Thursday, May 31, 2007

My summer knitting list.....

Trish at My Merino Mantra posted a notice about Ali's ( summer knitting list. I'm trying to get Trish another entry into the contest, and what the heck, I might as well throw my name in the hat for her Blue Sky cotton yarn. Congratulations on your new pattern, Ali! If you decide to participate, link to Trish, and help her win!

This summer, I want to make the Bazaar shirt. That is top on my obsession list...I swatched three stitch patterns this morning before 6 am. I'd like to finish Wren, and make something out of my SeaSilk. I also want to do a saddle-shouldered pullover for DH, and a few easy peasy summer tops. (did I mention I also have some UFOs....) I would like to finish two projects a month, because this month has been absolute crap. I didn't finish ANYTHING.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I KNOW it's Wednesday morning-

I woke up cheerful this morning. DH is gone, and I have to run the show...makes for a long darned day. The cheerful part stems from a notice from the city, saying water to the shop was going to be interupted today. Which means---a trip to the LYS!!! YAY! And a nap! Double YAY!!

I ran down to the Yarn Barn of San Antonio, brandishing my Bazaar like a talisman. Tahki Cotton Classic did the trick for me...I still had trouble with the lime bronze color, but it's not essential. This IS a decent interpretation of the colorway I wanted to duplicate. Let's see, 5 balls of Cotton Classic, a NEW PAIR of Lace Addis, TWO pairs of discounted small sized Skacel straights, and an issue of Wool-Gathering came in at less than 60.00. Not bad. Everyone that saw the cover LOVED the idea of taking those colors and translating them into a T-shirt for real people lives.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I zipped into Tuesday Morning. If you don't have a Tuesday Morning in your town, it is....a retail garage sale of good department store type merchandise. Long before Lauren Bacall ever did her scary ads, Tuesday Morning began in Dallas. I've been going since I began my World Tour of Texas....I mean, my Air Force career. As a matter of fact, the chain's strategic manager was a guest at my wedding to the web-toed wonder. We just called him Jim then. But I digress....

This morning I went to investigate their yarn bins, and check on their craft aisle. This is not a task for the faint of heart. It takes some digging. I found a ball of Trendsetter Vixen (the pretty pale pink) for 5.00. Fifty yards. Crap. I rummaged thru all the bins, and was just about ready to give up on the Vixen when I happened to see three cardboard bins above my head. Yarn peeped from the top. Remember when you couldn't touch Trendsetter yarn without mortgaging your needles? The novelty yarn situation is a disaster, and it's scary to see the BINS of novelty yarn marked down EVERYwhere. It's always been Trendsetter's specialty.

In the mean time, a shopper came up to me and said "I'm going to let you put that back up there for me." To which I replied "I don't work here, I am just digging for another ball of this yarn." (This happens to me frequently, and I can't decide if it's because I am pompous, look confident and friendly, or am a straight out mess.) She was embarrassed. Whatever. I hauled the little bins from their perch, and found another four balls of Vixen. While I was in the neighborhood, I saw five balls of Trendsetter Quadro marked at 3.99, with another 40% off at the register. Total price at Tuesday Morning for 10 balls of Trendsetter, a dog toy, and sales tax? A smidge over 40.00. If you go, arm yourself with patience and a willingness to dig. Lauren says "It's like a treasure hunt every week." I say "It's a flippin' mess, but the deals are good."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Does this match?

Or is this second one better? Or do I need all THREE greens to match it up? Plus some jade green?

Benne and Thom came up with a third option-is it truer?

I had ANOTHER idea---perhaps Tahki cotton classic would be the right color range...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Hey, can I borrow a couple of prayers...

You may remember that I gave away Lady E to Mrs. Neighbor right after I finished her. Her beloved dog has cancer, and I thought she might need it. A few weeks after, Mrs. Neighbor had a grand-mal style seizure at the grocery; her whole wiring system just zapped. She's recovering with her son and granddaughters 150 miles away.

DH got a call last night from Mr. Neighbor. He needed to borrow Mark's beard trimmer. DH rushed out the door, and came back very concerned. DH filled me in a little. Mr. Neighbor was a wreck. His house was dark, his beloved 5' TV silent, his trashcans still out from Wednesday's collection.

Today, when I got home from the grocery, DH told me his new beard trimmer was just dandy. I said "You know, I didn't think you'd just lend out your beard trimmer. You can't stand it if I use your toothbrush." He said "No, I knew that wasn't coming back into the house. That's not something I'd lend out."

I thought not. I am puzzled, I am worried, and I might have to track down a son who lives out of state. I think this is a scream for help from a normally clean-shaven, buttoned-down guy.

I want it to look nice, or something

This pattern stitch was a PITA to figure out. As a matter of fact, it was such a pain (inserting needle from the top down into the head of the stitch ... yahblatz, yahblatz) that I chucked the stitch. I swatched it with Zodiac and a carrier, fooled with the pattern for about an hour, and scared DH and the dog, because it wasn't pretty. I grabbed a BW, switched yarns and looked for something that was a multiple of 6+1. All in all, someone thought I was going to work six rows of true lace for something that looked like a buttonhole. I wish I'd thought to use the one-row button hole, because all that patterning did not pay off in this project. Now I'm working in Berroco Air, and doing a nice, easy Crest of the Wave variation!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Ah, at last, some yarny stuff. Colorsong Yarn has Sea Silk for sale in an 'oops' put up, so I ordered some. This is Glacier, next to some Sea Silk that was a yummy Christmas prezzie last year. I bought a pair of Addi Lace needles to try out, and these are great, and the perfect partner for this yarn! I have two more colors on back order (Nova Scotia and Blackberry) and I am anxiously awaiting them. After a little time in swatchland, I've determined that I like the Sea Silk better in lace than stockinette (a lot of people in blogland have the same opinion). That's a good thing, because I don't have a lot, and need to stretch it like taffy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Holy Shit!

A few minutes ago, DH went on a trademark rant. There was a lot of swearing. He was watching the evening news and saw THIS. And he said "What do they think this is, Where's Fucking Waldo? Have a little respect, when God comes around, he won't look like a bird turd!" (Libby, you gotta see this.)

Hope my knitting mojo comes back. I kind of miss it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I hear 'em tuning up the banjos again.....

Twin brothers Raymon and Richard Miller are the father and uncle to a 3-year-old little girl. The problem is, they don't know which is which. Or who is who.
The identical Missouri twins say they were unknowingly having sex with the same woman. And according to the woman's testimony, she had sex with each man on the same day. Within hours of each other.

Just click for more of the story....

As freakish as this sounds, one of my cousins has twin boys. Who dated the same girl. Who got pregnant. So who knows? When I heard about my family, this dilemma occurred to me. The fairest thing to do is to have each guy pay 50%, because they both admit to sleeping with her. There's a 50% chance that one of them would pay 50% more than necessary, which is much better than choosing the wrong guy, and him paying 100% of the child support.

What if one of them was across town involved in a solitary activity? Both his brother and the woman could maliciously accuse the uninvolved party, and stick him with support. Quite a mess.

Uh uh oh oh

Let's sink another drink, cause it will give me time to's HH's shirt. I think it's too big for her; I gathered the sleeve caps, and took up a little in the back just to bring it to a more realistic size. The stencil letters start with her last name, and finish with her graduation year.
This makes me want to go buy some superstraight jeans and very high heeled pumps, so I can dance to a Billy Idol song!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Heartbeat stuff

Hey Bets, This is quite overdue (apologies - its been a crazy week).

I would have posted to your blog but your original posting has scrolled off and half the fun is to share, right? So here goes: I did a little cut & paste of your blog comments and photos then printed it out and took it to work with me at LYS this last Wednesday evening - which is when Jill Vosburg (JOMR) teaches. She said you did a terrific job, particularly on the short-row modifications and said it looked really really nice. Yes, two reallys. Jill also commented that she loved to see how different people came up with their changes to the sweater. And then she asked to keep the little document I`d pasted together, so (were I in your shoes) I`d take to be high praise! Congrats on a terrific job on that sweater :-) --Melanie 5/20/2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Harajuku, I love you!

  • I was smitten today by the Harajuku shirt article in Craft. REALLY smitten. I owe a young lady a custom t-shirt, but I had no inspiration. The article sparked my imagination, so I finally got busy.
The Harajuku style refers to street fashion at a particular subway stop in Tokyo. Gwen Stefani capitalized on it by creating Harajuku-lovers. I went to see her site after I created and applied my iron on and stenciled lettering, and was gratified to see that despite my advanced age, Gwen and I are on the same page!

H has had a rough go of it lately. When she was a kid, she showed livestock in many local shows, and earned a lot of money for college. Her mother recently packed a suitcase and emptied out the kid's college fund, then moved to greener pastures. Her dad's remarried, and her step mother is a little on the strict side. Monica and I sat with H the other day and worked on her scholarship applications. So far, she's moved really far up in the competion, so it might work out ok.

My kids always liked 'ransom note' collages made with torn up magazine quotes, so I went in that direction, rather than the anime shown in the article. All my craft findings came from my local Wallyworld, and I used Avery transfer paper for dark shirts. Thank God for scanners, because I was able to throw M&Ms and a silk daisy into the mix for a really fun look. I stenciled with gold glitter paint (c'mon, we live in Texas), and need to do a little embroidery tomorrow, then I will post a photo of the whole shirt. I gotta do that embroidery, because I think it might be too big!

You have to see this magazine!

After reading about it on Enid's blog, I checked out a copy of Craft: transforming traditional crafts at my local Borders. Hey, it is worth a look! I find it so impressive, I think it's subscription material for teens and 20 somethings and definitely on the Christmas buy list. It's cool, kind of like Mother Earth News for Generation ..... what generation are they now? Who knows? The newstand price is spendy (15.00) but the subscription is more reasonable (34.00 for 4 issues). This issue covered homemade play dough, bath scrubs and lip balms, knitting, sewing machines, a silver clay project, macrame, origami...hey, I dug it! It is a perfect gift...I have been totally disgusted by what passes for crafts for the 10-20 year olds, and this bridges the gap from Crayolas to Grumachers nicely. Look for it at your local bookstore, and see if it's appropriate for the girls and young women in your world.


Friday, May 18, 2007

This makes me grin-

I had no idea this even had a video until a few weeks ago. Back when this video was new and dinosaurs roamed the earth, I lived in a house with no TV signal available.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hey, can we teach birth control yet?

I live in the Bible belt, with a strong Catholic leaning. I am consistently amazed that these kids don't get birth control instruction in school, for whatever reason. The kids won't 'learn' about sex and sin, they are already little bunnies, so I think they've figured it out. I think it's a bigger sin to let these kids reproduce.

I'm truly pissed off about this. This week, our glorious state has had TWO significant child abuse arrests-one for the 17 year old who beat his little girl senseless and bit the crap out of her-

Here's a link to the rest of that story.

Then there's the genius boy in Galveston who shoved his baby in the microwave-

No significant knitting to talk about. I have both Wren sleeves done, I just need to do the fronts now. Highland Silk knits more quickly on aluminums than Balenes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My knitting mojo...

Ain't. Argghhh. I took a look at my Luna Moth Shawl, and frogged it. I think the gauge is too dense AND I noticed an error that I repeated over and over. My Wren is stuck with two sleeves on the needle, and my Solista is waiting for the other two balls to come in. So far, May is NOT a productive knitting month.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The shopping service

Happy Mother's Day and all.

We got a call late Friday night. It was my niece, and she was hyperventilating. "Hold on," DH said, "I'll let you talk to my personal shopper." He passed the phone to me. "Congratulations, honey, did I pick the right one?" "YES! I love it!" That is quite a response from someone as sedate as she is. Yay, Lisa, for finishing your degree. We are very proud of you, and I am glad that our gift has you in a tizzy. I am still waiting to hear what Miss DHBFFDD thinks of her gift.

A few weeks back, I ordered my DMIL one of these. She wants a long skirt. When I opened it up, and shook out the wrinkles, DH said "Honey, you usually have it right on, but that looks like something for Kim Jong-Il." Niiiccceeee. It looked too big for her.

Yesterday, he looked at me and said "You know, Mom and Aunt Jeanette are coming tomorrow. Do you think..." and I said "Yes honey, I think I oughta go buy Aunt Jeanette some Burt's Bees, because she's allergic to so many things."

So I ran out to Beall's and bought Mom another gift (just in case) that I am sure she will like, and a top and bracelet for Aunt Jeanette.

DD should have received a nice cool summer bracelet that's easy to wear...I mailed it for her earlier in the week. She's like me, she needs jewelry she doesn't have to mess with.

I mailed floral sprays to my brother yesterday. I've been making them for almost seven years now; it has somehow become my job to provide my family little silk arrangements for my mom (and now my dad). In Arizona, the weather is so arid that real flowers are a total waste of time. We have a tradition that we started the week my mom died. When we swap out flowers, the old arrangement goes to someone else in the line....not everyone out there gets a visit. Last Christmas, my mother had a Christmas tree. We don't know where it came from, but I am sure it has to do with our habit.

The shopping service has to go clean house now....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cracking the Herrschner's code

It should be easy, but it's not. For some reason, all the sale yarns (which change every Thursday) are horribly displayed, with color samples the size of Chiclets. Sometimes they give you the manufacturer, yardage, gauge, sometimes not. Our good friend Benne sent them a scathing email about it a while back, and they got better. But they aren't great at displaying yarn. You'd think their specialty was hardware or something.

Yesterday, I searched their sale pages ONCE more for a few extra balls of Solista. Did an entire site search. No luck. Then I remembered that Herrschner's sometimes hides its yarn in plain view. So I did a search for the colors. Here's a good example-

Using the search term "yellow and white", I found a picture of Solista-and the following description-

Yellow and White: "Yellow and White"

Yellow and White

Item #: YY710925-1142
Our Price:$3.97
Desired Qty:

Notice that there is no description of the yarn, and the name isn't given at all. Searching by the item number does not yield results. The photo of Solista and that itty bitty swatch tell it all. The verifying indicator is that Yellow and White's stock number matches Yarndex's color chart, which shows that Solista yellow and white is color number 1142. All colors of Solista are in stock, but I had to trot over to Yarndex to get a good color list, because Herrschner's had not linked all colors of the same yarn in a group. You must stumble on them one by one.

I learned about the Herrschner's oddities last year when we all fell in love with Paton's Katrina. There was a swatch, and all it said was 'black'. The price made me do a double take. So I took the item number over to Yarndex, and found that the item number had common elements with the black Katrina.

Similarly, two weeks ago, there was a listing for Brilliant Black. I did a bit of searching for Brilliant Black. As it turns out, the listing was for Paton's Brilliant. I checked this morning, and a search for Brilliant Black brings up a picture of a purple ball of Brilliant.

Hope you find this helpful.

Cause nothin' can stop the US Air Force...'cept that fugly new emblem

Marie must have noticed my military knitters ring button, because she was kind enough to tell me about these washrags-for the

Pretty cool, but I don't want an Air Force washrag. I don't think the 'new' Air Force emblem is pretty. I secretly think that the Air Force has no traditions because some yahoo with stars on his collar shakes everything up, just to get more stars on his collar, and a new appointment at the head of some firm upon retirement. Annoying.
In other news, after calling all over God's creation, I found additional silver and white Solista. Yay, no frogging! One place told me it was on sale-it was 8.00, now 6.00. If they had my color, I would have gladly paid. I finally found some at Herrschner's for 3.97. They had it hidden, I didn't JUST find it by typing in Solista. I had to hunt for it. More on that later.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Safe Sox

My knitterly bud Suzann just sent my other knitterly bud Benne a pair of sox. They are beautiful.

I, on the other hand, have a DH who comes home and tells me "I really like the socks you bought last week, can I have more?" I ordered multiples of the identical sock from Sierra Trading Post. Dull, safe sox.

My best brother just sent me a link for his holiday pictures. He was so excited to go to Kashgar. I was so excited to see pictures of Kashgar (think of the junction of China and Afghanistan). He felt very badly for this little girl, taking her lamb to market. No frolicking in meadows, nor the safety of a shearing to be later made into socks, this little lamb was going to be someone's dinner very soon. "Kowaii so, neh?" I asked, and he said she was kowaii so (poor pitiful thing) because she knew what would happen, but things must proceed as they should.

Must. Cast. On. Wren. Sleeves.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Honey, I had a coupon-

About three years ago, DH's BFF's (hee hee) son graduated from high school. Long before, DH promised a certain weapon (really expensive, and fired once or twice) to the boy. Everything was wonderful, UNTIL baby sister's graduation announcement arrived this week. DH almost wet his pants. He was SCARED. What to do? I consulted with her mama-a watch, jewelry or a bag would be just great. Two days later, niece's college announcement arrived. Uh-oh. After checking the price of jewelry (anyone notice how HIGH silver is these days? Sheesh!), off to the outlet mall I went.

The outlet mall is the number one tourist attraction in the State of Texas...more people visit there than Texas Stadium, the Alamo, or the Marfa lights. It's 90 miles from my house, but even I must do my part as a Texas resident. I also knew that whatever I spent, DH would spend double. I've SEEN how he shops; he grabs at eye-level and hightails it out. He knows that whatever the retail price, I NEVER EVER EVER pay it.

I usually find GREAT deals at the Dooney store. They always have really good prices, except when it's a week before Mother's Day, and you are desperate for a gift. They had a buy one, get one half off sale, but there were no good deals, no amazingly cute styles, nothing that grabbed me. They all LOOKED like Mother's Day gifts! I figured I'd mosey on down to the Coach outlet and see what I could get for the girls. I've never bought anything there in my life. As it turned out, Coach had a better assortment, and lower prices! I tried to find both girls bags trendy enough to suit their ages, but neutral enough to carry for three years-tricky business.

I stood in the store with purses draped over my arm, fishing for SIL's number, dialing dizzily. Black or brown? I bought niece the black one, DHBFFDD (how's that?) got a white one similar to the photo...but smaller. According to my receipt, I "saved" enough to buy a month's groceries, but it in no way even approached her brother's graduation gift.

It's hard to do this properly. I've never even met the kid, but I wanted to make this appear fair. So back to the Dooney store I went. I agonized for a while-I had to buy two bags to get the sale, right? (Sucker....) I finally decided on a bag in a denim blue with brown trim for me. I found a simple fabric tote for Brit, and I had a coupon too. The second bag cost me all of 25.00. NOW her gift looks like a WOW gift-I think she'll be over the moon.

In knitting news, I almost certainly will run short on Solista, so I have to hunt for two balls of silver tomorrow, or scrap it. On the Wren project, Laucurls finished hers and deserves kudos! (I can't find her post but will link it as soon as I find it.)

Friday, May 04, 2007

So here you go....

More fun!

Remember this yarn? I bought a ton of it. Cheap. In three colors. I've had Schachenmayr Inspiration #68 for about 4 years, and always liked this top. In the original yarn, it cost about 80.00 to make. I'm working on the $7.76 version. That's a relief, you know? I can't do anything but have fun. There's no expensive yarn investment to screw up. I have an interesting yarn that suits an interesting pattern!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Just so I can remember what the hell I did....

This will make sense to you if you make the Just One More Row Heartbeat top. I am down to the edgings and fiddley bits.
The sleeve gusset was worked by marking the sleeves out. When I knit the long edge, I knit side, SSK into the first sleeve stitch, knit sleeve, K2tog using the last sleeve stitch and first side stitch. On the return, P2 tog using one side and one sleeve stitch. Then I worked the SSK/K2tog row once more. This sounds harder than it was, and will make sense if you work the pattern.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

When I grow up....

I remember a trip I took in 2nd grade. Little me sat in the airplane seat impatiently. The proud bird with the golden tail was taking my family from Chicago to CALIFORNIA. In those days, airline meals were actually meals, not just a bag of pretzels and a Coke. When my meal came, I checked the menu card, and saw that the entree was spinach souffle. I gingerly tried it, and was instantly hooked! I resolved right then and there that I would eat this "when I grow up." Lucky for me, Stouffer's had the catering contract with Continental. Some 40 years later, it's the only "TV dinner" I actually seek out. Boston Market's creamed spinach pales in comparison.
Nothing much on the knitting front, just a bunch of stuff that's near completion. Stay tuned for photos.