Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Long Goodbye

And so we begin the process of saying goodbye . . . or so long. It's heartbreaking, if not precious, to watch. Kathryn seems to want to skip this whole step of being together before Tara leaves. "Why bother? We're both uncomfortable and if she's just going to leave anyway . . ."

And me stuck without my "How to Guide Your Child Through All Life's Painful Moments" handbook, "It's important to spend this time together; you'll regret it if you don't."

Kathryn is the master of long distance relationships. She sees her California cousins twice a year but knows more about what's going on in their lives than of some of her school friends. She regularly calls, emails, web-cams them. She's as close to them as I am to their mother, my sister. She hasn't yet seen this as a possibility her long distance relationship with Tara.
Tara, on the other hand, is a master at relocating. She's lived all over - from Racine, WI. to Budapest, Hungary. She knows what this is like. She knows how to leave and start over. But she told me yesterday that this one is the hardest. It's the shortest time they've been somewhere, the shortest time they've had to pack up and move (she starts school on August 15) and the closest friends she's made.
I know this will be hard. But their bond is very strong. The technology is in place to keep them connected.

That's what the handbook says anyway.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Book Deal

When is a book deal a book deal? I cherish my knitting book collection and never thought twice about plopping down cold hard $$ for books to round our same. When I was working at the yarn store it was a no brainer - discount. Good discount! Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Knit Picks prices are always way below retail; JoAnn's or Michael's almost always have coupons which include knitting books.

So why then, when I went into one of the two local yarn stores ** that are closing their doors forever, did I labor over these two books for so long? They were 40% off. Probably better than I'd get at any of the above. (OK I didn't go do the research but I'm sure someone will.)

One, I'm just not a bag person. Two, I'm so over felting things. As you might guess "Bag Style" has bags, many of which are felted. But it also has these patterns:

Like there aren't free patterns for market bags just like this ALL over the internet!!

Crochet - I love crochet!

Crochet - I love crochet!

BIG crochet - we'll see!

And while "Favorite Mittens" has many things I don't think I would like to make, it has this wonderful anatomy of the hand and general instruction on knitting mittens which could be valuable.Then there's this whole thing about the Fox and the Geese Mittens - the one pair I DO want to make.
NO fox, NO geese! Even the author says they have no pictoral relation whatsoever to either animal. They must think this is really funny up in Maine!

So . . . $21.95 x 2 = $43.90 - 40% = $26.34 for 5 things I might want to make. That's about $5.00 per pattern. Deal or no deal?

** No one really cares that these stores are closing. For proof, go read all about it on here and here Ravelry!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Show Off

Finally complete are the Crazy Monkey socks in my hand-dyed yarn. I'm not wild about them; nothing to do with the pattern but more my unwillingness to stray from a short row heel I struggle with every time I use it. But it's easy to remember which is probably why I stick with it. Note to self: next toe up sock MUST be done with a heel flap! The stitch pattern and the colors will make up for the heel. And after all, I'm the only one who will see the heel and any large gaping holes which may, or may not be there See! No one never see them.
Or will you?
I love my new Skechers Surfer Girl shoes.
But they just might show the little mistakes anywhere and everywhere!! Thanks for the tip Harriet!

Friday, July 25, 2008

10 Minute Tour

It was a dark and stormy morning and all the animals were gathered in the studio for the spinning update.I finished spinning three bobbins of super-wash merino in Chocolate Cherry. And on the excellent advice of Sweetpea16 (Thank you! I think I found you on Ravelry?) I took and ordinary little kitchen thing to aid in plying my first three ply yarn.

It might have helped if it hadn't come off the jar of dill weed, but at least it wasn't cumin.
Ready, set . . .
. . ply! What a great way to make what I only assumed would be a ginormous mess, easy. And in no time at all, I had . . .
. . . which looks like this up close. I LOVE three ply. It feels so - complete.
That complete, I pulled this out of the stash. "Pastel Blissout" in 50% merino 50% tencel from Three By Hand. It's proving a little tricky for me. More slippery than I'm used to and it seems like it doesn't really want to be drafted at all. Does that make sense?

But it sure looks and feels pretty!!

I know that it will want to be chain plied but that's a story for another day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ever Present

One of the questions I'm asked often (by people who don't understand that it's the process, not the product that matters most!) about my hand-dyed yarn is "What are you going to DO with all of that?" As if looking at it weren't enjoyment enough! I never question the collection of power tools in the basement - just sayin'.

That said, one of my favorite things to do with a very special skein is to find a matching gift bag and matchy-matchy tissue paper . . .

. . . wrap it up all nice and pretty-pretty (yes - this qualifies and nice and pretty in my house!)

. . . and take it up to the yarn store as a birthday gift for a special person I used to work with!

Happy Birthday Becky! Love ya!

I hope there a lot more birthdays coming up, cuz there's another Dye Day coming soon!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Between making wicked good progress on these long abandoned Crazy Monkey socks in my own hand-dyed yarn, and . . .
. . . getting lost in the pre-WWII drama of the Henry family,

I'm finding little time for self pity. Or anything else for that matter. Like sleep!! Sometimes other people's problems are good for the soul.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I have a rampant case of the blahs and therefore have nothing all that important to talk about. Instead, how about two crappy photos of my breakfast companions one morning last week?
Mom and Baby Bambi heading over to the salad bar for a morning snack.

What's this - Twin Baby Bambis! These two babies were born not too long ago in our back yard. I saw them take their first wobbly steps. Shortly after this photo was snapped, the first little guy hurried on over to Mommy for a drink. I didn't feel it appropriate to invade their privacy just for blog fodder.

See - I got nuttin!

Friday, July 18, 2008


. . . is for NOSES.
I have always had a thing for noses. All kinds of noses.

Holli's "snow nose" which turned this color during her first winter. We were told that Golden's noses turned this color in the winter and then turned back to black every summer. Never did. This nose wakes me up if I oversleep and don't feed her in time. It also rests itself on my lap when she needs to be pet or loved just a bit more. Who could resist that nose?

Most times, this is a nose only a mother could love. It is, more often than not, covered with snot. Yes, she still sneezes. Incessantly. Constantly. And when she does, we all run for cover. And then for Lysol. The vet says it is just her lot in life (being a garbage kitty child of a crack-mom that she is). But really, it's such a shiny, pretty and regal looking nose that I'm just so willing to overlook disgustingly gross tiny indiscretion. See how soft and shiny it looks?

I even love bitchy, pissy noses. Ones with uneven lines down them and small black dots that I keep trying to pick off only to get hissed at because apparently it's permanent. I can't remember everything. And see how the white around the nose part is uneven. It bugs me, but, well, it's a nose.

Seriously - I need to elaborate on this nose? Just look at how it turns up just a teensy-weensy tiny bit at the end. I always wanted that kind of nose. But alas, I just gave her the genes for it.

And this nose, recently home from London. Just about as perfect as you can get.

N is for noses.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Remember back in the old days (before I had my OWN digital camera) when I was borrowing the old digital camera? And further remember that there were times when said camera would take trips and leave me camera-less? Now, the old-icky digital camera frequently takes work trips with Jon because HIS new personal digital camera (yes, I realize what snots this makes us seem like) is too nice to take on work trips. This recent trip the old-icky camera began sending pictures back to me from all the fabulous places visited. I hate this. Seriously.Hate.This. It's one thing to show me the pictures when you get home. It's another to leave your family under the pretense of work, and then have the balls to send back "Hey, look at all the cool places I'm going to without you in this great city that you've never been to!" The camera even includes witty little captions with it's pictures. I'd ask you to guess where the camera went - but it's oh, so evident. The camera never lies.
"Looks like a good spot for a pint."

"Mmmm tastes like beer."

"Just cause it's so London."
"Trying not to lose my head!"

"Too cool."

"Just missed William mooning us from the window."
"You can tell they need to be changed when they get fussy."
"Lots of dead people in the Abby."
"Anyone got the time?"
I hate the old, icky camera.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

TDF - 1 2 3

Lucky for me the Tour de Fleece is during my forced solitude. I've found plenty of time to sit and spin and watch all the new summer TV shows like "Burn Notice" (loved it), The Closer"(loved it), Saving Grace" (didn't love it at all), & "The Cleaner" (want to like it 'cuz it has Benjamin Bratt but will have to give it a few episodes). This week, "Psych".

Unlike knitting, I'm also finding it remarkably easy to stay dedicated to one project at a time. I realize this could be easily remedied with the purchase of another wheel, or more economically with the simple purchase of a few more bobbins. So far I've resisted. With the wonderful things hiding in the stash studio, how long will that last I'm wondering?

So the latest, almost completed project is a super wash merino in "Chocolate Cherry". I started this on the opening day of the TDF at Open Spinning at the Fiber Studio and have worked on it every day since. With a little bit of time on the pink fluff too!! It's lovely and once I realized that I had been drafting it incorrectly and holding WAY too much fiber in my left hand, everything got much better. It seemed to spin up as easy as . . .

. . . one . . .

. . . two . . .

. . . three.

I'm planning to make a three-ply - my first attempt! How hard can that be? It's just one more than a two ply - right?? RIGHT??
Although this is my first problem, I can't find the end on this bobbin - anywhere!
"NO WAY! I can't even find the basket of
fluff any more so don't blame me. Maybe the dog did it, but I DID NOT do
it Mom. I'm truthing!!"