Friday, August 31, 2007


I was inside, just doin' my job. I'da been in trouble if the car had hopped the curb and come crashing thru my storefront, huh? Absolutely specfuckular.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tiny bit cornfused.

There's really nothing new in the world of knitting. I keep telling myself that, and events keep reminding me that. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The morning or the night? The Torino or the Cobblestone?

The latest IWK has a men's pullover called Cobblestone. I raved about it all last month, because I thought the shoulder emphasis and the "slimming" side panels were really good ideas for a modern and flattering sweater.

I received Tahki Stacy-Charles' newsletter today and saw a free pattern for "Torino Bulky Circular Pullover". That is also a clever, modern pullover, isn't it? There's no way to tell if the designer is the same, or which came first.
Disconcerting, isn't it?

Lookie what I made!!!

A new knitter!
I was so excited when I looked in the mail yesterday. DH's childhood friend Jeff and his gal-pal Leigh Anne came thru town two months ago. I showed Leigh Anne how to do garter stitch, and look at what she's doing! Already! Way to go!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Stop your fussin', kid.

It's not fun to knit for myself. I have average body issues; everyone wants to be taller, thinner, have a better (fill in the blank). Every stitch is a reminder that (despite what my mother told me) I am NOT perfect.

The Turks hang small mirrors from chains on their walls; the mirror backs are ornately decorated, because they are flipped over after use. To them, like the Quakers, it is sinful and vain to spend a good deal of time looking in a mirror. I struggle with issues of vanity when I knit for myself.

On top of that, it's tough to produce thousands of stitches imagining how cute a garment will be, and then find it doesn't fit, the neck doesn't lay flat, the pattern is crap, or, as Heather put it in Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, "This dress exacerbates the genetic betrayal that is my legacy. " Every garment IS a crapshoot, and the one I linked to is a good example. Knitters gamble.

Mostly, though, I think knitting for myself is lonely. My friend Shui Kuen once said "When I knit for my mother, I think of my mother." I have no happy thoughts of surprising friends and family with a new garment, a hat, a pair of socks.

I know-I got issues.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What's that?

There, that oughta help. I am working on the same garment I made in 1986. I was so proud of myself when I finished, even tho I couldn't figure the pattern out very well.

It started with a K3P2 rib. On the 4th row, you are supposed to knit into the third stitch from the needle, then knit stitches one and two. That whipped my butt, so I just cabled every one of those stitches for four solid inches. Dang that was a lot of work. Dang, I still have that top, even tho it fits me like sausage casing these days. I was so incredibly proud of it, I thought I'd make it again.

Last time, I made it in red Femia (Schachenmayr) and this time I am working in Elann's black DenMknit (I figured out that cable, finally). My hands are a little sore from cabling all that cotton, but I haven't noticed a significant amount of color transfer. Aside from the obvious size differences, I have to make this longer, because of the denimy shrink tendencies of this yarn....I've read it shrinks up to 20%. So I made the stinking cables a little deeper (not much, because now, as 21 years ago, there is only so much cabling a person wants to do.) Me and my Addi lace needles are attacking the body now.

I will post a photo of both tops when I finish!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Does MBT

mean "my butt's toned?" (heh)

I bought a pair of MBT shoes last week from Naturalizer. They came in Friday. I wore them ALL DAY yesterday (9-7). The results? I ordered more. Two pair for DH, who has faciatis, and another for me. But not from Naturalizer. I feel like a big doofus, because I found them much cheaper, I mean, on sale at Bodytrends. I bought two different sizes for DH, figuring I will have to send one pair back.

They take a little getting used to, but so far, so good. I'll let you know about the toning part later.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Done that!

I thought I was making this in a much smaller size. What the hell, I never keep anything for myself anyhow, I'll keep this.
Here's the fabu Gwen top (notice the little end creeping into my jeans pocket?) seven colors/eight balls Tahki cotton classic, and a couple of skeins of embroidery floss. Knitted top down, in one piece. Hollaback!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Rescued from the UFO pile (I really want to clear my Addi Lace needles)-should be done by Monday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Interweave Knits had their hurt book sale last month. I picked up a few books. Knitting books are really limited at my library. There's one 'learn to knit' compendium, 'A Knitter's Stash', and a cable book by Alice mumble-more that I could probably 'lose', pay 25.00 for, and sell on ebay for a lot of yarn money. Except that I've looked at it, and just don't lust after it. Usually, I have to order knitting books on inter-library loan, wait two weeks, and keep it for three. And it's a buck a day if it's late.

So I shopped the books at IWK with that in mind. In my first shipment, I got a copy of "Men in Knits: Sweaters He Will Wear." Ehhh. So I donated it to my local library.

Sometimes my library sells old treasures and donations for 1.00 if it's a duplicate, out of date, or whatever, so I was a little worried that this new book would end up in the for sale bin. Which would suck, because I paid more than that to ship it.

Another shipment of books came in. "Hip to Knit" or some such came as part of a set. That's a good beginner book. I won't use it. I took it over to the library, ready to donate it. But first, I cruised the needlework section. "Men in Knits" was neatly labeled and perched on a shelf. I beamed.

My library used to have three knitting books. Now they have FIVE! I feel very civic-minded today.

I also finished and sent off an unending project today. I am taking the 600 yards mileage credit, photos will show up later.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Whatcha think?

What do you think of my back to school ad? That's DH as a kid.

Good morning!

Still sewing. Starting to itch for a new project. I rolled out a McCalls Crafts magazine from Oct 1984 and swatched a cable pattern. Didn't care for it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Just keep moving, kids-

Evelyn and Lib both let me know that they loved 'Sit Down'. I think it's only natural that I follow THAT with 'The Only Way is Up.' Still working on my unending project, I worked on Holiday Gift exchange things last night, and worked on a UFO yesterday.

It's tax free weekend in Texas-which means back-to-school clothing is exempt from sales tax, and the malls are jammed. So I went shopping on-line. I bought shoes. Specifically, I bought MBT shoes. My little brother told me about them months ago-he said they were designed to get rid of his 'fat-ass'. Um, ok. I happened on them when I was checking out Naturalizer's sale earlier this week. I looked at them, looked at the promo clip, and waffled. I've been wearing Birks now for two years-I snap them up every time I find them on sale. But my feet hurt-I am on them all day. I looked at the MBT video. I asked Dean about his MBTs-do they work, does he wear them? "Um, they make me tired, so they must work."

I put the MBTs in my basket. I took them out. I got up to walk around the house. My metatarsals hurt when I went into the kitchen. I put them back in. And pressed 'Buy.'

Bow wackiness

Oh, let's hear it for Boy George-totally whacked, but what a voice!

Speaking of totally whacked, if sewing is the new knitting, why can't I find crap? I've heard Wallyworld is getting rid of their fabric department-ours is as sparse as usual.

Last week on my foray to Hobby Lobby, I tried to get ribbons and lace for a project. What an ordeal. That lady at the cutting table must have taken that 'Customer Service Handbook' with her name on it and memorized it. Especially the part with her name on it, because she sure wasn't sharing any customer service with me. I finally wrangled a yard of lace and three yards of ribbon out of her, and made it out the door. Unfortunately, I didn't like it with my project.

I had extra incentive going thru the floods the other day-I knew I'd pass by a Hancock Fabrics. Their lace and trim department was a mess. My pattern called for 1 3/8" lace. It all looked like they recycled it off underpants. Not what I had in mind. I finally found some I liked (wrong size, but right look). Oh, hell, I'll make it work. And some ribbon for bows. NOT what the pattern called for, but heck, I don't have access to the whole garment district.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Scenic stuff-round two-

The scenery is spectacular. Our scenery looked like this yesterday-

I watched the Weather Channel last night and saw storm clips-I knew EXACTLY where they were filming. They were snickering about stupid people who drive thru standing water. Bastards.

I've been waiting for an ENT appointment at the VA since MAY. It was a tough choice-do I go, or wait eons for another appointment? Figures, doesn't it? I have to go back again in 8 weeks. Hope this isn't anything serious. I already HAVE brain damage. ;-) Don't need more!

On the way in, (60 miles) I took the back streets that I didn't think would flood, because the loop is under construction. There were low spots filled with water. Of course, I drove behind a big pickup truck going 10, and he'd eaaaasssse down to 6 mph when he came upon high water. (Everyone knows your car stays drier if you ease it into big puddles in the pouring rain, right?) I slowed my little sedan down to 5 mph, and prayed I wouldn't stall. Honestly, I've been a 'grandma driver' since I was 17. If I say you are going too slow, buddy, you ARE.

I saw the most fucked up thing at my appointment. The ENT clinic shares its lobby with speech pathology and audiology. A tech popped his head in the door. "Mr. Gomez? Mr. Gomez?" He repeated himself a few times. Finally, someone caught an old fella's attention and pointed to the door. Mr. G swiveled around to see, then got up and toddled off to his appointment. I guess all the OTHER deaf patients in the clinic can hear the tech.

On the way home, I took the loop slowly. I passed a red Corvette like it was standing still....well, ok it was. Stalled in the right lane of a 70 zone, I snuck around him on the shoulder. A mile later, water from a neighboring field was POURING onto the roadway. Concrete construction barriers interupted its passage across the highway, creating a dam. A foot of water swirled in the highway's left hand lane.

Places that never flood flooded yesterday.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Scenic Stuff

There used to be a post here. If I knew where it was, you would see it. I will redo it in the morning.

An unofficial radio station-

I'm begging your pardon-for the next few days, I plan to post a lot of music videos. I've nominated myself for this job thru the 21st. The Shepherd could use some friendly thoughts and wishes, I think. I love this song. Annie sounds like an angel. The video is garbage.

I finished my mystery project (all will be revealed at a later time) yesterday, and it's pinned and drying RIGHT NOW. Whew. Sewing tomorrow.

What to knit now? (Not like I don't have three projects on the needles and a Wren that needs sewing.) I got home last night and there was a hugemongous box from Herrschner's on the doorstep. Like I need yarn. The Elann DenMknit is also enroute. I think I am grounded for the rest of the year. I REALLY don't need any more. For a long time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A rallying cry-

I think this finale is wonderful.

Out of all 13 languages used, Polish is the one that intimidates me. I am pretty sure that I would be hopeless if I had to learn it.

You are familiar with the Japanese singer already. He's the host from the Japanese "Iron Chef". No kidding.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hey-guess what???!?!!

I've been tagged as a Rockin' Girl, and I am asking YOU to help ME pay it forward!
I believe in the power of positive thinking. I believe in self-fulfilling prophecy. And I believe small kindnesses and cheerful conversation can make or break a person's day. So it shouldn't surprise you that I signed up for the Pay It Forward. I was over at Graceland yesterday, and Grace the Queen of Shawls was taking sign ups for her PIF. She had two, and needed three. The third person was ME! So here is how it works-
It’s based on this movie with Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey in it called ‘Pay It Forward’..How many of you out there have had a chance to watch it?

But anyway this is what the PIF Exchange is all about……(Copied from Grace's blog, which was copied from JenW's blog which was copied from Megan’s blog, which was copied from Pony Knits blog which was copied from… get the picture) “Here is how it works! I’ll send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange! I don’t know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week…LOL… but you will receive it within 365 days, that’s a promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog…”
No pressure, no hype. The first three people to sign up get a prezzie AND pass on a little kindness.
I'd also like to tag Marcia, la Lib and YOU as Rockin' Girl Bloggers!

Oh heck-let's all have a good week.

I am coasting down the last slope of my unending project, my cousin from Tokyo sent my kids a package, and I managed to reprogram the cash register. Smiles all around! This song is for my friend the shepherd, who's going thru a bit right now. I KNOW it's a cheesy clip-that's why I think it's funny.

Have a good week, all.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Waking up excited----

Status update-50 some-odd rows of torture left. At least I like the stitch pattern.

I woke up excited because I had Vanilla Creme Frosted Mini Wheats in the house.

I got to go to Hobby Lobby yesterday. God Bless 'em, but that Closed on Sunday thing means I never get to go. I LOVE Hobby Lobby-they have more specialty stuff. Michaels is too prissy. While I was there I found a Horocrux stamp on sale. Ok, and I have to quit on the rubber stamp thing for my HUGe project, because I spent a ridiculous amount on stamps. Yarn amounts of money.

The new VK was out. Liked it alot, but I am still taken with the men's sweater from the latest IWK. The Cobblestone pull is very simple, but (and don't say this tooo loudly) the man put dressmaker details in it. The shoulders are emphasized, there are slimming panels on the sides, and he short-rowed the back neck. This is a thoughtful pattern. Way to go Jared. I'll bet a lot of boyfriends get it for Christmas!

I also got to the mall and those assorted side shops that I never get to go to anymore. I stood in Marshall's for a long time with a marked down Kate Spade bag in my hand, wavering. Fifty bucks for DD? Then I remember that I just gave her a good bag, and spent the same money getting 1 pair of slacks, 2 blouses and a T for her. I am pretty sure she needs them more. I got to go to Christopher and Banks and buy myself clothes that are scaled to fit me correctly! Yay!

I entered thru Dillards, and saw Dooney Zebra bags there. They are ridiculously cute. I waivered. The new Giraffe pattern is out, that means the Zebra is going. On my way out, the sales girl showed me a bag. I examined it carefully ... fortunately for me, one side was black and white, the other was ivory and black. Looks like UV color changing, if you ask me. That made it easier to walk away.

It's a funny thing about the mall-the face of that mall is changing these days. I think a sure indicator of a mall's downhill slide is the Hallmark store, and stores such as that. When those stores close, and the replacements are things like the .50 cellphone kiosk, and others of that nature, pay attention. The mall is morphing.

Lastly, Elann has DenMknit coming back on Monday. Yippeee. I have come to the realization that I REALLY have too much yarn, so this is probably my last purchase FOR THE YEAR (and that won't even make a dent in stuff). Let's see, black for DH, Dark Indigo for me, light blue for Kristina, mmmmm-that's enough, isn't it?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

64 rows-

Oh, man, the end of the endless lace project is in sight. Holy crap. Fortunately, half of the upcoming rows are just purled. Just. A few. More days. Can I do 10 a day? Can I get FIRED UP???

I was looking at Walk Score, which rates a neighborhood's accessiblity for people on foot (terrain not evaluated.) Dang. My cousin's house (it used to be my grandma's) rated an 89/100. Mine rates a 9/100.

Monday, August 06, 2007

'scuse me, hon, there's a teensy brown smudge by your nose....

I enthusiastically signed up for the Knitting Daily newsletters when I had the opportunity. I glanced over the August 3rd "Lots of socks" edition this morning. While extolling Ann Budd's new sock book, Sandi Wiseheart gushed-

How many socks did Ann knit for Getting Started Knitting Socks? I just did some quick math. Ann says that 26 pairs of socks made it into the book. She doesn't give exact numbers for the ones that didn't make it in, but let's make conservative guesses: let's say that two pairs that didn't come out as planned, and oh, maybe two pairs of toe-up socks had to be cut. That's at total of 26 + 2 + 2 = 30 pairs, or 60 socks for one book!!

Let's all take a moment and say: "THANK YOU, ANN!" for all those hours and hours of knitting so we could have so much sock wisdom at our fingertips. Ah, the things we knitters do for knitting knowledge...

Christ. I thought it was Ann's Jay Oh Bee to knit stuff for her book. Karin impresses me. Suzann impresses me. Either of them could kick Ann's butt using a roll of dental floss and a tooth pick. ONE toothpick. They knit socks for fun with their eyes closed. While practicing jujitsu, coding HTML, and making pizza from scratch. Singing.

Knitting 30 pairs for a book impressive? Not even a little.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lizzie's Livin' Large-

DD's childhood chum has a new job. As a budding journalist, Liz's assignment is to live for 30 days spending 5.00 per day. I've pretty much made up my mind that no one actually has any money until they turn 25, and she's only 23. If you have frugal tips (and I know you guys do), help the kid out!

Woof woof-the dog days are here-

It's hot and my dog stinks. She really needs a bath! This evening!

The dog days of summer are here. I have been working on the cardi, but mostly I have been working on a very pokey commissioned lace project. I give myself a specific production amount every day-"This afternoon, I will work that pattern, it's only eight rows." Today, I am going to try for TWO pattern bands, a total of 40 rows. Eight in the morning, 32 this evening. I am anxious to be finished.
I want to knit something fun. Lisa just finished a skirt that is so entirely cute, I am enthralled. I want a fun project, I want a project that makes me smile, and gets me excited! Vogue Knitting AND Interweave Knits fall issues are on the horizon, and both have intriguing patterns. I have to clear my needles. It's about time we had some decent projects in the magazines!
I've been reading "Adios to Tears" which is the memoirs of a Japanese Peruvian who was traded by his government and ended up interned here during World War II. Interesting stuff. He ended up in Crystal City, which is about 60 miles south of San Antonio. It's an interesting read, but not an enthralling one.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Weird stuff flies from DH's mouth-

And it's not swearing!

Last Friday, DH picked up our next door neighbor at the ER, and took the man home. Twelve hours later, the next door neighbor expired.

This freaked DK out. He asked me if I wanted to go to the store with him, and mentioned that the last person in his front seat was dead. "Uh, no, honey, I don't want to go with you, but why don't you take Mr. Pain-in-the-Ass-at-work out to lunch?" DH spit coffee out laughing.

Mr. Pain ended up in the hospital this week. (Uh oh!) I didn't wish it, I promise.

Last night, we went out to dinner. I crawled up into the passenger seat. "Oh, honey, when did your travel charm break?"

The safe traveler's charm came from Kamakura years ago. The print is now a grey ghost, and the navy brocade sunfaded to silver. The harsh sun dried out the cord which hung from the rear view mirror, and now, the charm rests in DH's cupholder. The Buddha at Kamakura was one of my earliest memories. I remembered the green, green park, and steps. I remembered a looming disembodied bronze head-but I didn't know where I saw it. Chicago's Chinatown? I dunno. It was a mystery. Five years ago, we were in Tokyo. My little brother fussed about making plans and checking train schedules.
"Where are we going, Dean?"
"To Kamakura."
"What's that?"
"A big Buddha."
"It's really green there, isn't it?"
"I've been there."
So we went again. While I was there, I lit a candle to bid farewell to a miscarried child. I sent my brother and his friends around the prayer wheel twice (because they needed extra piety to save their souls) and bought charms at the little vendor's booth. One was the little brocade and pewter safe traveler's charm that traveled in Mark's truck.

"It broke in the middle of last week. We were all going out to lunch, and it broke. I told the guys it probably meant some bad Buddhist ju-ju. Then I drove next-door-neighbor around Friday night."

I was floored-he always teases me about superstitions!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Happy Friday!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Something's distracted me from my knitting!

It's true, it's true. I've been hanging out at an on-line reverse auction. That's right, the prices get LOWER. I bought DH a massage chair at 60% off for Father's Day (shipping was FREE, and that was a hell of a deal), some cologne, and some bits and bobs. It's enjoyable, and the site has a gameshow aspect to it.

If you go, please use me as your referral when you sign up. Follow this link-I get shopping bonuses for it! (or just put my email in the referral box when you sign up.) That's Betsy, at VallettaKafe, dotcom. Skip the commas, natch.

It could lure Marcia away from BubbleShooter!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ok, well now what?

This top down cardi started off as a project to use up some wool that I really like, in a color I hate. That ashes of roses color isn't too bad when it's striped to beat the band! It's a fun knit, the kind of thing I like to work on when the dog wants to be in my lap, or snuggles up against me for attention. It's not a 'hard thinkin' project. Just a little something off the cuff. I started off with big bands of color at the yoke, and then went to alternating colors every row. You can see where I started slipping stitches to create some vertical lines at the underbust, and I put in more at the waist, to give this cardigan visual shaping, if not physical. You can see the waist faking in the photo below.

My knitting serendipity crashed into a wall today. I have about 14" of the body done, and I need to come up with a way to end it!! It's a V-necked cardi; the neckline isn't horribly deep. I think ribbing in either color would be discordant. I think EITHER I-cord edging in the Viva (the darker, self-striping yarn) or two color ribbing might be ok. (Or I suppose I could stripe it.)

Any opinions?

Song du Jour-

Reach-recorded by Orleans (blue-eyed soul!) in 1975.

Sometimes, I stop and wonder
Why I can't let myself enjoy
The space I'm in, and all the wonderful places I've been.
My eyes are on the future; I can't think about the past.
My aspirations always exceed my grasp.

You've got to reach
a little bit higher
When the light within becomes a fire
Hey, hey, whoaa-you've got to grow
You've got to reach a little bit higher
to get a hold of all that you desire
Stretch your soul and you'll never grow old.

When the habits of a lifetime
become a painful cage,
and you want to break out,
but you don't know how to change.
Well you may have a vision,
or you may have a friend,
Who will come to you
and say these same words again.