Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I am feeling so much better today! Still a little bit wiped out from doing too much, but it's all stuff that could not be postponed.

Much is happening in terms of preparing for the construction on the kitchen of the new house. It is set to begin a couple of weeks, so there have been a few meetings getting all the ducks (and cabinets and drawers) in a row. Additionally, there have been a few doctor's appointments both for myself and for MyFavoriteKid. It's just a hectic time.

So tonight I relaxed a bit (well, as much as one can relax while watching a few more episodes of The Tudors and watching several people being beheaded LOL). And I washed and folded several loads of laundry, and I am finally caught up with things after having taken a few days of bed rest.

I am improved!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

in my ears

I do believe that yesterday was the pinnacle of sickness for me. This morning I woke up feeling like I had improved somewhat, but I had a whole lot to do today, and by the end of it, I was wiped out again.

Yesterday bibliogrrl asked where the knitting bag came from, and it is from ThreeBagsFull/MichelleInMaine on Etsy. She updates her shop every Monday (time varies, check her shop notes though, I think she lists it). I believe her shop gets wiped out pretty quickly, so if you don't see what you want today, keep going back...or look through what she has sold and if you see a fabric you like and a size you like, you can send her a note. She sets up custom listings for people a lot, it looks like!

Now! I'm off to bed to try to rest because tomorrow is another very busy day and I'm still not feeling top-notch, but I thought I'd leave you with a taste of what I've been listening to in the car quite a bit lately. It's Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli as part of the Quintet Du Hot Club De France.

I can only imagine what I must look like smiling my face off while driving down the road with this stuff cranked up. I must not look too insane because people in the cars next to me at traffic lights look at me and smile.
Maybe they think I'm insane. LOL
Whatever. This music makes me ohhhh sooo happy :-) I swear I was born in the wrong era.

Monday, February 27, 2012

the chihuahua still knows its in there

I'm not usually keen on knitting bags that have zipper closures because I sometimes get the yarn zipped up into them. But since the chihuahua seems to always find her way into my messenger bag style knitting bag, including dragging the bag down from a coffee table or bad and undoing a magnetic snap, I thought I'd give a zippered bag a try.

She can't get it open, but she still knows what's inside.
And it kinda pisses her off ;-)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

bloomin' sick, is what i am

Everything is indeed in bloom, but what I had hoped might just be allergies is actually a head cold. It's been sneaking up like the creeping death since early last week, and after Stitches on Friday, I took a nose dive. Except for the vegetable gardening class series Saturday morning, I've been in my pajamas knitting, slurping soup, drinking tea, and blowing my nose. And watching season 1 of The Tudors, which is completely new to me.

I kept MyFavoriteKid at the other end of the house the whole weekend, when he wasn't out bike riding with friends, and I also dropped them off at the movie theater for a bit yesterday.
TheMostImportantGuy has been at the zen center since Friday for the annual 8-day meditation retreat, so I won't be infecting him, but he tells me that half the people sitting nearby him are coughing and sneezing. I'm sorry to miss the retreat this year, but I'm much happier tucked up and cozy with a cup of tea rather than sitting upright and focused on the floor.

I'm off to bed. Tomorrow I'll post a few pics of Stitches Booty!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

snaps on saturday

Seems like it's a little early in the year for this.
Am I wrong?

Friday, February 24, 2012

shop. til. you. drop.

Stitches was a blast (and I ended wearing my little brown cardigan with a brown and black printed tank top underneath, a short black skirt and boots...well "a boot" case the suspense was killing you).

I rode down with my new-ish friend Sandy who has been coming to the knitting night at the sports bar, and also pretty regularly at the senior center. While shopping I saw lots of people I hadn't seen in awhile, always special. And at the end of the day we hooked up with the ladies of the Friday morning knitting group in the hotel lobby for cocktails. Too much fun for one day (almost), but let me tell you...I am exhausted!

I can't show you really good pics of the haul because the lighting is too bad, but I can tell you I purchased less yarn and more......other things. Like a blocking mat, and socks with sheep on them, a book and a pattern booklet, and some pretty great stitch markers.

(see? like I said. Bad lighting! If you can't see it well, the markers say "WTF". hahaha)

I'll share one more photo though, take in the food area of the marketplace. It's a photo of my favorite sweater of the day.

I saw LOTS of sweaters and beauuuuutiful shawls and skirts and whatnot, but this little traditional cardigan just charmed me to death. Just the sweetest thing ever, only to be made sweeter by the lady wearing it (and of course I had to go up and say hi, because...well, because I have to LOL).

Anyhow. GREAT day. But whenever is it a bad day with that much yarn and inspiration and laughter around?!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Well, I am not sure if I am sick, or if perhaps I am just suffering from allergies. I've never considered myself to be allergic to trees or plants, but you never know, do you. I mean, I didn't consider myself allergic to foods either, and here I am allergic to green beans and almonds, right??

It's been in the upper 70's here the last couple of days, with quite a breeze to boot. The garden is soooo confused! It really could be that everything is just blooming at the same time and some combination of plant pollen is driving me nuts.

the daffodils arrived in late January this year

Also in the air today is the heavy smell of smoke. A controlled burn up-valley turned into a wildfire, and though I'm pretty far from it, the wind has blown the smoke this way and it's now quite noticeable.

I have as stuffed nose...but not that bad. And a wee bit of a cough...but not that bad. And I feel tired and run down...but not so much. I basically feel like I have been "on the verge" of something for 3 days, but without really ever getting sick. Do allergies feel like that??

Sick or not, allergies or not, I am going to Stitches, dammit! I have missed the past 2 years, and I am hear that?!?!
(*shakes fist at the sky*)

So now the next question is: what do I wear?

I can't figure out what to wear, and I'm thinking, man! What a dork I am! See, I'm trying to figure out what handknit item of mine I should wear to the knitting convention. Do I wear a sweater? Knee-high sock? A hat? No, a lacy shawl. Which lacy shawl. Ok, how about a non-lacy shawl.

It's sort of ridiculous. And it so ridiculous that I can't figure it out that it sort of makes me want to wear no handknit item. But not wearing something is sort of like going to the RenFair and not dressing up. You look like a tourist. Or a muggle.

Well, I'll figure it out in the morning. LOLOL

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

when good knitters go bad

The most comical coverage of yarn bombing ever.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I just got home from Tuesday night knittin' at the sports bar, and I think I'm coming down with something.

And Stitches is this weekend.

And I have missed Stitches the last two years.

I am hitting the sack early to see if I can head this off at the pass.

Monday, February 20, 2012

something a cute dog can do that is not so cute.

If horses can go to the glue factory, where do cute chihuahuas go?

Sometimes I wanna leave the little chihuahua dog on the curb with a red ribbon around her neck and wicker suitcase full of her dog food in hopes that she goes to nice new forever home. That yarn up there is my schmancy mink and cashmere, and I know she knows it. She opens up the flap to my messenger-style knitting bag and just helps her damn self. This is the 3rd time.

So I untangle and wind up the yarn, and put the ball back into my knitting bag, and the next morning I wake up with this face peeking out at me from under the sheets (just to remind me how cute she is)...

...and in the bed, between she and I, I find this:

4th time!! With this yarn (meaning, shall I mention all the other yarns she has done this to)!

Bow tie, I say!! Wicker suitcase, I'm telling you!!

Since I could never really bear to kick her to the curb, you and I both know that rather than shopping for a wicker suitcase for the chihuahua, I should probably really be shopping for a more secure knitting bag.

I've got some leads and ideas, but I'm open for suggestions. Anyone out there have some pet-proof knitting bag ideas?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

i only have 4 words for you tonight:


thank you, goodnight. ;-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

snaps on saturday

This is the only way I see MyFavoriteKid these days.... a blur!!

That's him whizzing by in a line with his fellow Winter Drumline team, as they file into the gymnasium for their first performance of the year (photo taken by me, who is parked at the raffle table, volunteering). MyFK tallied it up, and the drumline put in 30 hours this week of rehearsals and meetings. THIRTY HOURS! On top of school and everything else.

He was sort of in tears tonight after the show. His dad had come up to see the performance also, and he was supposed to go off with his dad for the rest of the long weekend...and he just couldn't take it. He's stiff and sore and wants to be home in his own bed with all his comforts about him. I couldn't refuse. But so much for my kid-free weekend. And he has performances almost every Saturday for the month of March, so there will be more rehearsals and performances for him...and more volunteering and less kid-free weekends for me.

Oh, well.

In a few years high school will be over, and it will probably feel like I blinked and the time disappeared...and then I will long for the extra time together. At least that's how I'm framing it ;-)

Honestly, I am SO proud of MyFk. He worked real hard to audition and get the slot in this year's team. It's not his first year in band, but his first year of drumming...and he has just totally rocked it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I wish I had one more knitted thing to show, because honestly, I don't feel like typing tonight. It's 11pm and I had a very full day including squeezing in the high school band parent's meeting before heading off to teach dance class tonight. So here I am at 11pm, just home from said dance class, and I'm so tired the screen is blurry.

We've had two fairly strong earthquakes in the last day or so, the epicenters of both being about 5 miles from my house.
And one of my neighbors passed away yesterday. More on that soon. It hasn't sunk in yet.

Moody. Exhausted.
The pillow beckons....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

last of the parade o' knitting for awhile....

I finally finished up the little Mystery Knit project I had been working on. What I mean by mystery is that this was a KAL (KnitALong) that a group of people did online where I designer chopped up a pattern into chunks and gave it to us in "clues" each week....and we had no idea what we were knitting when we started. We were just told what weight yarn to use, how much was needed, what the suggested needle size was, and what gauge we should get. Then off we went.

It turned out to be a long and narrow crescent shaped shawl.

I decided to use some yarn that Jodi gifted me ages and ages ago. It turned out to be the perfect match.

I had lots of little problems knitting this thing, no fault of the pattern. The knitting of the body was so simple that I would forget to keep track of how many rows I had done (not helped by the fact that at certain points the rows were quite short with only a few stitches). When we got into the lace, someone in the group suggested not using stitch markers to divide things up into smaller sections and I followed that advice blindly (like the sheep that I am), and I just couldn't keep track of where I was and watch tv at the same time.

As got near the end, I worried I might run out of yarn, and I didn't want another error to slow me down, so I just switched yarns and gave it a little contrasting border.

I like wearing this thing.

It's not as fussy as a shawl because it's so narrow. It wears more like a scarf. Just toss it on, easy peasy. But it sort of "reads" as a shawl on some level, and I like it because it feels a little fancier than a scarf.

I see more shawlettes of this shape in my future.

Ravely project page here if you want the details ;-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


We aren't real big on celebrating Valentine's Day over here. We don't even usually swap cards or anything.
The doggies didn't get that memo though:

assembled by the crew at the doggie daycare place, to be sure

I actually took the cards as an apology for leaving muddy prints all over my floors yesterday ;-)

Speaking of yesterday and how it got muddy in the first place....

Shot from the front stoop.

Monday, February 13, 2012

next up in the parade of knitted things: something not knit at all

Not too long ago, one of my dancer friends gave me a plastic bag containing several balls of yarn, a (somewhat boring) shawl pattern, and a lovely (Addi!) knitting needle with the partially completed project dangling project hanging from it.

The UFO (UnFinishedObject, for the muggles) had been passed along to her by a co-worker of hers. My dancer friend is a knitter herself, but she didn't want to deal with it. I thought I'd take a crack at it or pass it along to one of the high school kids.

It's very pretty. Its Manos. And there is LOTS of it.
6 skeins totaling 828 yards , I do believe (I'll know for sure once I frog the work in progress) there is plenty enough to make something substantial.

But I'm just not sure what to do with it! I think the first question that needs answering is if it is a color that looks good on me.

Or should I be knitting myself a felted purse or something that would go way far away from my face?


Sunday, February 12, 2012

oh iiiiii love a paraaaaade.....

More parading of knitting (sorry if you are bored with this, but there's a few more posts to go).

Another one in the "gifted to me" category, this one much beloved because it was made for me by some of the kids in the High School Knitting Club:

I adore it for all its charm and character, and I love that when I opened it they all showed me which squares they had knit. Most of these kids have only been knitting just a few months, and to be the recipient of some of their first knitting is just....well...
a bit of tear jerker!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

snaps on saturday

A break in the parade where I wonder....

....why are my dogs looking so serious today?!

Friday, February 10, 2012

aaand even more parading!

I have a very sweet friend who knits for me. All. The. Time. It's my friend TheBon, and I love the fact that she knits things for me even though I am a knitter and can knit for myself (because seriously, most of my other knitting friends don't knit for each other for some reason. Odd, that.)

Over the years I have amassed quite the collection of handknit Christmas ornaments that she has sent me, and this year, she sent me two new ones!

Soooo darling. And so...wee!! She has knit little armies of these things in the past, but I can't seem to find a post about them on her blog showing the quantities of these little ornaments she will do in a whack. If you are on Ravelry, try clickety-clicking here and here and see if that works out for you. Do click. It's worth it. If you think these things are cute on their own, you will just die when you see them en masse.

Guess what else TheBon knit for me recently. Recently being last year (last year!?! I know!! For someone who appreciates being knitted for, you'd think I'd have acknowledged this properly by now! I suck!! *sigh*)
Anyhow.....last year, TheBon knit me a shawl.

She dyed one of the yarns herself to get it "just so". And, she knit two of these shawls, you guys: one for me, and another for herself. We wore them to Sock Summit together and we were the talk of the town. So much so, I personally do believe that we might have been part of the inspiration for Yarn Harlot to knit one.

I love it, and I wear it often :-)
Thanks Bon!!!

The parade continues tomorrow....

Thursday, February 09, 2012

more parading.....

Hooboy, it was good for me and my sanity that I posted that little lovely (and completed) lace project yesterday. It reminded me that lace can indeed be worth the effort. I had nearly forgotten. That's because yesterday, as I was typing up that post up, I was simultaneously (and intermittently) attempting to fix a huuuuge mistake in my current lace knitting project.

I'm working on a simple little shawlette, and for all its simplicity, it has been kicking my arse since the very first section. Yesterday I found a mistake that was so bad, it required me to rip a hole into a lace border that was 13 stitches wide and 7 rows deep in order to fix things (if you aren't a knitter, imagine having a gaping hole in your favorite sweater, complete with those running dangling strands criss-crossing throughout the hole, and then imagine trying to put the sweater back together exactly as it was before).

It took hours. Not hours of solid work, but hours of diligence balanced with time outs. I'd work on it for 20 minutes, then back away slowly, then come back a bit later. Over and over again. It was so bad at one point I almost swore off knitting lace entirely. "Never Again!!!" I cursed, shaking my fists at the sky (where I guess the lace knitting gods live). I almost stabbed my eyes out with my knitting needles just so I wouldn't have to look at the hot mess any longer!

I am back on track now, finally....but man! It was such a painful fix!!
I maybe oughta just ripped it back and started over.
But I did it. And I won (you hear that, lace gods?!!).
I am the ruler of my knitting, dammit.


Next in line in my little parade of knitted things is a fix I had to do to something else I finished recently. Remember that mink beret? Well, it turned out that the whole damn hat, especially the band, had stretched out a little bit too much for my taste after the first few wearings.
My fix?? Sewing elastic into the inside of the hat band.

Since I had the sewing kit out (and being the lover of vintage buttons that I am), while I was at it with the needle and thread, I tacked on a little somethin' somethin' to spruce the hat up a bit.

It's another old metal button from the stash, probably late 1800's or early 1900's. The metal is sort of a brassy brownish color, but the center of the button has a pinkish purple sort of tint over it. It's charming :-)

I like it.
And while everyone else "puts a bird on it," I'll just keep putting buttons on it ;-)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

a parade of knitted things

I am going to spend the next couple of days posting a little parade of knitted things...some things knit by me, some things knit for me....things that I should have posted about ages ago.

Posting about knitting is always fun, but it also gives me an opportunity to do some deeper writing in between the fuzzy fluffiness of yarn-y posts (in other words, keep an eye out for some deep-thinky-emo-posts in a few days, after I run out of fuzz to talk about).

Let's start with something that I knit:

This was a little buttoned up cowl-thingy that I knit back in December. The yarn and pattern came together as part of the "Fall In Full Color Club" from Knitspot. The yarn was inspired by hazelnut chocolates (the kit even showed up in the mail with some of the actual inspirational chocolates in the package....but those went down the hatch faster than I could find a camera).

I thought this little accessory was the perfect excuse to dig into my stash of vintage buttons. I always look for ways to get them out where I can see them and use them. They are just too pretty to be tucked away in the button tin.

I believe most of these buttons are from the late 1800's.

The kit came with two patterns, this one for the ladies, and another less "lace-tastic" one for the guys. There was enough yarn in the skein to make both neckwarmers, but only if you knit them in the smaller sizes given. I had already made my cowl in the larger size so it would hang away from neck a bit, rather than having it be fitted like a turtleneck, as some people did, so I ended up using more yarn on my first project. When I went to cast on for the guy's version, I used my digital scale for the first few rounds to see if I was going to have enough yarn leftover to knit the 2nd project, and lo....I am going to come up short. I ripped it out, but I plan on giving it a go a second time using a contrasting color on the first and last few rows as a border. I'm just on the fence about which yarn to use....something subtle that blends, or something with some more contrast and ba-da-bing to it.

Here's a link to my Ravelry project page for the neckwarmer.

More fluff tomorrow....

Tuesday, February 07, 2012


A pile of fun found in a little shop on 4th Street on Saturday. I'd never been into this shop, but it was full of marionettes, calligraphy supplies, and all sorts of vintage goodness. A bit of a curiosity shop (well, at least I was curious! LOL).

Monday, February 06, 2012

things that make me smile

Not sure you need to view all 5 minutes to get the gist, but I couldn't stop watching until it was over LOL...yay bunnies!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Highlights of this birthday weekend:

* As pictured above: a little bit of knitting time, plus cupcakes and candles from TheMostImportantGuy, who sang Happy Birthday to me twice :-)

* Friday night cocktails with the ladies of the Friday morning knitting group. So. Much. Fun.

* The Friday night cocktails were only made possible thanks to TheMIG, who picked MyFavoriteKid up from school, took care of his dinner, and held down the fort so that I could go enjoy myself.

* I splurged on a BirthdayPresentToSelf: a pair of earrings from one of my most favorite local jewelry makers (she turns vintage buttons into jewelry, and well...we know how I feel about vintage buttons!). I'll have to take a close up for you, although I was wearing them in that photo of my yesterday.

* Lots of cards in the mail from family, including flowers sent to me by TheMIG's mom :-)

* Saturday morning practice at the zen center, followed by appliance shopping...which might not sounds very birthday-ish, but I have noooo problem considering it a gift to be getting a new kitchen at some point.

* Also a pit-stop at the Mac cosmetics store, where I went in for a just a replacement eye shadow, but because it was slow, and because I had mentioned it was my birthday, one of the consultants there made my whole face up. Fun!

* A Super-Bowl party hosted by my parents today. TheMIGuy headed out this morning for a conference in Chicago and MyFK was off this weekend with his dad, leaving me with zero plans for the Super-Bowl. My parents showed up to my house with everything, and I do mean everything, for a party. Guacamole, stuffed potato skins (and a salad--phew!), beer, and a candle to go on some cake (and more singing!). They even showed up with the paper plates, napkins, plasticware, and cups so I didn't have to do one damn thing but flick on the television. How cool was that?!

Gooooood weekend :-)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

me. 45.

I've been doing this every year on my birthday for awhile now. Should be fun to line them all up in a few years.

One little milestone worth mentioning:
this is the year that I started wearing 1.0 reading glass from time to time (reading at bedtime or working on fixing a fine knitting mistake or something).

Had a great day :-)

Friday, February 03, 2012

a funny thing

About 8 minutes after I published that post yesterday about the new mugs? I was emptying the dishwasher and broke another favorite mug.

It was not nearly as favorite (it certainly did not have the ability to transport me to a street corner cafe in Paris on a drizzy morning at dawn), but it was actually the mug that I had purchased to replace the magical mug when it broke. Which I find ironically hysterical.

All broken mugs have now met their maker and are out of the house.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

double happiness

Last year I wrote a post called "this cup is already broken," where I spoke about a much beloved, and newly chipped, coffee mug (of all things)...

....but the post wasn't really about a coffee mug; it was more about my interest in understanding my attachment to things. Several of you replied to that post, pointing out that the mug was chipped, not broken, or telling me how I might re-purpose the container or the ceramic, or directing me to where I could purchase its replacement, etc....and I replied back.

I didn't buy a replacement mug. I did in fact keep the mug, and I starting using it for odd little tasks around the kitchen, like for when I run clear water through my single cup coffee maker to clean it out, for example. Or four taking a small amount of water over to the plant that needs a sip. Mostly I just took the cup out of the cupboard and loved it, and I learned to love it even with it's chips that were so sharp I couldn't sip out out of it without cutting myself. I loved it just for what it was: something that made me happy, even though it no longer could function in the way it was made to do. It never stopped making me smile.

And then (you can guess what's coming, right?)....

Today I went into Peet's with my dad for a cup of brewed chai topped with steamed soy milk (my new favorite thing), and a small coffee for him, and I just about freaked out when I saw these at the register.

I waxed poetically about these mugs to Peetniks that giggled at me and people next to me in line that thought I was a bit insane over something so seemingly trivial (because it is, indeed, rather trivial LOL). And then I bought two. One for now, and one for....well, emergencies. hahahaha

I did at least restrain myself from buying the 4 mug gift box set that was packaged in the absolutely most adorable french hatbox ever.
I'm not that bad off.
But I'm close ;-)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012