOO unglamourous)
Girl gear (you know the drill-can't have an emergency)
Cigarettes, lighter, a pile of change

5 things always in my wallet
Military ID, Driver's license
misc. credit cards/ATM, pile of receipts
assorted discount/customer appreciation cards

5 things always in my fridge
Salad dressing, Brown sugar, frozen veggies , soy sauce, paste food coloring

5 things always in my closet
Shoes, Clothes (in assorted sizes)
Barbie Dolls, Yarn, Extra purses

5 things always in my car
Insurance card, Rainex , wipes or paper towels of some form
a bunch of trash I need to ditch, a pile of change

5 things always on my desk- I don't have a desk right now!

5 people I'm tagging-
And ummmmmm-I can't think of number FIVE. Oh, no, I suck again!

Monday, July 24, 2006

And now a word from my Knitting A.D.D.

Last week I woke up with my butt on fire to make my Sublime sweater. I have 3 "obligation knitting" projects on the needles, and more than one UFO lurking...but this morning I woke up thinking about someone who needs a prayer shawl. And so my 400 yards of green and plum two-ply singles were hustled to work at 6 a.m. along with the latest IWK. I cast on. I knit. This yarn is very sheepy, and my hands soften. This pattern isn't too hard, but because I get interupted a lot, I gave up on Icarus at noon, and started my good ole friend Kiri.

It's very pretty, but I have a sense of urgency.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ok, the damned thing is sewn up!

Ok, I finally had to sew it up, because my nieces are headed this way, and I wanted to get this to my MIL. As a t-shirt, it's so-so, but as a top in general, it has GREAT proportions for a petite woman! So I probably will make it again!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I wanna knit this sweater TODAY!

I'm suffering from a wild hair. I had to go in extra early because Mark is hosting a conference, so I dashed around looking for a project that was easy, yet absorbing. Finally, I hit upon my Sublime Mohair top (SR Kertzer). This is an easy top, only needs 5 balls of yarn in a color I was born to wear -HEY- how MUCH can I get done today? (Ok, maybe I am hyper-competitive). So here we are at 0730-

I'd knit a little, goofed around, worked, then at 10:30 I found THIS ... CRAP-I don't have a crochet hook at the shop. You should have seen me dropping stitches and latching them back up with a PAPER CLIP!

Now that reality has set in, I will probably get the BACK done today without too much trouble really depends on how busy I get.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Thank goodness SOMEONE'S organized around here!

Here are pictures of my recent adventures, courtesy of Bri. Along with her methodical trip planning, she also remembered to bring her camera! MY photos are still in a Kodak disposable .... they may get processed ... soon .

Bri was quick to take a picture of the TKGA entrance....I think she called it "Mecca". It was her first "event" and I think she had a pretty good time. She had a better time talking ME into skipping the second half of my less than interesting class.

Here's Bri and Daryl-Daryl made a special effort to pimp Enid's stitch markers, and is proudly wearing hers. What a champ-Daryl has on a Tahki pattern that whipped my butt in 2003-I never could get that lace to work right!

We had a FUN unofficial prezzie swap. I got earrings, lipgloss, cocoa, coffee, an eyeglass "thingie" that Daryl made for me, and assorted other goodies. I schlepped up a lot of stuff-I carefully presented Bri with her official "really old yarn" from the it turns out, both Benne and I bought Schachenmayr Femia-I used mine in 1986, Benne shared some of hers with me last year. THEN, Daryl and T BOTH 'fessed up to owning some too! So now we're all like some brainless bunch of mall-girls, with matching yarn! "KEWWWL!"

One thing I REMEMBERED to pack was T's birthday yarn-2 skeins of CTH Melange in African Grey. Here she is packing yarn bandoliers. She looks pretty tough, huh?

All in all, I had a really good time. Here I am helping T get into her Vogue pose. I found a camisole to wear under my Soleil so I didn't strike anyone blind, and I have my cutie pink flops on.

Next time, the show will have to be a LOT bigger to eclipse an Elannite meeting!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Give me back my lighter; I wanna go hang out with my friends!

HA! Just rolled in to work after the whirlwind TKGA experience. I think I'm gonna be drinking a LOT of coffee today.

I'm really unenthusiastic about air travel these days, there's no joy in it, and I have to remember matches. But everytime I go to the airport, and I see the kids in uniform, I am ever so grateful that the machine still works. I was in Philly, checking my bags at the curb when a young Army private came up with her mama. "Is that your sister?" asked the porter. "Baby, you right on time!" she grinned right back at him. No tears, mom.

It's pretty easy to get lost in Philly. Fortunately, I arrived at rush hour, which gives you plenty of time to look at the scenery, and check out the map while you are stuck in traffic. I think it's harder to navigate an area that's built around old farm roads. Kinda like a "you had to be there" joke, only you get lost instead of missing the punchline.

The TKGA shopping area was small, but I REALLY liked the fact that the crocheters and knitters got together-I got a good perspective of what both groups are going for. There's more diversity, too, and that pleases me a lot. I really loved my "lovely goodie bag" -actually, there were two, but I sent one with Bri, so her nieces could have some yarn booty. I kept one, I see a lot of fun potential. I had to stop at Interlacements and be a yarn pig (she has such GREAT specials), and also at Woolbearers , where the colorways were a little different, and right up my alley. I also picked up yarn to make the Evelyn Clark project in next month's IWK.

I made it a point to stop by Brooks Farm, because my yarn buds rave so much about their yarn. The fella running the register noticed Texas on my name tag, and said "We can't give our stuff away in Texas" (they have no brick and mortar storefront here.) So we bantered back and forth a little, but I suggested a garage sale (they have no garage) or a "show barn" sale-I'd drive the 300 miles for a chance to shop them once a year. So if you are in Texas and shop their site, drop a little note with your order. Maybe we can make it happen.

The BEST part of my trip was seeing my friends.

First, I was totally surprised to see Yvette, from San Antonio. I happened to run into her on the show floor, and she had the most exciting news-she is now published in a Rita Weiss book. RITA WEISS! Dang, you go girl! Gotta find a copy of the book, so she can sign her work!

The crowning touch was the Elannite meet-up. Wow-all my friends have faces and voices. I've been talking to them for quite a while-T, Daryl and Bri-and it was so nice to see how they ARE. We went to Asher's chocolates, the show, and dinner on Friday, and T and I headed to Daryl's on Saturday for lunch.

Not only does Daryl have the most GORGEOUS children, her house is pretty neat too, with a lot of turn of the century details. She has a stash that resembles mine, and a cat with checkerboard spots on her back. Daryl reminds me of women from Colorado-beautiful in a real way, without artifice.

Bri is so funny-she's the baby of the bunch, and ready to lead us doddering old farts around. She gave us a KOP Mall run-down (that place is worth visiting), regaling us with stories of people who used to steal from THAT store, and generally playing tour guide. She's a stitch. I also got to meet Charles, who's a cool guy, and a really good sport to hang with his wife's knitting buddies.

T-OMG, T brought me earrings from Tim, and shiny pink flip flops. It's really weird MEETING someone I've talked to since 2003. She's smart and funny, and MAN is her Weight Watchers program working.

This post is already so long, your head is probably slamming down on the keyboard, and there's a puddle of drool by your mouse.....I'll pick this subject up again later in the week.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

48 hours to Philly

Holy crap, I'm on the plane to Philly in 48 hours. I am working straight thru, I'm not packed, my homework's not done. THAT might get done on the plane.

I've had a bit of a wardrobe crisis--Bri's been on me about wearing Soleil. After determining that yes, I probably can wear it if I flip it around, I had a footwear crisis. I made Soleil for DD, and I know she wears brown. I personally would rather eat garbage than wear brown (or yellow, or orange). Which sounds weird, but it's actually simple. People who don't wear brown don't wear brown shoes.

Which left me no shoe options to wear with Soleil.

After a lot of debate, and trips to three different stores, I happened upon these lil' babies, which go well with my holographic silver pedicure. Ahhh! That's nice!

Sunday, I started Lavinia using Katia Idea Jeans Mix, which I happened to buy in PINK. (See, it's all good.) Remind me not to buy cotton ribbon anymore...I am sporting a bandaid on my index finger-there's something about the way I knit ribbons that just put my finger thru hell. Will I get it done in time to wear it? Stay tuned for the next post!!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

It's here-

I've got my idea in mind-can I translate it into stitches? My Esprit is here. I am a wee bit EXCITED-my yummy little package showed up yesterday, and I JUST finished on my Soleil-that's all over but the crocheting and blocking. EASY.

Soleil is knitted-about 7 tasty balls of Lilac Sachet Sonata, which is a be-yootiful color. I started alternating yarns on every round about 6" in. You can tell, but it's NOT glaring on a moving body. (Well, maybe you CAN'T tell unless I point it out. It bugs me, but not enough to frog it.)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Runnin' da numbers

One of my customers is a pretty young girl with no hair. I couldn't stand it anymore, and yesterday, I mentioned that there was a competition to design chemo caps. As it turns out, she just finished her chemo....and she let me measure her HEAD! She was pretty interested in what I was doing, and gave me some opinions. So, and please excuse my crappy paint diagram-

I measured point A on myself, and it was roughly 23". (But I have a pumpkin head.) Line D is taken as if the head is 2 dimensional.

Hope it helps!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Be careful who you hang out with.....

Remember when your parents used to say stuff like that? Man, were they ever right. It doesn't matter whether you stay in the same town, or in the same profession, the people from your past pop up at odd moments.

Take for example, Lisa, who popped into town with her boyfriend this weekend. Lisa was my roommate when I FIRST went into the service. We used to be party pals, but both of us had stupid boyfriend angst which preoccupied us, and probably prevented us from being REALLY close friends. I haven't seen her for 21 years. We trusted each other-I never went for her boyfriend, she never went for mine. We tended to borrow tops, but pants and shoes didn't fit. We share a past of photos and parties. I could have made a MINT selling her prescription drugs out of our refrigerator, but it never crossed my mind to do so.

I remember meeting her soon-to-be ex; I didn't like him then, and I guess my first impression was right. Now that her kids are older, and she's taken an objective look, she's kicking him to the curb. I've been her sounding board for a few things. She's resumed contact with a guy she met years ago, and when he came to see her, they came out to see me.

Friends who know your core-who remember when you wore a 5, but won't crack on your size 12 now, those are people to keep tabs on. On some weird level, we developed trust early, that trust is what brings us back together so many years later.

And it's funny-some things are EXACTLY the same about her. I like him just fine, but the prospect of her leaving her job and moving to another country to be with him brings oddball questions to mind. Things like "Gee, you'll feel isolated, even if they do speak English" cross my mind; I know it takes a good six months to settle in. He's a nice guy, but travels a lot for work, and that would be hard on her. And can the Queen of Inappropriate Designer Footwear actually make it in a land of ice, snow, and subways? Will she be happy if she doesn't work; what requirements will she need to fill if she wants to work there?

These are things I have no input on, but I can see this train roaring toward the station. The move isn't imminent, but if/when it comes, I know these things will rear their ugly heads. Gee, I'd love to have a place to crash in the UK, so my ulterior motives aren't exactly snowy pure. Guess I'll sit here, waiting to hear about them, fingers on the keyboard, ready to order insulated boots and Covergirl Outlast.

CAPS, caps, caps, CAPS!

Ann Cannon-Brown started another design challenge at Elann. This challenge is to design a chemo cap. Ann worked on the turban design shown for quite a while. This is a cause that is near and dear to her heart, and I am proud of her for challenging her customers.

Do patients WANT a cap in a color similar to the hair? I thought the obvious answer was yes, but on the other hand, I would never actually CHOOSE a brown hat for myself under any circumstances. So I ordered enough for two hats-one in a "hair color" and one in a "pretty color". I wonder how I can make this stretchy cotton (just like Cascade Fixation) stand up and hold it's shape without being rough and pokey. Maybe I won't need that capability.

I sketched out a few designs and mailed them off to Camari, who I was stationed with in Germany. She started treatment on her first bout with cancer at 33, and just finished up with a masectomy (same breast, different cancer) eight years later. She's one of my heros, I am so proud of her. I am hoping that she will give me some insight into what she would have liked in a chemo cap, what her friends want. "How can this hat make you feel like YOU, and ready to kick cancer's ass?" The girl has a little experience, and hopefully, she can guide me.

Curious to see where this challenge leads me....

Monday, July 03, 2006

A little extra-

Saw a few things in TKGA's Cast On May-Jun 06 that I thought I'd pass on-
Knit One, Crochet Too is giving out samples of Wick, a soy and polypropylene yarn. Mail an SSAE to:
Knit One, Crochet Too
91 Tandberg Trail, Unit 6
Dept. CO
Windham ME 04062

In addition, Elann is running a 100.00 shopping spree drawing thru Cast On. If you plan to shop, use this link and you will automatically be entered!

Good stuff, eh?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

An epiphany (No, I am NOT as dumb as I look!)

HA! Anyone who's known me for any length of time knows I LOVVVVEE multi-colored yarns. There is something about the possibility of creating something that goes with everything....and it's interesting to watch the fabric grow...and my favorite color is paisley. BUT this love carries a deep dark secret. Sometimes it's a PITA, because the potential for unintentional patterning is so great.

I was knitting along on my Soleil. The lace was fine. The first couple of rows were fine. Then, it colors started to blob. I tried varying tension (it's a multicolor, this isn't hard to disguise; it camouflages itself). I tried knotting the yarn to move the pattern over about four inches. Neither was really effective.

Of course, if you read any knitting books, they'll tell you that you should alternate balls of yarn on each row. Which I would never do, because I am inherently a lazy woman. But I thought about this a little (why should mere mechanics stop me from knitting something I think is FLIPPIN' gorgeous?) and suddenly, I heard a deafening POP when I pulled my head out. Soleil is knit in the round, and that makes it EASY to alternate balls of yarn in every row. And it seems to be helping. (The red line shows where I started to alternate.)

I went to the Aveda Institute for another "whale of a deal" haircut yesterday. Everything was fine until my student called his instructor over. "Do you want your hair to flip out at the ends?" she asked brightly. "No, not particularly," said I, the grumpy, unfashionable woman who saw her share of flips as a little girl. (Truthfully, I hate the look.) She proceeded to demonstrate to her student how to cut my hair to make it flip out. Hmmm. So I just sat back, and junior got busy cutting my hair in exactly the style I didn't particularly want. (Before anyone asks why I let this happen, let me say that once she demonstrated that first snip, it was all over. Plus I am blind without my glasses.) I slumped. I frowned. I sighed. So junior labored over my head for what seems to be an eternity, and then got Miss Perky. She tells him how to blow dry my hair to make it flip out, and I had to intervene. "You asked me if I wanted this to flip out, and I said not particularly. I did not think he would cut to the extent that he did, but I have a round head like a pumpkin, (and a British chin, for you who don't know me) and this just exaggerates it." "Well, I wear my hair that way!" SIGGHHH.

There should be a body language course for the students and staff. At the end of it all, it's a 15.00 haircut that will grow out. I figure that if it's absolutely hopeless, I can get it cut off next month, and it will be fine.

To cheer myself up after my super powers of invisiblity session, I paid LYS a visit. Lavold's Silky Wool was on sale. I've always thought this yarn was a fair deal-wool and silk at 5.00 per ball. Put it on sale.....BAM! There were 11 balls of lucious dark blue. I ran home and consulted my EL book. I have enough to make ANYTHING in there. The yarn cure worked wonders.